HOW TO TRANSFER YOUR GOOGLE AUTHENTICATOR 2FA TO A NEW PHONE
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an essential security measure to keep your online accounts safe. It works by requiring an authentication code on your phone when someone attempts to access your account. However, until recently, transferring 2FA codes to a new phone was a complicated process.
Fortunately, Google has updated its Authenticator app in April 2023 (to version 6.0 for Android and 4.0 for iOS), enabling automatic synchronization of codes to a new phone and any other devices signed in to your Google account. This article explains how to transfer your Google Authenticator 2FA to a new phone easily and securely.
SETTING UP AND USING AUTHENTICATOR APP
To use 2FA, you need to set up an authentication app like Google Authenticator or Authy. Google Authenticator allows you to generate a QR code or enter a key code to link your phone to your account. Once set up, the app generates an authentication code unique to your phone for each account linked to it.
SYNCING YOUR CODES TO A NEW PHONE
When switching to a new phone, syncing your 2FA codes saves time and hassle. Google Authenticator makes this process easier by automatically syncing all codes to the new phone and any other signed-in devices. You don’t have to transfer each code manually, which is a significant time-saver.
To sync your codes with Google Authenticator:
1. Install Google Authenticator on your new phone.
2. Start the app and select « Scan a QR code. »
3. Open Google Authenticator on your old phone, tap three dots and select « Transfer accounts. »
4. Select « Export accounts, » uncheck any accounts you don’t want to export and tap « Next. »
5. Center the QR code on the old phone screen in the grid on the new phone.
Note: This method works only if you have two Android phones. Continue reading for other methods.
USING AUTHENTICATOR WITHOUT SYNC
If you prefer not to link your Authenticator app to your Google account, you have that option too. When prompted to sync your account, select « Use Google Authenticator without an account » to permit manual transfer of codes.
To allow syncing later, enable it from the Authenticator Settings.
Google offers several alternative methods to transfer 2FA codes to a new phone.
1. Use backup codes: When you first set up Google Authenticator, you receive a set of backup codes that you can use if your phone is lost or damaged. Print them or save them securely in a PDF. To access your backup codes:
a. Click on Security in your Google account.
b. Select « 2-Step Verification » and scroll down to « Backup Codes. »
c. If your codes are used up, click « Get New Codes. »
2. Take a screenshot of the barcode: If you misplace backup codes, take and store a screenshot of the QR code generated for each 2FA-secured app. This alternative works only if you saved the QR codes that you originally used to set up authentication. To use this method on a new phone:
a. Install Google Authenticator on your new phone.
b. Use the plus sign in the app to scan or enter the setup key code.
Transferring your Google Authenticator 2FA to a new phone can be seamless and effortless if you use the automatic sync feature of the app. Alternatively, Google provides other secure methods to transfer codes, such as backup codes or QR code screenshots. Whichever method you choose, using 2FA is essential for keeping your online accounts secure.
– Google Support: Transfer your Google Authenticator account
– The Verge: Google Authenticator can now transfer your credentials to a new Android device
– PC Magazine: How to Transfer Your Google Authenticator Codes to a New Phone