When you buy a new Android phone, for example, Pixel 7You want to get it up and running as quickly as possible. Any time you spend working with your old phone is your time could Spend with all the new bells and whistles you paid for. I’m totally excited, but take a moment to slow down: There’s an important step you likely need to take before wiping your old phone, one that’ll save you Many headache in the future.
This warning is for those using Google Authenticator on an old Android phone. If you do, that’s good for you. The app is a great way to protect many of your online accounts with Two-factor documentation. Thanks to authentication apps like Google Authenticator, bad actors can’t break into your Google, Instagram or Twitter accounts even if they know your username and password. The last key is on your phone.
But that’s the point: she lives on Old phone. As you can see, Google Authenticator will not automatically follow you from your Pixel 6 phone to your Pixel 7. If you erased your old phone before setting up the new phone, all these codes will disappear. Redditor Kracer20 has had the pain of switching phones without moving the Google Authenticator app in the past, which is why they released PSA is useful on r/GooglePixelKnowing that many on the subreddit are likely to receive the new Pixel 7 or 7 Pro right now.
How to transfer Google Authenticator codes to your new phone
Google Help makes it easy To transfer codes from the old Google Authenticator app to the new app. First, make sure that your Google Authenticator is fully up-to-date on your old phone. After that, install Google Authenticator on your new phone, then open the app and select Get Started. At the bottom of the page, choose “Important existing accounts?”
Now, switch to your old phone, open Google Authenticator and tap More > Transfer Accounts > Export Accounts. Choose the accounts you want to transfer to your new phone, then choose Next. This will generate a QR code. If you transfer more than one account, your phone may generate more than one code. On your new phone, tap “Scan QR Code,” then scan your codes.
Once you receive confirmation from the app that your accounts have been transferred, that’s it! You should have no problem accessing the various 2FA accounts on your new phone. Before wiping your old phone, of course, make sure to back up and sync other important data, if they aren’t already on your new phone, such as messages, photos, videos, and contacts.
Consider other authentication options
As many in this Reddit thread point out, other authentication apps avoid this problem entirely. If you are going to set up your 2FA tokens using a password manager like Bitwarden, you can easily log into your account on your new phone and redeem your codes there. There is a security risk, of course: Google Authenticator only lives on your current phone, while anyone with access to your Bitwarden account can also access 2FA codes (sometimes referred to as OTPs, or one-time passwords in this case). However, you may find that the comfort outweighs the risks. Just remember to make your Bitwarden password strong and unique.
Another good option is Aegis authenticationIt is an open source certified application that supports backups. This way, if your phone hits the bucket, or you wipe them before transferring to a new phone, you’ll still be able to redeem your codes without worry. You can also look AuthyIt’s a popular cross-device alternative, so you can access 2FA on more than just your smartphone.
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