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Generating Backup Codes for 2FA

This page provides detailed instructions for generating a set of backup codes that can be used to authenticate when you are away from cell service or when your other authentication methods are unavailable. This process should take you 3-5 minutes to complete.

Note: Because backup passcodes are sent via text, this option is only available to users who have a mobile phone enabled in 2FA. 

Before you get started, you will need the following: 


1. Navigate to a Protected Service

Navigate to a protected service or application such as o365.ucmerced.edu (use a private or incognito browser window if you've already authenticated today). and enter your UCMNetId and password.

Screenshot of UC Merced Single Sign On with rbobcat's login credentials


2. Disrupt Your Typical Authentication Process

Do not authenticate as usual. Instead, click Cancel at the bottom of the window.

Screenshot of UC Merced Single Sign on page with a Duo notification and a box around the "Cancel" button at the bottom of the screen


3. Clear the Notification

Click Dismiss at the bottom of the screen.

Screenshot of the UC Merced Single Sign on page with a box around the "Dismiss" button at the bottom of the page


4. Access Passcodes

Click Enter a Passcode.

Screenshot of UC Merced Single Sign on page with a box around the third button, "Enter a passcode"


5. Request New Codes

Click Text Me New Codes.

Screenshot of UC Merced Single Sign On page with a box around the "Text me new codes" button on the bottom right of the page.


6. Check your Text Messages

Within a few seconds, you should receive a text message with a set of 10 backup passcodes. Each code can only be used one time. 

Screenshot of text received with the words "SMS passcodes: " and a list of ten 7-digit passcodes


7. Print Your Codes (Recommended)

Print your codes and tuck them in your wallet for safekeeping. 

Remember that it's not a good idea to only store your codes in your phone, as these codes will be your backup authentication method when your phone is lost, out of battery power, or otherwise unavailable. 

Screenshot of text received with the words "SMS passcodes: " and a list of ten 7-digit passcodes


If you encounter any problems with 2FA, please contact the OIT Service Desk at (209) 228-HELP or "Report a Problem" on the front page of this site.