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June 9, 2018

You can use the Pixelbook’s power button as a two-factor authentication key

by John_A

The functionality is available now in the Developer Channel.

Being safe and secure online is critical these days, and one of the best ways to go about that is by using two-factor authentication. USB security keys are one of the safest ways to use 2FA, but if you’ve got a Pixelbook, you can mimic a USB key’s functionality with its power button.

Pixelbook-Design-8_0.jpg?itok=zno1FIEE

As spotted by 9to5Google, there’s a new option within the Chrome OS Developer Channel that allows you to turn the Pixelbook’s power button into a physical U2F (Universal 2nd Factor) key.

Once you’re in the Developer Channel, you’ll want to enter u2f_flags g2f into a Chrome Shell (hold down Ctrl + Alt + T at the same time). After that, you’re good to go.

You can technically enter this command on any Chromebook, but the Pixelbook is the only one that appears to actually work. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the Developer Channel in Chrome OS can often be buggy and unstable due to its experimental nature. As such, it’d be worth picking up a backup USB key anyways just in case something goes awry with your Pixelbook.

How to change your software channel on Chrome OS

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