Using Passkeys for Google Accounts

By Patrick Baker ~

Maybe you were recently prompted to change how you log in to your Google account, suggesting you start using passkeys. If your devices meet the minimum requirements, Google now supports using passkeys for signing in to your Google account instead of your password. After creating your passkey, you only need your fingerprint, facial recognition, or PIN to log in to your Google account on many devices.

I wrote about passkeys in the March 2023 edition of Prime Time News, and their potential for a more secure option than the username and password combination we’re accustomed to using. Let’s review.

What are Passkeys? 

Passkeys replace traditional login credentials like a username and password with cryptographic keys managed on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Passkeys are a more secure alternative to your Google account password. 

After you add a passkey to your device for an app, website, or online service, you will use your device’s PIN or biometrics to access passkey-enabled accounts. This capability was recently added to Google accounts. If you use Gmail, you have a Google account.

Minimum Requirements

You need one of the following to use passkeys:

  • A computer running Windows 10, macOS Ventura, ChromeOS 109, or newer.
  • An iPhone running iOS 16, or an iPad running iPadOS 16 or newer.
  • An Android phone or tablet running Android 9 or newer.
  • A USB hardware security key supporting the FIDO2 protocol.

Minimum browser requirements for computers and mobile devices:

  • Chrome 109
  • Safari 16
  • Edge 109

Enable these settings to create and use passkeys on your mobile device:

  • Screen lock
  • Bluetooth (necessary for signing in to a computer while using a passkey on a phone)

Creating Passkeys

  1. Start by going to g.co/passkeys.
  2. Log in to your Google account.
  3. Click or tap the Get Passkeys button.
  4. Sign in to your Google account if prompted.
  5. Click or tap the Use Passkeys button.
  6. Click or tap the Create a passkey button.

If an Android device is signed in to your Google account, it may already have a passkey. The Passkeys page displays all existing passkeys for your account.

You will need to create Google account passkeys on:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Mac
  • PC using Windows Hello

After selecting the Create a Passkey button, your device will prompt you to save your passkey. The method will vary, depending on your device.

Apple devices store passkeys in iCloud Keychain, available on all of your Apple devices using the same Apple ID. Chrome browser and Chromebook users can store passkeys in the Google password manager, available on any device using Android or Chrome and the same Google account. Windows uses Windows Hello. Third-party password managers and their browser plug-ins can also store Google account passkeys.

Using Passkeys

Once you have created a passkey, you only need to unlock your device when prompted to log in to your Google account.

Do I need a passkey on all of my devices?

No. You can create a passkey only on your phone, and use the phone to authorize Google account sign-ins on your other devices. Bluetooth required.

What if I lose or upgrade my phone with my passkeys?

You can manage your passkeys from your Google account’s Passkeys page (g.co/passkeys). From there, you can delete Google passkeys from devices you have lost, traded, or sold.

Can I go back to using my password?

Yes. Go to your Google account, select Security, and toggle off Skip password when possible.

Patrick Baker is an IT consultant and founder of Prime of Life Tech. Learn more about his services at PrimeOfLifeTech.com, email info@PrimeOfLifeTech.com, or call (720) 319-7145.

Leave a Reply


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/customer/www/myprimetimenews.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/PrimeTime/lib/builder-core/lib/layout-engine/modules/class-layout-module.php on line 499