Two-factor authentication (2FA) is among the greatest and best methods to maintain your on-line accounts safe. It really works by issuing an authentication code in your telephone when any individual tries to entry the account; if that particular person doesn’t have the code, they (otherwise you) don’t get in. By utilizing a 2FA app, equivalent to Google Authenticator or Authy, you may forestall any individual from accessing your information by getting your password. (You may have a code texted to you, however that’s thought-about far much less safe due to the rise of so-called SIM hacking.)
Google Authenticator enables you to set up 2FA through the use of your telephone to scan a QR code generated by the app on a separate machine or by coming into a key code. It’s a comparatively simple course of.
Besides there was once a catch. As a result of 2FA makes use of a key particular to your telephone, in the event you misplaced or broke your telephone, you couldn’t merely reinstall the app in your new telephone and go on from there. You wanted to switch the important thing code for that telephone in addition to the app itself.
Nevertheless, as of April 2023, Google up to date its Authenticator app for Android and iOS (to model 6.0 and 4.0, respectively), which ought to make this course of a lot simpler. Now the app will mechanically sync your codes to a brand new telephone and every other units which might be signed in to your Google account.
Organising Authenticator to sync
For anybody who has ever misplaced a telephone, syncing your authenticator codes is a gigantic time-saver. Transferring your Authenticator codes to a brand new telephone is a clumsy course of at greatest. Mechanically syncing your codes is a lot simpler.
Then again, there have been some assertions that the process doesn’t include end-to-end encryption. As well as, there’s the chance that if any individual will get maintain of considered one of your units (and may get previous your machine’s safety), they can use it to entry your 2FA app.
You do have a selection, nonetheless. When your model of Authenticator is upgraded, you’re going to get a “Welcome” web page that asks you to check in to your account.
- If you happen to do wish to sync your account to Authenticator and thus ensure that you’ll all the time have the ability to simply entry your 2FA codes, simply faucet on the blue Proceed as [your name] button, and also you’re set.
- If you happen to don’t wish to join Authenticator to your accounts so that it’s going to transfer to all of your units mechanically, choose the hyperlink Use Google Authenticator with out an account, which will probably be beneath that blue button.
Both manner, you may change your thoughts at any time and both allow syncing together with your Google account or take away the sync. Right here’s how.
- Open your Google Authenticator app.
- If the app is linked to your Google account, you’ll see a cloud with somewhat inexperienced checkmark subsequent to your private icon within the higher proper. If you happen to’re not syncing, the cloud will probably be grey with a slash by way of it.
- If you happen to’re presently syncing and wish to cease, faucet in your private icon. You’ll see a pop-up menu (which may even allow you to handle your present Google account and handle all of the accounts in your machine). Choose Use with out an account.
- A second pop-up will ask if you wish to use Authenticator with out an account. Click on Proceed, and your codes will probably be eliminated out of your Google account and all of your different units, besides the machine you’re on. In case you are presently not utilizing sync, you can be requested if you wish to.
- If you happen to’re not syncing and wish to begin, faucet on the “particular person” icon within the higher proper (it received’t be a private icon, because you’re presently not synced with any account). Faucet on the account you wish to sync with
- A second pop-up field will ask Begin saving codes to this account? Choose Enable.
Utilizing Authenticator with out sync
If you happen to determined to not use sync, then the simplest technique, particularly in the event you use 2FA with a number of apps, is to make use of the Authenticator app’s devoted switch characteristic to maneuver your keys from one telephone to the opposite. Nevertheless, there are two assumptions right here: first, that you’ve entry to each the outdated and new telephone, and second, that you’ve Android units. If both of those assumptions doesn’t work in your scenario, there are different strategies you should utilize, which we’ll cowl subsequent. However first, the straightforward technique.
Switch your Authenticator keys by way of Android
If you happen to’ve received two Android telephones, you may switch your accounts to a brand new telephone by exporting them by way of a QR code generated by the Authenticator app.
- Set up Google Authenticator in your new telephone.
- Faucet Get began.
- Faucet Scan a QR code. You’ll get a grid and directions to Place QR code inside purple traces.
- Open Google Authenticator in your older telephone.
- Faucet on the three dots on the highest proper of the display screen and choose Switch accounts.
- Choose Export accounts. You could be requested to confirm your identification by way of a fingerprint, password, or one other technique.
- Uncheck which accounts you don’t wish to export. Faucet Subsequent.
- You’ll be proven a QR code. Heart it within the grid in your new telephone.
- You need to see the imported app now listed in your Google Authenticator app within the new telephone. (Notice: the app will not be deleted out of your outdated telephone.)
Various technique #1: Use your backup codes
If you first arrange Google Authenticator, you might be given a set of backup codes and requested to print them out or in any other case save them. And also you positively do wish to save them; print them out and put them someplace protected or create a PDF and put it aside the place no one else can entry it. In case your telephone goes south, these codes will probably be a great way to reestablish authentication in your new telephone — assuming, after all, you haven’t misplaced the codes.
That is additionally the best way to reestablish your keys on a brand new iPhone.
If you happen to missed that step through the set up, you will get these backup codes anyway. For that, it’s important to go into your Google account after which comply with these steps:
- Click on on Safety within the left-hand column.
- Scroll all the way down to and choose 2-Step Verification. You’ll most likely must enter your password.
- Scroll all the way down to Backup Codes and click on on Present Codes.
- You’ll get an inventory of 10 codes. Every code can be utilized as soon as; in the event you use all of them, you will get extra by clicking on Present Codes after which on Get New Codes.
Various technique #2: Take a screenshot of the barcode
One technique to create a backup in case you lose your telephone is to take and save a screenshot of the barcode that’s created for every 2FA-secured app. If you happen to’ve mislaid your backup codes, however you’ve saved a screenshot of the QR barcode that you just initially used to create your app’s authentication, you should utilize that screenshot to ascertain your credentials on a brand new telephone.
Simply throw the screenshot up in your pc, set up Google Authenticator in your new telephone, and use the plus signal on the app to scan the barcode. (You can even enter the setup key code if that’s what you saved.) Do that for every of your apps, and also you’ll be all set.
Replace April twenty eighth, 2023, 12:05PM ET: This text was initially printed on September 2nd, 2020; the instructions for transferring between Android telephones have been up to date, and the brand new sync characteristic has been added.