Get started with YubiKey 5 Series (2024)

  • Follow this tutorial to set up your YubiKey and add compatible services

    Home » Setup » Get started with YubiKey 5 Series

    Get started with YubiKey 5 Series (1)

    A few tips before you get started

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    Have your key ready

    Have your key(s) ready to plug into your computer, preferably the same way you will plug it in later when you authenticate: i.e., either with or without an adapter.

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    Prepare trusted device

    A trusted device is one that is not public and has an up to date operating system with the latest security patches installed. Have a computer running either Windows 10 (1903 or later) or any of the following with the Chrome browser 90 or later: macOS (Catalina or later), Chrome OS 90 or later, Ubuntu 18.04 or later.

    Get started with YubiKey 5 Series (4)
    Do you have a spare key?

    Yubico always recommends adding two keys to each of your online services and accounts; one primary and one secondary as backup in case the primary is lost.Read more about backup (spare) YubiKeys here.

    *Reminder: Not all services are compatible with all series. If your backup is from a different series, be sure to use the setup flow specific to your spare key for best results.

    Many services suggest or require the use of a PIN. It is recommended that youset up a PIN before you add services to your YubiKey. The best way to do this is to useYubiKey Manager.

    Compatible accounts and services

    The YubiKey 5 Series supports most modern and legacy authentication standards. To find compatible accounts and services, use the Works with YubiKey tool below.

    Each YubiKey must be registered individually. For each service you set up,have your spare YubiKey ready and add it right after the first onebefore moving to the next.

    The YubiKey setup process is determined by the service provider, sosetup instructions will vary slightly from service to service. In some cases, a service will require the use of Yubico Authenticator. If so, the tool below will prompt you.

    Helpful tools

    YubiKeys are configured and ready to go out of the box. For additional customizations such as PIN setup, NFC and USB configuration, PIV setup and more, use the tools below.

    Get started with YubiKey 5 Series (5)
    YubiKey Manager

    Use the YubiKey Manager to configure FIDO2, OTP and PIV functionality on your YubiKey on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. You can also use the YubiKey Manager to configure particular settings on your YubiKey, like setting up a PIN.

    Learn more

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    Personalization Tool

    Use the YubiKey Personalization Tool to perform batch programming of a large number of YubiKeys, check firmware, and to configure advanced settings such as slot configuration and fast triggering to prevent accidental triggering of nano-sized YubiKeys.

    Learn more

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    Yubico Authenticator

    Some services require an authenticator app. Use the Yubico Authenticator app to securely store your credentials on a YubiKey opposed to your mobile phone, so that your secrets cannot be compromised.

    Learn more

    Advanced use cases

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    Computer login tools

    Use your YubiKey to secure your computer or laptop. Make it a requirement to have your YubiKey before being able to log into your Windows or Mac machine.

    Learn more

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    Developer Resources

    Interested in integrating YubiKeys with your software? Check out the different developer resources we offer!

    Learn more

    Frequently asked questions

    2FA is a method to confirm a user’s claimed online identity by using a combination of two different types of factors. Factors used for 2FA include something that you know (e.g. password or PIN), or something that you have (e.g. a security key or phone) or something that you are (e.g. facial recognition). For more detailed information, please visit our2FA glossary page.

    The YubiKey works as an extra layer of security to your online accounts. When logging into an account with a YubiKey registered, the user must have the account login credentials (username+password), and the YubiKey registered to the account. This physical layer of protection prevents many account takeovers that can be done virtually. Thus the YubiKey is a form of 2FA (two-factor authentication).

    A single YubiKey has multiple functions for securing your login to email, online services, apps, computers, and even physical spaces. Use any YubiKey feature, or use them all. The versatile YubiKey requires no software installation or battery and therefore it is ready to use directly out of the package. Just login to the service you want to add that extra protection to and set the Key up.

    We at Yubico always recommend you to secure your account with an additional YubiKey, please see the section above named “Is it important to have a Spare Key?”. This additional YubiKey can be used as a spare key in case your primary YubiKey is misplaced or stolen. If you do not have an additional YubiKey added, it is recommended to have another form of 2FA added to your accounts. Please note, if you do end up being locked out of your account, you will need to contact the service for help with account recovery.

