I just set up two-factor authentication feature for my account with PayPal, but I can't seem to find a way how to set it up to either trust my desktop computer (so that it doesn't ask for a PIN on it) or how to set it up to work with the Google Authenticator smartphone app to generate security PINs. Any ideas?

PS. At the current moment I was able to set it up to text security codes for me. The issue is that I have a limited allowance on text messages each month, so my carrier will start charging me for those at some point. So it'd be nice to avoid this. Plus waiting for a text message, that may take some time to arrive, is also inconvenient.

  • Firsts I don't believe you can setup it to work with Google Authenticator. Second setting up a trusted computer would greatly reduce the security of 2-factor authentication. Its not a require element of 2-factor authentication most people don't implement it
    – Ramhound
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 10:55
  • @Ramhound: Actually most other sites I use, do: Gmail, Hotmail, Dropbox, Lastpass, etc.
    – MikeF
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 18:24
  • My point was that its still optional.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 18:34
  • As a follow up -- I tried contacting PayPal about it and, as I expected, it fell on the deaf ears. Too bad that they don't care about providing better security for their customers...
    – MikeF
    Commented Sep 27, 2014 at 6:04

2 Answers 2


It can not be done with Google Authenticator or Authy app. Now I only saw two options with paypal

you can see information here

The Security Key is available in 2 versions:

Security Key card: This is an electronic device that creates a unique security code instantly at the press of a button. It is the size of a credit card.

Mobile phone Security Key: You can sign up to receive security codes by text message.

A Security Key card currently costs $32.95 AUD. Additional or replacement cards are the same price.

Activate Security Key: https://www.paypal.com/au/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_setup-security-key


The PayPal Security Key page is still available at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_security-token even though the account security page no longer links there. It can be used to manage SMS numbers, Symantec VIP app tokens, and (presumably) the hardware security tokens PayPal used to sell.

There is also a third-party Python script to fetch standard OATH TOTP keys from the Symantec VIP service which can then be imported into Google Authenticator or another TOTP app. (Apparently these keys expire after about three years, so make sure you keep your SMS number up-to-date as a backup, and consider setting a reminder in your preferred calendar app.)

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