Duo Two-Factor Authentication

John Landes's picture

Two-factor authentication verifies your identity on a separate device (e.g., your smartphone) through a 3rd party application known as Duo.

To start using Duo at UCSF

Install the Duo Mobile app on your smartphone. It is the most convenient, easy-to-use option and it's free.

To download the app, click the appropriate link below for your smartphone, or search for "Duo mobile" in your phone's app store:

Systems that require Duo:

  • Connect Portal
  • VPN (
  • Outlook Web ( when not at UCSF. Access from mobile email clients is not affected.
  • Keeper (Password Vault)
  • Apex for electronic prescription of controlled substances (EPCS)

What is Duo?

Duo is a third-party application that UCSF uses for two-factor authentication. It requires second verification on another device (something you have with you, such as your smartphone) to authenticate your identity.

Duo provides several authentication options, but the most convenient is through the Duo Mobile smartphone app (see above "How to Start Using Duo" to download the mobile app).

How do I Enroll?

Check your inbox for an email titled "Duo Security Enrollment" from "[email protected]." Receipt of this email means you have been automatically enrolled and can simply follow the directions in the email.

To complete enrollment you will need a phone - either a mobile phone that can receive text messages, or a landline. As you proceed with the steps, you will then be prompted to enter your number to perform a one-time activation. If you do not receive an email for EPCS please contact the Service Desk.

You are now enrolled in Duo!

If you did not receive this email please follow the instructions on our Duo Manual Enrollment or Duo Enrollment on Connect Portal if you are using Apex Connect Portal, manual enrollment is not allowed for EPCS. 

Note to incoming students and staff: If you are accessing your email for the first time and you are not at UCSF, you will be prompted to enroll in Duo when you log in at Follow the on-screen prompts to enroll. If you need assistance please contact the UCSF IT Service Desk.

Note to Zuckerberg San Francisco General staff: If you’re using ZSFG's WebConnect, the Duo app is already installed on your phone. You can use the same app for UCSF systems like VPN and Outlook Web.

How do I use Duo once I'm enrolled?

Watch a video on using Duo with a Windows PC below.

For more information please see our Duo Login Experience page for samples of how Duo works with specific applications, and see the Duo Authentication Methods page for all of the different ways you can authenticate with Duo.

What if I have questions?

We welcome your questions!