You Can Login to Gmail on a Mac/PC by Scanning a QR Code with iPhone

Update 1: looks like Google had ended this ‘experiment’ and the Sesame page no longer has a QR code. Boo.

Are you always paranoid? Are you a freak? Do you crave security of your info? Well, if you do then Google has cooked up a pretty cool way of logging into your Gmail account on any Mac/PC–without using the keyboard (to bypass keystroke loggers).

How? Easy–just follow theses steps:

  1. Visit https://accounts.google.com/sesame on your Mac/PC. A QR code will appear.
  2. Launch the Google Mobile app, and use the camera function to snap the QR code. Tap to continue to your Gmail account and login (if you have 2-step authentication turned on you’ll have to enter in a code from Google Authenticator as normal).
  3. Once you successfully login, go back to your Mac/PC screen–you’ll suddenly see it redirect to your Gmail account. You didn’t even have to touch your keyboard. Awesome!

I tested this out and it works exactly as described. It’s almost eery how the QR code page suddenly morphs and logs into your Gmail account like magic.

As Ian Paul from PC World notes, this method should be used over 3G rather than WiFi, to avoid pack sniffers of WiFi data. Obviously, there’s no better way to protect your account than to use a strong password and to turn on 2-step verification.

Let me know how this ‘keyless’ method of accessing your Gmail works for you!

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Robin


    Hi there – thanks for your interest in our phone-based login experiment.
    While we have concluded this particular experiment, we constantly experiment with new and more secure authentication mechanisms.
    Stay tuned for something even better!
    Dirk Balfanz, Google Security Team.”

  • Anonymous

    Wow,this is so cool,thanks for the info Gary 🙂 i’am so excited about the future of technology.