Two-Factor authentication is a need that protects your account from getting hacked by adding an extra layer during login. Since its launch, Google Authenticator has been a popular choice for two-factor authentication. As the 2FA codes are locally stored on the device, some users don’t know how to export Google Authenticator 2FA account codes while switching to a new phone. Let me help you with how to export all the accounts from Google Authenticator to your new phone.
How to Export 2FA Accounts From Old Phone
When exporting Google Authenticator accounts from one device to another, always erase or format the old phone. Not the other way around or you’ll find yourself stuck in an unpleasant situation.
Note: The Google Authenticator app on Android doesn’t allow you to take screenshots, it is restricted by the system OS for security reasons. Hence we’re proceeding with the Google Authenticator iOS app, but the steps are almost identical on both platforms, so you can follow along without worrying.
1. Open the Google Authenticator on your old phone from which you want to export the accounts to the new one.
2. Tap on the kebab menu (three-dot icon) in the top right corner of the screen.
3. Tap on Export accounts.
Note: On Android, you will find Transfer accounts written instead of Export accounts. So if you’re on Android, tap on that to start the Export process.
4. On the Export account page tap on Continue.
5. Let the Face ID confirm your identity. If you’re on Android, it might ask you for your fingerprint/pattern/password.
6. On the next page, select the accounts you want to export to your new phone, Then tap on Export.
7. A QR code will be generated on your old phone. Now go to your new phone and follow the steps covered in the next section How to Import 2FA Accounts to New Phone.
8. After done with the steps on the new phone, come back to the old one and tap on Next to continue.
9. On the next screen, choose whether you want to remove the account from the old smartphone or not. And tap on Finished.
Google Authenticator is not the only 2FA app in the town. There are many other 2 FA apps that offer more features. Do read about them.
How to Import 2FA Accounts to New Phone
Once you are done importing 2FA accounts on Google Authenticator app on the old smartphone (QR code should be ready to be scanned), now install Google Authenticator on the new mobile and follow the steps below to import those accounts.
1. First open the Google Authenticator on your new phone.
2. Tap on Get started.
3. Tap on Import existing accounts? at the bottom of the screen.
4. Tap on the Scan QR code button.
5. On the next screen your phone’s camera app will open. Point the camera to your old phone’s screen with the QR that was generated by Google Authenticator while exporting 2FA codes steps above in How to Export 2FA Accounts From Old Phone section.
6. All the accounts will be imported to your new phone. Now tap on OK to continue using the Google Authenticator on your new smartphone.
Bonus 2FA Security Tips
iOS allows you to lock the Google Authenticator app with Face ID. To do so, open the Authenticator app on your iPhone and then tap on the kebab menu > Settings > Privacy Screen > Enable Privacy Screen.
Note: Android doesn’t allow yet to lock the Google Authenticator. But you can always use a third-party app for making it more secure.
Two-Factor authentication is a must for securing your accounts. So while exporting accounts from one device to another, always keep your old device and new device near you for seamless export of all accounts. I hope this helped you in the seamless export of accounts in Google authenticator.
Did you know you can secure your Instagram account with Two-Factor authentication? Yup. Read the guide to learn more.