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

There is one issue when enabling 2FA for Plex: Apps which haven’t been updated to support Plex’ 2FA might not be able to connect to it any more.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
Advertisements

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.

About Liam Alexander Colman

I first heard of Unraid through the same medium as many of us did: The Linus Tech Tips channel on YouTube. At the time, I was running TrueNAS (or FreeNAS as it was called back then) on my DIY NAS built using a dual-core Intel Pentium G4400 at its heart. I was convinced, I had chosen the better operating system. After all, it was free and open-source and had a large community behind it. One day, after once again facing the need to buy another three hard drives, I seriously started researching Unraid and its features. I bit the bullet and gave it a go, transferring my data on to external hard drives that I later shucked and added to the Unraid array. Since that day, I have not looked back once, and I am now an enthusiastic and experienced user of Unraid. You can find out more about Unraid Guides right here.

Leave a comment