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New phone, new two-factor authentication. How to move Google Authenticator



  google-authenticator

Don't forget to broadcast Google’s Authenticator app when you set up a new phone.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

This story is part of Holiday Survival Guide 2019 and contains tips for optimal management of the holiday season.

Get a new iPhone 11 or Note 10 this holiday season? It's exciting, isn't it? When setting up your new phone, transferring apps, email accounts, contacts and calendar entries, don't forget to set up Google Authenticator, the app that contains all of your two-factor codes. Otherwise, you may not be able to log in to some of your online accounts.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) gives your online accounts an additional layer of security by requiring a randomly generated six-digit code after successful creation. Enter your password. As privacy concerns gradually increase two-factor authentication is increasingly recommended to improve your online security by making it difficult for others to log in as "you".

On most websites you can receive your 2FA codes via SMS or via a special app such as Google Authenticator . However, the use of SMS is not recommended. Hackers have had great success in persuading mobile operators to change the SIM card associated with a person's phone number and in return to get the two-factor codes that are sent to the actual user's phone number. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a prime example .

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The Google Authenticator app is one such tool that allows you to access your two-factor codes. Don't be fooled by the name, it doesn't just work with Google's 2FA service. Follow the steps below to transfer Google Authenticator to another device.

Step 1 : Install the Authenticator app on your new iPhone or Android phone.

Step 2 : Visit the Google 2-Step Verification website on your computer. Sign in to your Google Account to see your current 2FA settings.

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


Screenshot from Jason Cipriani / CNET

Step 3 : In the Authenticator app area, click on Change phone . Select the type of phone you want to use (Android or iPhone ($ 900 at Amazon) ) and follow the instructions. If you'd like to disable Google Authenticator completely, click the trash can icon and confirm your decision. Google will then send your 2FA codes again via SMS.

Step 4 : Open the Authenticator app on your new phone and tap Begin > Scan Barcode. Scan the QR code displayed on the Google website with the Authenticator app, and then enter a six-digit code to verify that everything is working properly. Once this is done, the codes on your old device will no longer be valid.

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The Google Authenticator app is easy to set up.


Screenshots from Jason Cipriani / CNET

Repeat this process for every service you are currently using with Google Authenticator, be it Apple, Facebook, Dropbox or Amazon . Do not delete the Authenticator app from your old phone until you have moved all accounts to your new phone. Otherwise, you will be blocked for these accounts – and no one wants you to.

After you've set up Google Authenticator, familiarize yourself with the hidden features of your iPhone . If you have a new Pixel 4 we found some hidden features that you can try. Would you like to use your cell phone's camera? We have your back .

Updated regularly with new information.


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