2FA Backup Options

In the event that your primary 2FA device is unavailable, we highly recommend using one of the below methods to ensure that you can always log in. The three primary methods for logging in when your device is not available include SMS backup codes, a one-time bypass code, and an alternate device. Instructions for utilizing each of these methods can be found below.

Generate SMS Backup Codes

SMS (text message) backup codes can be used to authenticate to two-factor enabled services in the event that your mobile devices are not available and you need access to these services immediately. To generate SMS backup codes, your 2FA-enabled smartphone must be currently accessible and available to receive text messages, therefore they must be requested before they are actually needed.

  1. Log in to any 2FA-enabled service, such as GoWMU with your Bronco NetID and password. 
  2. When prompted for your secondary authentication method, click Enter a Passcode.
  3. Click Text me new codes at the bottom of the Duo window.
  4. You will receive a text message with 10 passcodes. Store these codes somewhere secure where you can access them in the event that your device is not available.

To use an SMS backup code, click Enter a Passcode when prompted for your secondary authentication method. Enter one of the passcodes that you previously saved. Note: Passcodes received via text message can only be used once.

register an additional device

If you have one available, we highly recommend you register a second device for 2FA (such as a tablet), so that you have an alternate means of authentication in the event that your primary device is not available. To set up an additional device for 2FA, please see our instructions here.


During regular business hours, the Help Desk is able to provide a one-time bypass code in the event that your 2FA device is unavailable. Contact the Help Desk for assistance with retrieving a bypass code. Once you have the code, please use the instructions below to log in:

  1. Log in to the desired 2FA-enabled service
  2. When prompted for your secondary authentication method when logging in, select Enter a Passcode and then enter the passcode displayed in the Duo app.
  3. Click Log In.

Note: Bypass codes are not permanent, and will expire based on the time limit provided by a Help Desk technician.