How To Secure Twitter Without Paying for a Subscription

Twitter is now charging for SMS-based two-factor authentication. We’ll show you how to keep your Twitter account secure without paying for a subscription.
We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Twitter surprised many users when it announced that text-message-based two-factor authentication (2FA) would be available for only Twitter Blue subscribers. Twitter explained that the change was to help ensure this type of verification didn’t get abused by unauthorized users, like hackers. But we’ve found that 2FA keeps you safer from hackers, not the opposite. You may be wondering if you can still secure your account without being forced to pay for Elon Musk’s blue checkmark.

If you were enrolled with a free account, the company gave you 30 days to find a different method of security protection. Even if you know the importance of 2FA, you may be unsure if it’s worth the hassle to pay for Twitter Blue simply to keep it. If you don’t want to pay for Twitter Blue, there are some other options. Keep reading to learn how to secure Twitter without a subscription.

In this article
How to secure your Twitter account with an authenticator app
3 best authenticator apps for Twitter
Twitter authentication FAQ
Bottom line

How to secure your Twitter account with an authenticator app

An authentication app is the easiest way to restore 2FA to your Twitter account for free and without a Twitter Blue subscription. When you log into your Twitter account, you’ll still be prompted to verify your identity with a security key, but you’ll no longer get that code from Twitter. Your authenticator app will generate a random six- to eight-digit code and send it to your device. You’ll have a small timeframe to enter the code, or you won’t be able to use the program.

This method boosts your Twitter account security because it won’t allow someone else to access your account without that code. It’s easy to set up an authenticator app and you can start using it right away.

If you don’t currently have an authenticator app installed, you should consider getting one to keep your data secure across all your online accounts. You can also use an authenticator app combined with a password manager to give you more peace of mind if you decide to keep your free Twitter account.

How to use an authenticator app with Twitter

  1. Download your chosen authenticator app. You can use Apple’s App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android devices.
  2. Log in to your Twitter account and navigate from the menu to Settings and privacy > Security and account access > Security > Two-factor authentication.
  3. Check the box next to Authentication app.
  4. After reading the instructions, click Start.
  5. If asked to enter your password, do so, then click Confirm or Verify. If you haven’t confirmed your email for Twitter, you’ll be asked to do so before you can proceed.
  6. At the prompt, link the authenticator app to your Twitter account by scanning a QR code. You can download an app that can scan codes if your device can’t scan it.
  7. After scanning the QR code, click Next and enter the code sent by your authenticator app.

You’re all set. You may need to click Got It to finish, and you’ll be able to use the app to log in to your Twitter account.

3 best authenticator apps for Twitter

Now that you know how to secure Twitter without a subscription, it’s time to choose an authenticator app. What features do you want most? Would you like to use 2FA across multiple devices? Maybe you want a popular app that many people use because it’s reliable. The authenticator app you choose should be easy to use and give you the security you need. Now, let’s look at some of the best authenticator apps for Twitter.

Also, if you want to make your Twitter blue and still use one of these apps, you can do both. You simply click on Twitter Blue in the More section and select Subscribe.

Microsoft Authenticator

The Microsoft Authenticator gives you secure two-factor verification across numerous platforms and isn’t limited to just Microsoft apps. All you need to do is download the app on your Android or iPhone device and then scan the QR code, and you’re all set. The free app is a fast way for people on the go to utilize an authenticator app and put out a quick tweet.

Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator is available on iOS and Android devices. It works with any account and generates a six-digit security key that must be entered within 30 seconds. You don’t even need a Google account to use this free app.

LastPass Authenticator

You’ve probably heard of LastPass’ password manager, but this is an additional feature from the same company. The LastPass authenticator will enhance your security for free, and you can use it with its password manager if you choose. Twitter users who want the most security may choose this combination to seamlessly back up data and keep it protected.

Other authenticator apps worth checking out include Authy and Duo Mobile

Twitter authentication FAQ


What is Twitter Blue?

Twitter Blue is Twitter’s premium subscription. It’s a more customized experience that gives you more options than a free account, like tweeting more than 280 characters and using bookmark folders. It costs $8 a month, or $84 per year.


Should I use two-factor authentication with Twitter?

Two-factor authentication is a great way to keep your Twitter account more secure. You can enlist the help of an authenticator app if you don’t want to pay for a Twitter subscription.


Why is Twitter getting rid of two-factor authentication?

Twitter is not getting rid of two-factor authentication, but it is allowing it to be used only by Twitter Blue subscribers.


What is X Corp.?

In April 2023, it was discovered that Twitter Inc. was renamed to X Corp. Some speculate this may be related to Musk's dream of creating an X app to replace Twitter's current state.

Bottom line

You already know that strong passwords may not be enough for online security these days, with so much cyber crime being reported. For instance, you may think no one would ever guess your grandmother’s maiden name, but chances are good you’ve had to enter it somewhere before. 

If you don’t like to start your day without a tweet or two, we get it; the social media platform is hugely popular and can be a fun way to interact with others, while not spending all day on your cell phone. If the new Twitter Blue announcement has you bummed, now you know how to stay safe online and secure Twitter without a subscription.

With only 30 days’ notice, Twitter’s update didn’t give users much time to make an alternate plan. We want you to know you have many options that will protect your information, other than giving in to the blue checkmark requirements. Always use strong passwords and consider using an authenticator app plus a password manager to keep your Twitter account secure.

Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordPass's website
Password Manager
60% off + 3 months free
  • Strong encryption and security
  • User-friendly interface

Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer specializing in technology, with three years of experience. With a B.S. in Computer Science and a background as a technical analyst and security specialist, she covers a range of topics like data security and parental control software.