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Home / Tips and Tricks / New phone? Setting up Google Authenticator is easier than ever. Here's how

New phone? Setting up Google Authenticator is easier than ever. Here's how



  google authenticator

Don't forget to transfer Google's Authenticator app when you set up a new phone!


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Whether you just picked up a new iPhone SE Samsung Galaxy A51 or another phone one of the first things you need to do – after you complete the initial has processed excitement – is an important task that will help keep your phone safe and in good condition. Transfer the accounts used by your Google Authenticator app so you can access your two-factor codes on your new device. Otherwise, you may not be able to login to some of your online accounts.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts by requiring a randomly generated six-digit code after you have successfully entered your password. As privacy issues continue to grow amid breach after breach two-step verification is increasingly recommended as a way to strengthen your online security by making it more difficult for others to log in as & # 39; u & # 39;

On most websites you can receive your 2FA codes via text messages or with a special app like Google Authenticator but we do not recommend using SMS . Hackers have had great success in deceiving wireless providers to swap the SIM card associated with a person's phone number, and in turn receive the two-factor codes that are sent to the user's actual phone number sent. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a good example .

Google recently updated the Android version of the Authenticator app, the first update in a few years. It adds a fancy new transfer tool that removes the tedious process of moving your accounts individually between your old and new phones, making moving your 2FA codes easier than ever. We will also explain how to do this on an iPhone.

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Enable two-step verification to protect your accounts



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Android Users Have It Easy

When switching from one Android phone to another, make your life easier with the new transfer tool. Make sure you have the latest version of Authenticator on your old phone by checking for updates in the Play Store. Of course, you must also have Authenticator installed on your new phone.

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It's worth sticking with Android, right?


Juan Garzon / CNET

Then follow these steps on your old phone:

1. Open Authenticator, then tap the three-dot menu icon followed by Transfer Accounts .

2. Select Export Accounts and enter your PIN when prompted.

3. Select the accounts you want to transfer and then tap Next .

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It is so much easier to transfer Authenticator now that you can import existing accounts.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

On your new phone:

1. Open Authenticator, tap Getting Started

2. Tap Import existing accounts? at the bottom of the screen.

3. Select Scan QR Code .

Your old phone may have only one or more QR codes that you can scan. Follow the instructions to complete the transfer process. You will see a confirmation prompt for each successful transfer.

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For the time being, iPhone users need to take some extra steps.


Lexy Savvides / CNET

iPhone users need to do some extra work

Google hasn't updated the iPhone Authenticator app with the same transfer process yet, so you need to use the old school method to transfer your Authenticator accounts manually one by one. Here's what to do:

1. Install Authenticator on your new iPhone.

2. On your computer, go to Google's two-step verification site and sign in to your Google account.

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Make sure you have both your old and new phone with you when you move Google Authenticator.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

3. Click Change Phone in the Authenticator App section. Select the type of phone you will be using and follow the instructions. To completely disable Google Authenticator, click the trash can icon and confirm your decision. Google will then revert to delivering your 2FA codes via text message.

4. Open the Authenticator app on your new phone and tap Start > Scan barcode . Scan the QR code displayed on Google's website with the Authenticator app, then enter the six-digit code to make sure everything is working properly. Once that is done, the codes on your old device will no longer be valid.

Repeat this process for any service you are currently using with Google Authenticator, be it Apple, Facebook, Dropbox or Amazon . Don't delete the Authenticator app from your old phone until you have moved all accounts to your new phone or you will no longer be able to access those accounts – and no one wants that.

Now that you've transferred Google Authenticator to your new phone, take the time to learn all the hidden features of the iPhone or to master the hidden features of Android . Are you still trying to figure out what to do with that old phone? We have some suggestions for both iPhone and Android .


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