Setting up a LINE account without a verification code

Easy step-by-step guide and a workaround

Ever since I started recommending Naver's LINE messenger I've always heard the same comment. People complaining stuck on the verification code step. A cross-verification method of this type is also used by other popular apps like WhatsApp and Viber, making the creation of an account secure and dead simple. Let's try to do it properly and if it doesn't work, we can try a workaround at the bottom of the post.

First of all, launch your platform of choice and download the app. If you choose to do this on the iPhone directly, remember to download it on a Wi-Fi connection at your work or home. The app is a little heavy to download over 3G but you can go for this if you have mobile data allowance to spare.

Next step, launch and take some time to read all the messages. There are important things there you want to know before you accept everything without even looking at it. On iOS, Line will first ask you for permission to send push notifications. This will be useful when a friend texts or calls you, as a small reminder will appear on the lock screen. Line's ringtones are quite bearable too. I suggest you accept this one — it can be disabled later.

Adding your mobile number

The next step is the account creation itself. For the purposes of this tutorial we will select 'New Users'. Immediately after tapping this you will be asked to link this new account to your mobile number. This step is to verify you're the legitimate owner of this number and not someone else who has typed your number. The terms and conditions you will have to accept later will explain why your mobile number is required.

To get the verification code delivered to your phone simple type where it says 'Please Enter Phone Number'. Once you tap the Verify Phone Number button you still get a message asking you to confirm. As long as you ensure the area code is included properly, you should have any issue or delays. The trick, I think, is to select your country of residence and add the mobile number as you would normally dial it.

The verification code is sent on a regular SMS. If you're lucky, you will be able to see the four-digit code when the SMS notification banner appears on the top of your screen, without having to leave the app. To continue, just type the code in the box. If you're impatient, you can hit the resend button. A polite note: having set up two iPhones at the time of this writing, I'm optimistic about the delivery times. In my case these arrived almost immediately, although having used this system with other companies, I know this can delay slightly. What if I never get code? Skip to the bottom to read about the alternative method.

Adding friends automatically

Naver's Line gives you the option to identify the people on your contact list that are already using the service. Selecting 'Auto Add Friends' will access your address book, identify the mobile numbers and email addresses and comparing with Line's user base. A short disclaimer explains how names and pictures, for example are not used and the content is encrypted. Of course, if you're not willing to give away those details, simply skip ahead.

One of the aspects that I appreciate is the option you'll see right below, hiding your account from others. Basically, even if a person who has your number or email you won't be recognised. This will prevent people like your plumber, for example, to see your Line picture on your profile. Ugh!

And now for the final step, choosing a picture and entering your name. This isn't particularly interesting as you probably want to change it later. Note that regardless or the name you choose, you will appear on your friend's list with the name they have on their Address Book. Also see that Line will assign you automatically a Facebook-type cover.

The workaround? Registering with a Facebook account

If you are tired of waiting for the verification code, there's an alternative method you can try. This requires you to have a Facebook account to link it. On the same screen where you're asked to type your mobile number to get a verification code, there's a Facebook button at the bottom. You only need to login with your account and agree to the terms and conditions. Once this is done you can import your contacts as described above.