How to Add an Account to Google Authenticator

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2022-01-20
Carl Paige

How to Add an Account to Google Authenticator

Nobody wants keyloggers and hackers to get access to their online accounts, especially when the user ID and password have been compromised. We know how frustrating it is to change your password every time you receive a notification of a suspicious login. Don’t worry about it, as this guide will help you learn more about 2-step verification and how you can secure your accounts without your old phone.

How to Add an Account to Google Authenticator

Two-factor authentication is a complex name for a simple security system that adds a formidable layer of protection to your online accounts. It requires you to punch in a one-time generated code whenever you log into a new device. You will receive codes via SMS or an authenticator app to gain access to your Amazon or Gmail accounts, for instance. It will keep hackers from logging into your account without an authentication code. So, we have shared this guide on how to add an account to Google Authenticator that will help enhance account security with quick and easy steps. 

Steps to add an account to Google Authenticator 

Google Authenticator is the most popular security app that can prevent password theft and keyloggers from gaining access to your accounts. You can easily set up this two-factor authentication system on your device and add a level of security. So, if you want to set up Google Authenticator, make sure you follow the steps below. 

  • First, download and install the Google Authenticator from either the Google Play store or the Apple App Store. 
  • After that, you have to turn on two-factor authentication through your Google account. Once you log into your Google account, visit "Security and Sign-in" and tap on "2-step verification." 
  • Then scroll down a little and click on the "Authenticator app" button. 
  • Now, follow the prompt and select your device, either an iPhone or an Android. 
  • Go back to the google authenticator app and click on the plus sign. 
  • You will see two prompts at the bottom, "Enter a setup key" and "scan the QR code."

You have to select one option for setting up your Google authenticator. Using the "Enter a setup key" option will require you to manually enter a 16-digit security code to add your account. In contrast, the "scan a QR code" option will need a can barcode scanner to complete the verification and connect your account. Remember to switch on the "Time-based" option as it will ensure the code entered for verification aligns with the latest passcode generated by the app. 

Viola! Now your account is added to Google authenticator, and every time you log into your account, you will be asked to enter a six-digit code. You can use the Google Authenticator app for random verification codes that change every 30 seconds. This adds a formidable layer of protection during the sign-in process that protects your accounts from password theft. 

How to use Google Authenticator?

There are only two ways to use 2-step authentication: via text message or an authentication app. However, most sites would prefer an OTP via SMS, which is a perfect way to keep your account protected. However, if you travel a lot and visit remote places or go abroad where your network provider is no longer accessible, then you are likely to be locked out because the verification text won’t arrive until your network is reachable. 

That’s why I advised you to download tools like Google Authenticator that provide an OTP even if you don’t have a network or are using the smartphone in airplane mode. Google Authenticator is pretty easy to set up and use, as you can follow the steps mentioned above on how to add an account to Google Authenticator to ensure the safety of your accounts. 

How do I set up Google Authenticator on my new phone without my old phone? 

Don't worry if you don’t have your old phone. We will help you set up the authenticator on your new device. Though the process is a little tricky, make sure you follow each step properly. 

  • Install Google Authenticator on your new device. 
  • Now, open Google’s factor authentication site and log in to your account. 
  • Scroll down to the authenticator app section and tap on the "change phone" option. 
  • Then choose the type of device and follow the pop-up instructions. 
  • You can also disable the existing Google authenticator by clicking on the dustbin icon and confirming your decision. Then Google will get back to sending authenticator codes via SMS. 
  • Use the authenticator app to scan the barcode on the website to receive a six-digit code. 
  • Once you have entered the code, it will verify that everything is working fine and invalidate the code on your old phone. 

Now, you can transfer your Google account to your new device and enjoy the new features offered by mobile apps

How do I recover my Google Authenticator if I lose my phone? 

It’s hard to figure out a way to recover your Google authenticator, especially when you lose your phone or someone steals it. You won’t have access to backup codes, text messages, or secret keys. Fortunately, the Google Authenticator app is not the only way to recover your account, as there are some alternative ways to log into your account. 

You might try to verify your account using recovery emails, voice messages, or old verification keys. If none of those verification methods works, then we have nothing but to consider Google help. Be mindful when answering the questions on the Google account recovery form and provide as much information as possible. So, let’s learn the whole process step by step, and make sure you are on the sign-in page of Google and follow the steps below:

  • Type in your email address and tap "Next."
  • Now enter your password and click Next. 
  • Google will ask you for a 2FA code. You have to click on "More Options."
  • After that, select the "Get help" option and press "Request Google’s help." Remember, it might take 2–5 working days to recover your account. 
  • Then type the date when you created your account and be mindful. 
  • Enter an email that you can check right now. Google will verify it through a six-digit code. 
  • Now type the secret key and press Next. 
  • Add as much information as possible to let the recovery team know it’s your account and submit it. 

The Google account team will look into your request and confirm whether it’s your account or not. That way, you can recover your Google account using Google’s help

Final thoughts

We hope this guide helped you figure out how to add an account to Google Authenticator without any hassle. Make sure to follow every step mentioned in this guide. This will not only allow you to add your accounts but also help you recover your Google account