If you check the security settings section of your Google Account, you should see a new Passkeys option. This is an authentication technology that offers passwordless access to services. Google now allows you to use Passkeys to log into your personal account.
The technology uses biometric data — your fingerprint, your face, or your computer’s PIN — to verify that you’re logging in. Passkeys should not be confused with login/password autofill, which can also use your biometrics. Creating a Passkey for your account generates a pair of cryptographic keys, one private and one public. The private key remains on your device, Google will use it to verify your identity with the public key uploaded to the company’s servers.
Passkeys are considered more secure than current login technologies because private keys are only stored on the device where they were created and cannot be stolen if hackers break into Google’s servers. The fact that you don’t need to enter a password to log in also means that this technology can protect you from phishing.
Google will not yet remove the ability to log in to the account using a password, as well as two-factor authentication. If you log into your account on different devices, you can create Passkeys for each of them. Also, keys can be synced — for example, a Passkey created on an iPhone syncs with your iCloud and can be available on an iPad or MacBook.
You can also use the Passkey stored on your current smartphone to sign in to your account on your new device. Just select the option “use a Passkey from another device”, after which Google will ask if you want to create a passkey for this device.
Passkeys are compatible with the following devices:
- Google: Chrome 109+, Android 9+, ChromeOS 109+
- Apple: Safari 16+, iOS 16, macOS Ventura
- Microsoft: Edge 109+, Windows 10/11