2FA (two-factor authentication) makes your login access to a website more secure. But when you move to a new phone, Google Authenticator won’t migrate 2FA accounts without your help migrating one account at a time manually. Here’s how to move Google Authenticator to a new phone.
It’s not that hard to migrate your Google Authenticator 2FA accounts to another phone. Microsoft Authenticator has its own method to move to a new phone, but Google Authenticator doesn’t. This leaves you confused when you get a new phone and want to access websites or services using the new phone.
Google Authenticator can be migrated to a new phone, whether you’re using Android or iOS versions. You can move from Android to iOS and vice versa.
How to move Google Authenticator to a new phone
While Microsoft Authenticator has a method to recover the 2FA accounts in a new phone, Google Authenticator doesn’t and you have to move all the 2FA accounts manually. But for the Google account attached to Google Authenticator, you can move it using this method.
This method is like setting up Google Authenticator again. First, don’t do anything to your Google Authenticator app on the old phone. Start downloading and installing Google Authenticator on the new phone right now, then visit this Google account page.
Here, visit the 2-Step Verification. Click Change phone on the Authenticator app.
Choose which phone you switch to. You can move from Android to iPhone or vice versa. Click Next.
Now, simply open the Google Authenticator on the new phone and scan the barcode that shows here.
To scan a barcode, simply tap the red + button.
Tap Scan a barcode and then capture the barcode from your phone camera.
On the new phone, you should see this. This means your Google account’s two-factor authentication has migrated to a new phone.
Now, to give yourself a sense of relief, simply test the account login. Open a new private or incognito tab on your browser, then login to your Google account. If you succesfully logged in, you can remove the Google account’s 2FA on the old phone.
But, that’s only the Google account’s 2FA. Don’t remove any other 2FA accounts on your old phone yet. You should do this before doing that.
How to move a website or service’s 2FA account on Google Authenticator to a new phone
You’ve succesfully moved your Google account’s 2FA to a new phone. But you still have other accounts tied the old phone’s Google Authenticator, like Slack, Facebook, Twitter, or others. You will need to move them manually, one at a time to a new phone.
Unlike Microsoft Authenticator, you would still need to manually move a website or service’s 2FA account on your Google Authenticator to a new phone. I know this may be time-consuming, but that’s the only way.
First, head to the website which account you’ve connected to Google Authenticator. Then find a way to change devices. Set up the 2FA for the device using the new phone’s Google Authenticator. Once succeed, test it by signing in to the account in a private/incognito tab and make sure you can log in using a 2FA code from Google Authenticator on the new device.
If you don’t find a way to change devices on the website or service, you should find one to disable the 2FA. Once you’ve disabled it, test yourself to log in a new private tab and make sure you don’t get asked to put a 2FA code. From this point, you can now set up again a 2FA account for the service but now you will use the new phone.
Set up again by scanning the barcode from the new phone’s Google Authenticator. Then test that you can log in using the 2FA code from it.
Moving Google Authenticator to a new phone is time-consuming, especially if you have many 2FA accounts there. But for your Google account, you can move it pretty easily using the above method.