One of the easiest methods to increase the security of your user accounts is by using Google Authenticator. The ability to synchronize the 2FA generation between phones using the Google Account was recently enabled. Find out how to do it in the following stages.
Up until recently, it was not able to automatically synchronize the token creation between devices, which was one of the biggest drawbacks of utilizing Google Authenticator. Accounts in the app could be manually exported and imported, but users could momentarily lose access to their accounts if their phone was stolen or misplaced.
Synchronize 2FA codes between phones on Google Authenticator
The new automatic syncing relies on the Google Account associated with the device but is optional in case you don’t want to have your security codes synced on Google’s servers—especially since Google doesn’t enforce another type of confirmation before syncing as Authy does. Having said that here is how you start syncing 2FA tokens using Google Authenticator:
- Update or install Google Authenticator (Android | iOS).
- On the “Welcome” screen, select the Google account used to synchronize 2FAs.
If you skipped the account selection during the first run, activating syncing is as simple as switching an account on any other Google app:
- Tap on the profile logo in the top right corner.
- Select the Google Account to synchronize 2FA.
When the 2FA codes are synced with the Google Account, it is indicated in both instances by the green cloud icon in the top right corner. Simply choose the same Google account the next time you open Google Authenticator on a new phone to enable the 2FA generators.
How to stop syncing 2FA online on Google Authenticator
If you want to stop syncing code generation in the Google Authenticator, the steps are similar:
- Tap on the profile picture in the top right corner.
- Select Use without an account.
- Confirm the action by tapping on the Continue button.
Tech companies are slowly starting to implement Passkeys to replace passwords and 2FAs, but two-factor authentication is not going away anytime soon apparently, with even fewer services supporting the new security standard.