For many of us, Google Authenticator is becoming an increasingly crucial tool. It provides two-factor authentication to critical accounts by requiring you to enter a randomly generated key alongside your standard password using your smartphone.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. What happens, for example, if you need to switch smartphones? Fortunately, transferring Google Authenticator to a different device is rather simple, albeit nerve-racking.
We’re here to walk you through the process of moving your Google Authenticator to a new phone. The most important guideline to follow is to not erase Google Authenticator from your previous phone until it has been successfully transferred over.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s teach you how to accomplish it.
How to Transfer Google Authenticator to A New Phone
The process is now relatively identical whether you’re using an Android phone or an iPhone. Here’s what you should do.
1. Launch the Google Authenticator app.
2. To open a drop-down menu, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner.
3. Select Export Accounts. This may be referred to as Transfer Accounts on some devices, but the method is the same.
4. Select Continue or Export Accounts to skip Google’s explanation of what it means to export an account.
5. You may need to validate your identity again on some devices, either using Face ID, fingerprint ID or by entering your phone’s password or PIN.
6. Select which accounts you want to move to your new device. You don’t have to transfer them all at once, but if you want to sell or discard your old phone, you’ll almost likely want to transfer everything to be safe.
7. Select Export. Still unsure if this is what you want to do? Don’t be concerned. You have yet to commit to anything!
8. A QR code will appear, and your screen will brighten significantly. Scan that code with your new phone’s Google Authenticator app to have it added. To get there, tap Get Started on the new phone before tapping Import Existing Accounts. Before scanning the QR code on your previous phone, tap Scan QR code. You’ll have to do this for each account, but Google Authenticator makes it easier by listing each barcode as you go.
9. Once you’ve completed all of that, on your old phone, tap next to proceed to one of the final steps.
10. You may now choose whether to delete all exported accounts or keep them on your old device. If you intend to use your old gadget, it may be worthwhile to keep it. However, if you intend to sell it, remove them. Also, keep in mind that the more devices you configure for Google Authenticator, the less secure it may be. Obviously, this assumes that someone knows your phone’s passcode.
I Don’t Have My Old Phone Anymore. What Do I Do?
Have you misplaced your old phone or it no longer works? Don’t be concerned. There are still options for regaining Google Authenticator and using it on a new device.
If you have backup codes, insert them into your new device and you’re ready to go. Are you unsure where you put them? Sign in to your Google Account and then select Security.
Scroll down to 2-Step Verification and input your password there. Scroll down to Backup Codes on the following screen and select Show Codes to acquire your existing backup codes to add to the new device.
There are ten codes in total, and each one may only be used once. However, you can generate new ones by choosing Show Codes and then Get New Codes.
Why Should I Use Google Authenticator?
You almost probably have Google Authenticator set up if you’re reading this. However, if you’re curious about how it can help you, it safeguards your data and identity.
Passwords are rarely sufficient to protect your most essential accounts. Someone could figure out your password using a brute force method or some cunning social engineering. You’re significantly more secure if there’s a second line of defense.
To keep threats out, several websites and services advocate the usage of SMS codes, however, this isn’t as safe as Google Authenticator. Because a phone number can be spoofed and cloned, a determined hacker can still obtain your personal information.
That is less likely to happen for the ordinary user, but it is still feasible. You can gain significant peace of mind by using a simple-to-install and use tool like Google Authenticator.