Google Authenticator now comes with cloud sync

by Teodor Costăchioiu

Launched in 2010, Google Authenticator is by far the most popular mobile app for generating codes needed for two-factor authentication (2FA) for online accounts and services.

A few minor issues have bothered me all this time: the difficulty of transferring the app to another device and the huge hassle of not having access to the authentication device.

About two years ago, I broke my phone screen. I dropped it out of my pocket, and it fell on the only rock within a 500-meter radius. The screen shattered. I got another phone and restored everything from the backup except the settings for Google Authenticator. I had nothing left in the new app. I struggled for two days. Looking for backup codes, deactivating two-factor authentication services, and reactivating them with the new app. Frustration and a lot of expletives.

Now Google has finally woken up to reality and introduced cloud synchronization for codes. An app update is required, followed by logging in with your Google account. Then everything else works smoothly.

Transferring from one device to another is also easy. From the source application, go to Transfer accounts, then select the accounts to transfer and click Export. Two QR codes are generated, which need to be scanned from the destination app, just like when adding a new service.

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

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