Ever feel vulnerable against Account and Password thefts? If not, you should and it should be in your best interest to keep your phone safe and secure.

With the help of the Google Authenticator app, you’ll be asked to enter a six-digit number after you set up your username and password.

Unlike a Pin or Pattern Passcode, this unique six-digit number factors in the current time of day to ensure that each password is unique and changes every time with every login.

To further make it more secure, each login Passwords change every 30-60 seconds. It adds an extra layer of security to help safeguard your account.

Google Authenticator is simple to use and is the perfect one-stop solution to verify your identities and credentials.

Benefits of Using Google Authenticator App

  • Security – Unlike receiving verification codes through the SMS app, the Google Authenticator app works independently and works inside a secure box. So, no apps or person can see your codes unless they have your device physically.
  • New code every 60 seconds – In most cases, the OTP for your bank, account set up is valid for about 15-30 minutes. However, Google authenticator uses a Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) algorithm which basically provides a new code every 60 seconds nullifying the previous one.
  • Compatible with Multiple Accounts – Google authenticator allows you to have codes for all of your accounts in one place.
  • Works with no Internet Connection – Even if you are in an area out of network coverage, you still will be able to get your login password as it is built on a Time-based One-Time Password algorithm.
  • Easy to Use – The app has a simple user interface, minimalistic, and easy to navigate.
  • Lightweight – The App takes up a storage space of less than 2 MB in size.

How to Set up Google Authenticator on New Phone

Before we walk through the process to set up Google Authenticator on your phone, there are a few prerequisites that needs to be done.

You must already have set-up 2-Step Verification for your Google Account. If you haven’t already, here are the steps in a nutshell:

  • Open up Google’s 2-Step Verification page and click on “Get Started”.
  • Next, log in to your Google account if needed and click on “Start Setup”.
  • Choose a phone number to associate with your account.
  • Select either Text message or Phone call to receive your codes.
  • Enter the code Google sends and verify the code.
  • Click Turn On to enable 2-Step Verification.

The other prerequisite to set up Google Authenticator is to download and install the Google Authenticator app. Most of the phone nowadays comes with a default barcode scanner. But if that is not the case for you, download and install a barcode scanner from the app store.


  • Log in to your Google account.
  • Click the Security tab on the left side and tap on “2-Step Verification”
  • Next, Reenter your password.
  • Scroll down and click on the “Authenticator app” Set-Up option.
  • Select our Operating system, Android or iPhone, and click on Next.
  • Google will display a QR code for verification.
  • Next, Open the actual Google Authenticator app from your phone and tap the plus (+) button. If you are on iPhone, click on the Add Account button, with the large + symbol.
  • Tap the Scan QR Code and use the camera on your phone to scan the QR code displayed by Google. Tap on Done.
  • Now head back on Google and click Next. Then, add the six-digit code from Authy. Tap on Verify.

Note: There is also a “Backup codes” option. This code is similar to the security question and will come handy in case you lose your phone and access the Authenticator app. Make sure to Save the codes on your phone or write them down them and save it offline.

Move Accounts between your Old and new Phones

The app isn’t frequently updated and recently has its first updates in a few years. In the latest update, it added a new feature to easily transfer all your authenticator “seeds” directly from your old and new devices.

Related read: How to Drop a Pin in Google Maps

But first, you need to first have the latest version of the Google Authenticator app installed on both phones.

Follow these steps on your Old Phone

  • Open your Authenticator app and tap the three-dot menu icon (or vertical ellipsis).
  • Next, click on Transfer accounts < Export accounts. Your PIN Code will be promoted, enter, and click OK.
  • If you have multiple accounts, select the accounts you want to transfer then click on Next

Then, it will generate its own QR code. Don’t close them and keep that on the screen open.

On Your New Phone

  • Open the Authenticator app on your new phone and tap Get Started
  • Select Import existing accounts? 
  • Click on Scan QR code.
  • Scan the QR code from your old phone. You’ll get a confirmation prompt for each successful transfer. 


Unfortunately, Google hasn’t updated the iPhone Authenticator app. So, the transfer feature is not yet available. So, you’ll need to transfer manually. Hence, in the case of iPhone, it would be recommended to use a laptop or desktop.

  • Install the Google Authenticator on your new iPhone or iOS device.
  • Go to your Google Account page and in the Authenticator app section select “Change phone.”
  • Select the typ of phone you are transferring and it will generate a QR code for you to scan.
  • Next, Open the Authenticator app on your new phone and click on Begin < Scan barcode.
  • If that is finally down, the transfer process is completed and the codes on your old device will no longer be valid.

Final Words

Google Authenticator is very much essential if you want to secure the logins and avoid the possibility of your device getting into the wrong hands. It’s the perfect one-stop solution to secure your identities and credentials.

It’s also far more reliable and even so more convenient to use than a hardware security key. It makes it easier since it can be easily installed as an app rather than having its own separate piece of hardware.

But it’s understandable to own a hardware security keys as it is more secure and sounds more appealing for bigger companies and groups. But for personal use, Google Authenticator sees like the perfect choice.

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