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



  google-authenticator

Don't forget to download the Google Authenticator app when creating a new phone!


Jason Cipriani / CNET

This story is part of the Holiday Survival Guide 2019 with tips on the best ways to manage your vacation.

Get a new iPhone 11 or Note 10 this high 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 your two-factor codes. Otherwise, you may not be able to log in to any 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 successfully enter your password. As privacy issues continue to increase in the midst of violation after violation two-factor authentication is increasingly recommended as a way to help strengthen your online security by making it more difficult for others to sign in as "you."

Most websites allow you to receive your 2FA codes via SMS text or with a dedicated app like Google Authenticator, but we do not recommend using SMS . Hackers have had a lot of success tricking wireless carriers into swapping SIM cards that are linked to a person's phone number and in turn getting the two-factor codes sent to the actual user's phone number. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a good example .





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The Google Authenticator app is one such tool that provides access to your two-factor codes. Don't let the name fool you, it works with more than just Google's 2FA service. Here's what you need to do to transfer Google Authenticator to another device.

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

Step 2 : Visit Google's 2-step verification site 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 moving Google Authenticator.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Step 3 : Click Change Phone in the Authenticator app section. Choose the type of phone to use (Android or iPhone ($ 900 on Amazon) ) and follow the instructions. If you want to completely disable Google Authenticator, click the trash can icon and confirm your decision. Google then returns to delivering your 2FA codes via SMS.

Step 4 : Open the Authenticator app on your new phone and press Start > Scan barcode. Scan the QR code displayed on the Google website using the Authenticator app, then enter a six-digit code to verify that everything is working properly. When 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 install.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Repeat this process for each service you currently use with Google Authenticator, whether it is Apple, Facebook, Dropbox, or Amazon . Do not remove the Authenticator app from your old phone until you have moved all accounts to your new phone, otherwise you will be locked out of those accounts – and no one wants it.

After setting up Google Authenticator, familiarize yourself with your iPhone's hidden features or if you have a new Pixel 4 we've found some hidden features that you can check out. Want to take advantage of the camera on your phone? We have your back .

Updated regularly with new information.


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