Google Authenticator is one of the most simple and straightforward apps for managing your Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) codes. But there was one problem: If you bought a shiny new phone, it would be a tedious process to move your 2FA codes from the old phone. Due to this, many even switched to Authy. But not anymore at least for Android users! On World Password Day, Google revamped the Google Authenticator app along with releasing the most-requested feature of transferring 2FA codes to another phone for Android.
How to move Google Authenticator 2FA codes to a new phone
Before following the below steps, make sure you’re having the latest version (5.10) of Google Authenticator installed.
- Open the Google Authenticator app on your old phone and tap the three dots at the top-right and then Transfer accounts > Export accounts. You may need to verify your identity by unlocking your phone.
- Select which accounts you need to transfer and then tap Next. Google Authenticator will create a QR code. If there are more accounts, the app may create more than one QR code.
- On your new Android phone, install the Google Authenticator app.
- Tap Get Started > Tap Import existing accounts? at the bottom of the next screen > Scan QR code and point the camera at your old phone’s QR code. All your 2FA codes will appear on your new phone.
- If you are already using Google Authenticator, tap the three dots > Transfer accounts > Import accounts.
- Tap Scan QR code to get all your accounts 2FA codes on your new phone. That’s it!
Google has made a slew of security mechanisms to make sure that this transfer process occurs smooth and safely:
- No data is sent between Google’s servers when you’re transferring 2FA codes.
- Once you export accounts, you will be alerted with “Accounts were recently exported” banner at the top of your Authenticator app. Also, I received the above alert in the form of an app notification after a day I exported the accounts.
- You can view all the activity with timestamp by going to the Transfer accounts page and then tapping Recent activity at the bottom-left.
- You can turn on the dark mode by tapping the three dots > View in dark mode.
- In case your 2FA codes throw an error when entered, it may be due to the time difference. To correct this: Tap the three dots > Settings > Time correction for codes > Sync now.