Two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to user accounts. In order to log in on an account with two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled, it is necessary to provide both the login password and another factor. 2FA in Nextcloud is pluggable, meaning that they are not part of the Nextcloud Server component but provided by official and 3rd-party Nextcloud apps.
Developers can build new two-factor provider apps.
Enabling two-factor authentication¶
You can enable 2FA by installing and enabling a 2FA app like TOTP which works with Google Authenticator and compatible apps. The apps are available in the Nextcloud App store so by navigating there and clicking enable for the app you want, 2FA will be installed and enabled on your Nextcloud server.
Once 2FA has been enabled, users have to activate it in their personal settings.
Enforcing two-factor authentication¶
By default 2FA is optional, hence users are given the choice whether to enable it for their account. Since Nextcloud 15, admins may enforce the use of 2FA.
Enforcement is possible systemwide (all users), for selected groups only and can also be excluded for certain groups.
These settings can be found in the administrator’s security settings.
When groups are selected/excluded, they use the following logic to determine if a user has 2FA enforced:
- If no groups are selected, 2FA is enabled for everyone except members of the excluded groups
- If groups are selected, 2FA is enabled for all members of these. If a user is both in a selected and excluded group, the selected takes precedence and 2FA is enforced.
Should users lose access to their second factor and backup codes, they won’t be able to log into their account anymore. As administrator, you can use the Two-Factor Admin Support app to generate a one-time code for them to log in and unlock their account. You can find out more about the app in its documentation