Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the easiest solutions to secure your login password to any website. But when you switch to a new phone, you need to set up the 2FA again for each account. Here’s how to move Microsoft Authenticator to a new phone, so you don’t need to set up all accounts manually on a new phone.
You know that a 2FA account makes it more difficult to log in without a 2FA code. This means that you can’t log in to any website or online service you’ve connected to your 2FA app, like Microsoft Authenticator. When you lose the phone, you will have a hard time trying to get access to your accounts.
That’s why there’s a backup feature in Microsoft Authenticator. This feature can be used the same way not just when you lose your phone, but also for moving to a new device or phone.
All you need to do is simply backup the 2FA accounts and then recover them in the new phone. But, that’s not as simple as it sounds. You’ll need this guide to do that the right way.
How to move Microsoft Authenticator to a new phone
There are two steps to move your Microsoft Authenticator to a new phone.
Enable the backup feature in Microsoft Authenticator (on the old phone)
First, you’ll need to turn on the backup feature in Microsoft Authenticator on the old phone. Click the kebab button at the top then click Settings.
At Backup and Cloud backup, set the toggle button on which turns it into blue.
Now Microsoft Authenticator is backing up itself using the default 2FA account.
You will see a confirmation message saying:
Account credentials backed up
To recover, use:
(your email address)
Your account is backed up to the first Microsoft account you’ve connected when you sign up to Microsoft Authenticator for the first time.
Once you’ve done the backup, let’s move it to a new phone.
Move to a new phone using the recovery method
Download and install Microsoft Authenticator on your new phone. Do not set up an authenticator account before using the recovery method because it will overwrite all site accounts. Keep it fresh and do not sign in to Microsoft account on Microsoft Authenticator as well.
Once you install it, open it and then click Skip the third time to skip the setup process.
Once you’re here, click Begin Recovery to move your Microsoft Authenticator on the old phone to a new one.
Now sign in using the Microsoft account that is associated with the backup method earlier.
Once you’ve signing using the recovery method, you have moved the Microsoft Authenticator to a new phone. Now you have two Microsoft Authenticator both old the new and old phones. Do not remove your Microsoft Authenticator on the old phone before making sure you can successfully sign in using the new phone.
Revalidate accounts on the phone and test them
This is an important step to make sure you will be able to log in using the new Microsoft Authenticator on a new phone.
Some sites may require you to sign in again to their site accounts after moving to a new phone. You have to sign in for each account you’ve set up on the Microsoft Authenticator using the 2FA code on the new phone. You may also need to re-setup the account if the site requires you to do that.
Remove 2FA accounts from the old phone’s Microsoft Authenticator
After making sure you can sign in to all accounts on Microsoft Authenticator using the 2FA code on the new phone, now you can remove accounts from the Microsoft Authenticator on your old phone.
To remove, simply click the account.
Then click Remove account.
You should also see all the 2FA accounts from the website to make sure the Microsoft Authenticator on the old phone isn’t valid as an authentication device. Remove it from the website if it is.
Now, you can also remove the Microsoft Authenticator from your phone by uninstalling it. From now, you will only sign-in to all 2FA accounts using the new phone.
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Dony Prasetiyo has been writing on monkeymanifesto.com for about two years, intended to help solve computer and smartphone problems with easy-to-understand blog posts. He has written over 480 blog posts about Windows, Office, Android, and more.