Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How to get Google Authenticator backup codes

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Protecting your digital privacy with passwords is crucial for online security. While a reliable password manager helps, a two-factor authentication (2FA) app like Google Authenticator adds an extra layer of protection. However, you might get locked out of your accounts if your phone is lost or damaged. This guide shows you how to back up your Google Authenticator app so you don’t have to worry about losing access to your online accounts.



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How to take a backup of Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator keeps your account safe with a time-based one-time password (TOTP). It stores the codes in the cloud for easy access.

Restore Google Authenticator from the cloud

Google Authenticator automatically backs up all your one-time codes to your Google account. It is worth noting that it will sync codes across multiple devices only if cloud backup is on, and you have updated Google Authenticator on your device after April 2023.

  1. Download and install the Google Authenticator app.
  2. Log in to your Google account.
  3. It will automatically restore your Google Authenticator codes.

If you are in a catch-22 situation where you need the Authenticator app to sign in to your Google account but don’t have your old device, try to recover your Google account.


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Transfer Google Authenticator codes to another phone

You can transfer your Google Authenticator codes to another phone, whether you have a new device or a spare. Sign in to the Authenticator app with the same Google account to synchronize the codes across all your devices.

  1. Launch Google Authenticator on your old device.
  2. Tap the hamburger menu icon.
  3. Tap Transfer accounts.
  4. Choose Export accounts.
  5. Tap Next. You’ll see a QR code on your screen.

You can take a screenshot if you do not have a new phone. Click a picture of the QR code if you cannot take a screenshot. You can print it out and keep it in a safe place. Use it if you lose your old phone.

Here’s how to transfer the account to your new device:

  1. Launch Google Authenticator.
  2. Tap the hamburger menu icon.
  3. Choose Transfer accounts.
  4. Tap Import accounts.
  5. Tap Scan QR code. Point the camera at the code on the old phone.


Get 2FA codes if you can’t access Google Authenticator

If you can’t log in to the Google Authenticator app, you can try other two-factor authentication (2FA) methods like Google backup codes. It automatically generates these codes when you set up 2FA for your Google account. As a precaution, you can copy all ten backup codes and save them somewhere secure.

  1. Open the Settings app on your phone.
  2. Select Google.
  3. Tap Manage your Google Account.
  4. Select the Security tab.
  5. Choose 2-Step Verification under the How you sign in to Google section.
  6. Tap Backup codes.
  7. Tap the refresh icon to create a new set of codes.
  8. You can print or download the codes to your device.
  9. Log in to your account with the backup code.
  10. Set up Authenticator on your new phone.

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Secure your Google account

You do not need to manually back up your Google Authenticator app if you have the latest version. Logging in to your Google account will automatically sync your codes across all devices. You can also transfer your Google Authenticator codes to another phone. But if you dislike how the app manages the accounts, you can use a top password manager for security.

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