If you have changed your phone, you may well need to transfer Google Authenticator from your old one. If you wipe your old phone before doing this, you run the risk of losing access to your online accounts. So read this, follow the steps, and thank us later for saving you from a world of headaches and frustration. Here's how to transfer Google authenticator to a new handset.
How To Transfer Authenticator To A New Phone
There are two methods for transferring Google Authenticator. We'll start with the easy method, which involves using the import tool. This assumes you are transferring from one Android phone to another, and not being a monster who switches from one OS to another.
- Start by ensuring your Authenticator app is fully updated on your old handset.
- Next, on your old phone:
- Open Authenticator, open the three-dot menu, and press Transfer accounts.
- Choose Export accounts.
- Enter your pin when prompted.
- Select the accounts you want to transfer to your new handset, then press Next.
- Then, on your new phone:
- Open Authenticator, and press Get Started.
- Select Import existing accounts?. You'll see this at the bottom of the screen.
- Press Scan QR code.
That's the easy method. If, however, for some reason this doesn't work for you, there is an alternative method you can try. We'll call this, 'the alternative method'.
The Alternative Method
We'll start by assuming you have already installed Authenticator on your new handset. If not, go and do that. We'll wait. It's fine. Then, you will need to complete the following steps, for each account you have on Authenticator:
- Go to Google's two-step verification page, and log-in to your Google account, on your computer.
- Click on the option that says Change Phone.
- Choose the type of phone you are going to be using, and follow the step-by-step process.
- Open the app on your new phone. Press Begin, followed by Scan Barcode.
- Scan the QR code that will be on your computer
- Enter the 6-digit code.
- Rinse and repeat for all the accounts you wish to transfer.
As we said before, the first method is much simpler and easier. But it's useful to be aware of this backup, in case you need it.
What is Authenticator?
Google Authenticator is an app that allows you to easily utilise two-factor authentication (2FA) with your online accounts. 2FA is an extra layer of security. Instead of accessing an account with just a password, you will also need to access a code that is only available via the app. So someone would need both your password and your device. This makes it far harder for someone to access your accounts.
With the increasing number of threats to our online security, 2FA is an easy way to give yourself additional protection. The Google Authenticator app is a simple way of implementing it.