Two-factor Authentication (2FA) is one of the easiest ways to keep your account safe, and an app such as Google Authenticator provides you this facility for free. It works by sending an authentication code to your mobile whenever someone tries to log-in to your account. Using the Google Authenticator app, you can prevent any hacker or someone else from accessing your accounts.
2FA uses a key that is specific to your phone, and in case if you lose or break your phone, you cannot transfer the key to a new phone. To keep using the same key for your new phone, you need to transfer that and the app as well to your new phone.
After completing the settings, you should transfer your Google Authenticator to the new phone when you get a new phone. Here we will show you how you can set up Google Authenticator on your new phone. You must first know that 2FA uses security keys specific to a cellphone’s hardware, and you cannot use it in the new phone just by installing the app and using the same key. You need to transfer it to the new phone by proper process.
Android devices have the easiest and most convenient method to transfer Google Authenticator to a new phone, but you have to able to access both new and old phones to make the method work. Let’s see how you can transfer to Android devices.
Install and update Google Authenticator on both old and new phones. Then follow these steps for your Goggle Authenticator on an old device.
Old Android Phone
- Open Google Authenticator on your old phone.
- Tap on three dots and select Transfer Accounts.
- Next, tap on Export Accounts and enter your PIN code.
- Select the accounts you want to transfer and tap on Next
New Android Phone
- Install and open Google Authenticator
- Tap on Import Existing Account? That is present at the bottom.
- Next, select Scan QR Code.
- Now scan the code from your old phone. It might be a single or multiple QR codes.
When the transfer is successful, you will receive a confirmation notification on both phones.
There are some extra steps for iPhone users, such as manually transferring each account manually instead of one smooth step. Follow the below instructions:
- Install Google Authenticator on your new iPhone.
- Open your PC and visit Google’s two-step verification site.
- Log-in to your Google Account.
- Go to the Authenticator App section and click on the Change Phone.
- Here inserts necessary information about your new iPhone and follow promptly.
- However, if you want to disable Google Authenticator, then click on the trash can and confirm your decision. This decision will make Google stick to delivering 2FA codes via SMS.
- Now, on your new iPhone, open the Google Authenticator app and Begin > Scan Code. Scan the code that you will see on the website and enter the verification code.
- If the transfer is successful, the old code on your old phone will not be valid, and you will use the new code from now on.
- Follow the same process for every Google service you want to transfer to your new iPhone.
Do not delete your old Google Authenticator app unless you transfer all accounts one by one. If you do so early then, the data will be lost, or you will be locked out of accounts.
You can set up the same Google Authenticator for multiple devices.
When scanning the code on your new phone, you can use multiple devices to scan the same code. The website will not know that you have scanned the code multiple times, and each scan will generate the same code for all of your devices. However, we do not recommend this process because it can be unsafe if any of your devices got lost or stolen.
Also, it can make the devices un-sync with each other at times. If you wish to disable it on one device and enable it on another device, then it will be a disaster because you will not know which device has the current and correct Authentication code.
Backup in case you lose your old phone
As you already know, you cannot set up the same Google Authenticator account on your new phone if you do not have access to your old phone. To prevent such an issue from happening, save the screenshot of each 2FA secured app’s bar code. When you link your accounts to Google Authenticator, it shows a bar code, saves all of this by taking a screenshot and keeping them save.
When you set up your new phone, you can use those save bar code pics to scan the code and use the same key. Open the screenshot on your computer and scan the code that you will usually do from your new phone. Repeat the process for each app or account using the saved bar code and you will be able to access the data and secure your accounts on your new phone.
How do I set up Google Authenticator on my new phone?
You can easily set up Google Authenticator from your old phone to the new phone. Firstly, install the new Google Authenticator app on your new phone. Then, in your old phone, Google Authenticator app > Transfer Accounts > Export Accounts. It will show you a bar code for scanning. In your new phone’s app, go to Begin > Scan Bar Code and scan the code from your old phone and enter your PIN. It will easily transfer the account data from your old phone to a new one.
How do I find my Google Authenticator key?
When you set up your Google Authenticator, the app shows you keys consisting of random numbers and symbols. Save those in-app on some notes for safekeeping, or it will be saved automatically on your phone. You can use it to transfer your accounts or simply use a QR bar code scan, which is usually the key.
How can I use Google Authenticator?
Install the app from the Play Store and set up for the first time by providing the necessary information. It will send you confirmation coded via SMS, and you can use it use the Google Authenticator as two-factor authentication for your accounts.