MFA-Duo - How to Register a USB Security Key

This document describes the process to register a USB Security Key for MFA-Duo.

Note: You will need the serial number of the device to complete registration. The serial number can be read from the back of the device and from a sticker placed on the packaging.

There are two stages of registering these devices. We recommend you register your USB device using the Google Chrome web browser to be able to complete the second stage of registration.

  1. Navigate to

  2. Login with your NetID and password.

    • Note: If you've already registered a device and are using MFA Duo, you'll be prompted to login with your NetID twice, then be prompted for MFA Duo.

  3. Select "USB Security Key" from the list of device types.

    selection of three devices:  duo, otp c100, and USB Security Key

  4. You will be directed to Part 1 of the USB Security Key registration process.

    Follow the prompt to enter the USB Security Key Serial Number into the first input field. The serial number can be found on the back of your USB Security Key package.

    Part 1 of the registration process, with fields to enter in a securitiy key serial number and passcode, described in steps 4 through 7

  5. Plug the USB Security Key into a USB port or adapter.

  • Note: If this is the first time you are plugging the device into your computer, you may have to wait for driver software to finish installing.

  • Note: It may also open a keyboard dialogue box. Please close the dialogue box.

  • Click inside the second text field under Step 3: Get a passcode from the USB Security Key then press the button on your device. The six-digit passcode should be entered automatically.

  • Click Next.

  • Your device has now been successfully registered! If you are a Chrome web browser user and would like a faster login experience, you may continue to enroll your USB device as a Security Key. Follow the steps below.

  • You must be using Google Chrome to continue.

      Part 2 of registration can only be done in chrome.  A prompt for duo authentication appears below the instructions

    1. Authenticate with a passcode.

      Click Enter a Passcode then tap the button on your USB device to generate the six-digit passcode. Click Login.

      duo prompt with a six digit passcode entered into the field

    2. Click +Add another device.

      List of devices, with token being the only one listed.  Option to add another device.

    3. Select Security Key from the device types. Click Continue.

      selection of three device types:  mobile phone, tablet, and security key

    4. Click Continue to bring up a popup window for enrolling your security key. The key will need to be plugged into a USB port on your computer.

      the only options here are back and continue

      pop-up window prompting the user to insert the device and tap the button

    5. Tap the button on your device to complete enrollment.

    6. You should now see both 'Token #NETID--' and 'Security Key (U2F) JUST ADDED' in the updated status screen, which indicates you have completed your USB Security Key registration.

      list of devices with token and security key listed as registered devices

    The security key allows MFA-Duo users to insert the security key into the USB port of their computer or laptop to authenticate. This security key requires a reachable USB port, but this security key also works with a laptop or desktop USB to USB-C adaptor. The key is not compatible with mobile devices and only works with laptop or desktop computers. 

    The security key experience is slightly different for the following modes of logging in.  See below for details on these modes. 

    Chrome web browser login 

    When logging in to a UW-Madison website or apps using Chrome (version 70 or later), insert the security key into your USB port, select Security Key (U2F) from the device dropdown menu, and lightly touch the impressed sensor button to initiate login. 

    Non-Chrome web browser or local software login

    When logging into a UW-Madison website or app in Firefox or Safari, insert the security key into your USB port. Select Token from the device dropdown menu, and click the "Enter passcode" button to make the passcode input field editable. Then lightly touch the impressed sensor button to insert the passcode in the input field. If you are using a screen reader or other assistive technology, the security key may enter the passcode so quickly you may not hear the full code. The audio cue may only include the last digit of the code. Click the login button to complete authentication, as the full code should have populated the field. 

    (See How to use a Feitian USB Security Key for more details and screenshots on the Chrome web browser login.)  

    How to get a security key

    Faculty and Staff New staff: get a Feitian security key from your HR representative. Feitian security keys can also be picked up at the Walk-In Help Desk at 1210 W. Dayton Street Madison, WI 53706. Current staff can get a Feitian security key at the Walk-In Help Desk at 1210 W. Dayton Street Madison, WI 53706. 

    Students: Get a token or security key at no charge, at either the Walk-in Help Desk at 1210 W. Dayton St. or the pop-up Help Desks from early September through October 31, 2019. Locations and times for the pop-up Help Desks will be posted on the UW-Madison Events Calendar soon. After October 31, tokens or security keys can be picked up at the Walk-In Help Desk at 1210 W. Dayton St. For other assistance, contact the DoIT Help Desk at (608) 264-4357 or email  

      See accessibility & usability information

      We work with our users to address access and usability barriers in the MFA user experience. Learn details about known access barriers and workarounds at MFA-Duo - Accessibility & Usability Information. If you encounter a barrier or need assistance, please contact the DoIT Help Desk or call (608) 264-4357.

      For questions regarding how to get access to the MFA mobile app contact the DoIT Help Desk at (608) 264-4357 or email

      How to get access to a Security Key or Duo Token/Fob 


      Students, to obtain a token/fob, please contact the DoIT Help Desk (608) 264-4357 or email Students with disabilities can also request a token or security key at the McBurney Disability Resource Center, 702 W. Johnson St., Suite #2104, Madison WI 53715 on the 2nd floor.

      Faculty, Staff, and Researchers

      Employees can get access to devices for MFA at their Human Resources Office or IT department. For questions contact the DoIT Help Desk at (608) 264-4357 or email 

      Keywords:key device password 2fa multi factor multifactor multi-factor two   Doc ID:90552
      Owner:MST Support .Group:Identity and Access Management
      Created:2019-03-21 14:25 CDTUpdated:2022-05-25 15:15 CDT
      Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Identity and Access Management
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