    Yes, we at Yubico always recommend having more than one YubiKey. This way one key can be used as a primary Key, and the other can be used as aSpare Key. The importance of having a spare Key is well established. We have them for our most valuable assets in life – our houses, our cars, our PO and safety deposit boxes, etc. Not surprisingly, we also need spare keys for our digital devices! Having a spare key gives you the assurance that if you lose your primary key, you will not be without access to critical accounts when needing them most. In other words, with a spare Key you have no need to fear being locked out of any accounts, and no need to go through a lengthy recovery and identity verification process to regain access to each account.

    Check out ourhelpdesk centerwhere there are tons of knowledge base articles to help arm you with the necessary info to better your online security.

Get started with YubiKey 5 Series (2024)


How do I use my YubiKey for the first time? ›

How to set up your YubiKey
  1. Plug in your YubiKey.
  2. Go to and click your device.
  3. In the Compatible accounts and services section, browse the list of supported apps and services, and select the ones you want to secure with your device.
  4. Your selection will appear in a list next to the available apps.
Nov 27, 2023

How do I activate my YubiKey security key? ›

Find the account settings of the service and then look for security. From there you should be able to find an option for 2FA/MFA, or adding security keys. Once you've found the option to add a Security Key, go ahead and follow the instructions given by the service provider.

How to register a new YubiKey? ›

How to Set Up & Enroll a Yubikey
  1. Download and Install the YubiKey Manager tool:
  2. Insert your YubiKey into your computer's USB Slot.
  3. Open the YubiKey Manager tool.
  4. Select OTP from the Applications Menu.
  5. Click Configure under the “Short Touch (Slot 1) area.
Apr 6, 2022

How do I activate YubiKey 5 NFC? ›

How to Activate NFC: Plug in for Power: Simply connect your YubiKey to any USB power source, such as a computer, for at least 3 seconds. That's It!: Once powered, NFC will be activated and ready for use.

Do I still need a password with YubiKey? ›

Strong authentication that eliminates passwords and delivers a more secure and frictionless login experience.

Does a YubiKey need to be plugged in all the time? ›

Do I need to keep my yubikey plugged in all the time? A. No, you only need to insert your yubikey when you are prompted to do so during login. Leaving it plugged in could result in the yubikey being lost or damaged.

How do I reset my YubiKey for a new user? ›

Unplug the YubiKey once and then plug it back in via the USB port. Touch the YubiKey on the sensor (golden area) twice within 10 seconds to confirm the reset. The YubiKey has been successfully reset. Afterwards, if necessary, you can set a new PIN again using the Security Key PIN function.

Do I need a separate YubiKey for each account? ›

Yubico always recommends adding two keys to each of your online services and accounts; one primary and one secondary as backup in case the primary is lost.

How do I get the code for my YubiKey? ›

For a key connected over USB/Lightning, the user must touch the YubiKey to generate and submit an OTP. If the key was scanned by an NFC reader, an OTP is generated automatically.

What does NFC mean on YubiKey? ›

Near Field Communication (NFC)

Does YubiKey require a PIN? ›

This means the YubiKey is configured to require he PIN only when performing operations, even those functions that normally require management key authentication.

Where do I connect my YubiKey? ›

On a computer, insert the YubiKey into a USB-port and touch the YubiKey to verify you are human and not a remote hacker.

How do I know if my YubiKey is working? ›

This application allows you to test and verify that you have a genuine YubiKey, and that it is functioning as designed. Insert your security key, click verify device and follow the instructions.

How do I use my YubiKey for personal use? ›

On a computer, insert the YubiKey into a USB-port and touch the YubiKey to verify you are human and not a remote hacker.

Does YubiKey require an app? ›

The Yubi Authenticator app is for TOTP codes. So there are 3 ways to use a Yubikey with BW, the 2 ways described above by 222 plus the Yubi Authenticator app. If you're not using TOTP via the Yubikey then you don't need the Yubi Authenticator app.

Why is my YubiKey not responding to touch? ›

YubiKeys utilize capacitive touch sensors, meaning that dry skin can make it harder for a touch to be recognized. Applying lotion to your skin may help with this issue. Additionally, applying more pressure when touching the sensor can ensure better coverage of your finger.


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