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Security - Generating and Using Duo Self-Service Backup Codes

Instructions for generating a list of one-time-use Duo backup codes for those times when your primary device is not available and steps for using those codes.

About Duo backup codes

  • Backup codes will never expire.
  • Backup codes cannot be shared with others.
  • You will get 10 codes at a time.
  • Each code is one-time-use only.
  • You can only generate 10 codes at a time. Generating additional codes will invalidate all previous codes. In other words, you cannot repeat the process to build a stockpile of 20, 50, or 100 codes. If you use those codes, you can always generate more. NOTE: If you wait until you have zero codes left, you may not be able to authenticate to Duo to generate more codes. Instead, use your 10th code to generate the new list, so that you are never truly "out" of codes. If you do use all your back-up codes and find yourself without your device, you will have to call the ITS Help Desk at 608.342.1400. They will verify your identity and issue a temporary code for a limited time. Temporary codes cannot be issued via email request.

To generate Duo backup codes

  1. Go to
  2. Click Generate Codes button.
    Generate Duo Backup Codes page with Generate Codes button
  3. Enter your campus NetID (username) and password when prompted.
    Authentication page for Duo backup codes
  4. Complete Duo two-factor authentication.
    screenshot Duo dialogue box, Choose an authentication method
  5. Close all windows of your browser to log out.
  6. Wait a few minutes.
  7. Check your campus email.
    Sample email with Duo backup codes
  8. Print or copy the Duo codes from your email to a safe place.
  9. Delete the email.

To use Duo backup codes

  • When prompted to choose an authentication method, select Enter a Passcode.
  • Enter one of your codes.
  • Click Log in.
  • Remove that code from your list; it will no longer work.
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Keywordsduo codes one time one-time lost passcode temporary   Doc ID109859
OwnerDeb M.GroupUW Platteville
Created2021-03-23 15:31:45Updated2024-06-05 15:03:25
SitesUW Platteville
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