Joe Hindy / Android Authority
- Google Authenticator will now back up your Google Account entries.
- If you lose your phone, you can access your Authenticator entries on your new device.
- You will need to update the app to enable this feature.
If you value privacy and security, setting up two-step verification (commonly called 2FA or “two-step authentication”) is extremely important. Passwords are easy to crack (and you should still strive for strong passwords), but 2FA codes aren’t nearly as easy.
Google’s free Google Authenticator app has been a great way to use 2FA codes for years. There’s just one problem: your saved entries are tied to your phone’s hardware. This means that if you lose your phone, you lose your codes. This is a big inconvenience, because a lost phone can mean a permanent blocking of the applications you use every day.
Fortunately, Google is finally fixing this situation. Starting today, your Authenticator codes will be linked to your Google Account, not your phone. From now on, if you lose your phone, you’ll still be able to access your 2FA codes—assuming, of course, that you’re using the same Google Account on your new phone as on your old one.
But don’t lose your phone just yet! You’ll need to update to the latest version of Google Authenticator before your codes can be linked to your account. This update applies to both Android and iOS.
We highly recommend that you take advantage of this new feature and link your codes to your Google Account. You don’t want to go through the headache of figuring out how to log into an app without a 2FA code. Trust us!