How to transfer your Google Authenticator 2FA to a new phone. If you use Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication, you need to transfer your account to your new iPhone or Android. Google Authenticator is an increasingly important tool for many of us. Best Hardware Security Keys for Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the best and easiest ways to keep your online accounts secure. It works by issuing an authentication code on your phone when somebody tries to access the account; if that person doesn’t have the code, they (or you) don’t get in. By using a 2FA app, such as Google Authenticator or Authy, you can prevent somebody from accessing your data by getting your password. Best apps to keep your sensitive data secure online
Different authentication apps handle this in different ways. In this article, I’m going to look at Google Authenticator, including the easiest way to transfer the app to a new phone if you do have access to the old one, and how you can prepare for a possible problem (like a broken phone). Crypto.com latest security, how to set up 2FA security in Crypto.com
We’re on hand to guide you through the steps required to switch your Google Authenticator over to a new phone. The biggest rule to remember: don’t delete Google Authenticator from your old phone until it’s successfully transferred across. Now we’ve got that key point out of the way, let’s show you how to do it.
How to transfer Google Authenticator to your new phone
Whether you’re using an Android phone or iPhone, the process is very similar now. Here’s what to do.
- Open Google Authenticator.
- Tap the three dots in the upper-right corner to bring up a drop-down menu.
- Tap Export Accounts. On some devices, this may also be called Transfer Accounts but the same process applies.
- Tap Continue or Export Accounts to get past Google explaining what it means to export an account.
- On some devices, you may need to confirm your identity again, either via Face ID, fingerprint ID or by entering your phone’s password or PIN.
- Choose which accounts you wish to transfer to your new device. You don’t need to transfer them all at the same time but if you plan on selling or discarding your old phone, you almost certainly want to transfer everything to be on the safe side.
- Tap Export. Still not sure if that’s what you want to do? Don’t worry. You’re still not committed to anything!
- A QR code will appear and your screen will get much brighter. Scan that code with the Google Authenticator app on your new phone to get it added on. To get to that point, you need to tap Get Started on the new phone before tapping Import Exist Accounts. Tap Scan QR code before scanning that QR code on your old phone. You’ll need to do this for each account but Google Authenticator simplifies the process by listing each barcode as you go along.
- Once you’ve done all that, on your old phone, tap next to move onto one of the last steps.
- Now you can choose whether to remove all the exported accounts or whether to keep them on your old device. If you plan on using your old device, it could be worthwhile keeping them. If you’re looking to sell it though, delete them. Also, don’t forget that the more devices you have set up for Google Authenticator, the less secure it may be. Obviously, that’s assuming someone has your phone password.
Transfer your Authenticator keys via Android
If you’ve got two Android phones, you can transfer your accounts to a new phone by exporting them via a QR code generated by the Authenticator app.
- Install Google Authenticator on your new phone.
- Tap “Get started.”
- Tap “Scan a QR code.” You’ll get a grid and instructions to “Place QR code within red lines.”
- Open Google Authenticator on your older phone.
- Tap on the three dots on the top right of the screen and select “Transfer accounts”
- Select “Export accounts.” You may be asked to verify your identity via a fingerprint, password, or another method.
- Uncheck which accounts you don’t want to export. Tap “Next.”
- You’ll be shown a QR code. Center it in the grid in your new phone.
- You should see the imported app now listed in your Google Authenticator app in the new phone. (Note: the app will not be deleted from your old phone.)
Use your Google Authenticator backup codes
When you first set up Google Authenticator, you may be given a set of backup codes and asked to print them out or otherwise save them. And you definitely do want to save them; print them out and put them somewhere safe or create a PDF and save it where nobody else can access it. If your phone goes south, these codes will be a good way to reestablish authentication on your new phone — assuming, of course, you haven’t misplaced the codes.
This is also the way to reestablish your keys on a new iPhone.
If you missed that step during the installation, you can get those backup codes anyway. For that, you have to go into your Google account and then follow these steps:
- Click on “Security” in the left-hand column.
- Scroll down to and select “2-Step Verification.” You’ll probably have to enter your password.
- Scroll down to “Backup Codes” and click on “Show Codes.”
- You’ll get a list of 10 codes. Each code can be used once; if you use them all, you can get more by clicking on “Show Codes” and then on “Get New Codes.”
Take a screenshot of your Google Authenticator Barcode
One way to create a backup in case you lose your phone is to take and save a screenshot of the barcode that is created for each 2FA-secured app. If you’ve mislaid your backup codes, but you’ve saved a screenshot of the QR barcode that you originally used to create your app’s authentication, you can use that screenshot to establish your credentials on a new phone.
Just throw the screenshot up on your computer, install Google Authenticator on your new phone, and use the plus sign on the app to scan the barcode. (You can also enter the setup key code if that’s what you saved.) Do this for each of your apps, and you’ll be all set.