One Small Snag With 2-Step Verification (and an Easy Fix)

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Like all good Atlantic denizens, I have followed the advice of James Fallows and set up Google super-secure two-step verification system. (For those who have not been following along, this set-up means that a password alone will not get you or a hacker into your email; you'll additionally need a code generated by an app on your phone.) It's a minor nuisance but well worth the trade-off for the additional security.

But now I have encountered my first small (very small) hiccough with this system. Over the weekend I started messing around with the Google Music Beta account I opened a few months ago. I've uploaded about 3,000 songs so far, and today from work have listened to albums I own, stored remotely. It's great.

All was going well until I tried to listen on Google's Music app on my phone, which runs Google's Android. Once downloaded, the app did not seem to know that I had any music. All it could find was a single This American Life episode I had downloaded on my phone.

After a bit of Googling, I found some helpful advice on Google Music's known issues page (so, to review, I used Google to find advice for a problem in a Google app, on a Google-powered phone, to access a Google service). Apparently this has been a common problem for people with the two-step verification system installed. But there is a pretty easy fix.

If you have this problem, head to your two-step verification page and click on "manage application-specific passwords." Find the password you've created for your phone and revoke it (this will lock you out of your phone, but you'll get access back in a minute). Once your phone realizes something is wrong, it will ask you for your password. Generate a new application-specific password for your phone. Enter it. Now when you go back to your Music app, follow the prompts to link it with your account, and within a few minutes your music collection will appear.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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