Restore Google Authenticator To New Phone After Phone Lost, Switch, or Factory Reset

Switching or losing your phone and setting up a new device is difficult. While most things can be backed up, one thing that has not been backed up until now is Google Authenticator 2FA codes. Having to manually re-register each 2FA code for every account was time-consuming. Google solved this issue entirely and setting up Google Authenticator after a phone reset or switch is a breeze. This article will teach us to set up Google Authenticator to a new phone again after a phone lost, reset or switched.  Again Setup Google Authenticator After Phone Reset or Switch

Restore Google Authenticator To New Phone After Phone Lost, Switch, or Factory Reset

Previously, when you switched or reset your device, you had to set up all the 2FA codes on Google Authenticator manually again. But now, Google automatically backs up 2FA codes to your Google account, so as soon as you log in with your Google account on the device, your 2FA codes are synced back. So, the Google authenticator reset doesn’t happen.

  • Before resetting or switching your device, update the Google Authenticator app to the latest version on the old device.
  • Open the Google Authenticator app and look for the cloud backup icon in the top right corner next to your account icon aka Google authenticator backup.
  • All your 2FA codes are backed up on the cloud if this icon is green.Checking for cloud backup in Google Authenticator
  • Once done, install Google Authenticator on the new device or after the reset.
  • Google authenticator will automatically log in to your primary Google account from the device.
  • You can switch it from the profile icon in the top right corner if it is not the correct account.
  • All the codes backed up on the cloud will be synced to your Google Authenticator.

We hope the article was easy to follow and you could again set up Google Authenticator after phone reset or switch.

Read: The Best Authenticator apps for Android.

How to Transfer Google Authenticator Accounts

One of the best ways to back up the Google Authenticator App is to save the QR Code. It is the key that enables users to add an account to the app.

Once you enter the Google Authenticator App, you will find the export QR Code aka Google authenticator export function. Remember that multiple QR codes will be saved if numerous items are saved. In that case, you need to save all of them (as a precaution).

Follow the steps below to help you simultaneously find the QR codes for all accounts. Have a look:

  • Open the Google Authenticator App on your iOS device.
  • Tap on the hamburger menu on the left.
  • Tap on Transfer Accounts
  • It will open a transfer screen where you can export accounts or import accounts.
  • Select Export
  • Next, it will prompt you with a screen that says, “To export, we will create a QR code that stores the accounts you select below.”
  • You will see a QR code. The ideal solution is to take a picture of the QR code and save it. While iOS allows taking a screenshot of the QR Code, it’s not allowed on Android platforms. You need to use another phone’s camera and save the image.

Scan QR Code in Google Authenticator to Export Accounts

After the pictures of the QR Codes are taken, you must take a printout. It is not advisable to keep them within the phone itself. If the image is saved in your gallery or device itself, it is likely lost (if your phone is damaged or stolen).

To Restore on Google Authenticator or Other Apps

Do you want to know how to back up or restore the QR code on the Google Authenticator app you find in the above step? Here’s what you can do:

  • Select Import account and tap on Scan QR Code.
  • Selected accounts will be transferred.

Thats it. This is how you can quickly recover Google authenticator.

What To Do If Google Authenticator Codes Are Not Working?

It is possible that the time isn’t correctly synced with the app. Since all 2FA apps use time as one of the factors, incorrect time leads to incorrect code. Go to More > Settings >  Time correction for codes > Sync now.

The app will confirm the sync, and you should be able to get the correct code and also sign in with your account. The sync will only affect the internal time of your Google Authenticator app and will not change your device’s Date & Time settings.

Can I Share My Google Authenticator 2FA Key Access to Other Users?

You can share your Google 2FA key access to other devices or users, but this would remove it from your device and account. To do this, go to the hamburger menu in the top left corner of the app, click transfer accounts, then click export accounts. After this, select the accounts you wish to share and proceed. A QR code will be generated to be scanned to add your 2FA keys to a new account or device.


  1. I don’t have my old phone! I’m locked out of my Coinbase account! Google Authenticator does not work! None of the numbers work!


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