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How to connect Plex to apps that don’t support two-factor authentication (2FA)

This guide will tell you how to connect apps and services that don’t support Plex’ two-factor authentication (2FA) to your Plex Media Server.

As mentioned in previous articles and guides, Plex Media Server is likely the first application many install on their Unraid server, especially if it’s being used for media. One of the best things about Plex is that it connects to many services, such as Radarr and Sonarr.

But, as Plex is such an integral part of a media server you must secure it as best you can. A lot of work can go in to setting up your Plex Media Server just how you want it. The easiest way of hardening your Plex Media Server’s security is by enabling two-factor authentication, which is often shortened to just 2FA.

For some time now, Plex has supporter two-factor authentication (2FA) which is something I suggest everyone enable not just for Plex but for any web service which supports it. There is one slight issue though: Apps which haven’t been updated to support Plex’ 2FA might not be able to connect to it any more. I experienced this when attempting to connect Sonarr and WebTools (Unsupported AppStore).

How to enable Plex two-factor authentication (2FA)

Before encountering this problem, you will have to enable 2FA for your Plex account. The setup is rather easy and perfectly described in the Plex support articles. I use Bitwarden and simply added the text code to a TOTP (Time-based One-Time Password) field. There are a number of apps you can use to accomplish this, such as the Google Authenticator, Authy, and LastPass, to name a few.

Once you’ve enabled 2FA though, you might encounter error messages in connected services, telling you that the wrong password has been entered. The screenshot shows what happens when I attempted to log into WebTools using my existing Plex username and password. Read on to learn how to fix this error in a matter of seconds. Don’t worry, disabling 2FA isn’t the solution.

An error when attempting to sign in to a service that doesn't support Plex two-factor authentication.

Connecting apps to Plex that don’t support 2FA

The solution to this issue is rather simple: You enter your username and then your password, but before you sign in, you simply add your 2FA token as a suffix to the password. If your password were mypassword and the current token 123456 you would enter mypassword123456.

username: PLEXUSERNAME
password: PASSWORDTOKEN

Before learning how this issue could be resolved, I was seriously considering removing 2FA from my Plex account. For security’s sake, I’m glad this workaround exists.

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