First of all – if you think there’s some magic way to disable Dropbox’s two-step verification with no access to your cellphone, without contacting Dropbpox – you’re wrong. Don’t keep reading, you will not find it here. In the end – You’ll have to contact Dropbox.
I’m a happy Dropbox customer. I think it’s a fabulous service. I’ve been using Dropbox for almost 5 years, and recently – actually last year – I decided to purchase the GB100, including the “Packrat” feature. Dropbox’s “Packrat” feature keeps an unlimited number of deleted files and old versions.
As a matter of security, I decided to activate two-step verification on my account.
Two-step verification is an optional but highly recommended security feature that adds an extra layer of protection to your Dropbox account. Once enabled, Dropbox will require a six-digit security code in addition to your password whenever you sign in to Dropbox or link a new computer, phone, or tablet.
So I typed in my phone number, activated two-step verification – and everything was perfect, until recently, where I’ve changed my phone number, and didn’t have access to my old one.
Besides getting a 6-digit text message to your phone, when you activate the feature Dropbox also provides you with an emergency code. The idea is to save it and use it when cases like mine happen. For some reason, I didn’t save my emergency code. I was stuck, without any access to my dropbox.
The solution here is pretty simple, and as a matter of fact – it’s a life lesson. To make a long story short – there’s no way to disable Dropbox two-step verification with no cellphone – unless you have Dropbox’s team to assist you.
First thing I learned – Save the emergency code Dropbox provides you.
Second thing – use a mobile app, instead of text message. Several mobile apps are available that will generate a unique time-sensitive security code you can use to finish signing in to your Dropbox account. Any app that supports the Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) Protocol should work, including the following:
- Google Authenticator (Android/iPhone/BlackBerry)
- Duo Mobile (Android/iPhone)
- Amazon AWS MFA (Android)
- Authenticator (Windows Phone 7)
Why use a mobile app instead of text message? Because it doesn’t matter if you’re using your original number, or have switched to another one. Most apps will generate security codes even when cellular/data service is not available – useful when traveling or where coverage is unreliable.
So what did I do and how did I end up disabling two-step verification in my account? I emailed them 🙂
Obviously, they asked me for many details, including asking me to create a folder with a unique name in my account (I already had access from my iPhone) just to show ownership, my account’s email address, full name, full address, what city was I when I logged in successfully the last time, name a person whom I share a folder with, credit card details, PayPal transaction unique ID etc.