How to transfer Google Authenticator to a new device

Google Authenticator
In the excitement of setting up a new device it can be easy to forget to copy across your 2FA accounts from Google Authenticator. Luckily there are some easy steps that will show you how to transfer this data across to the application on your new device.

Export your 2FA accounts from your old device

First start by opening the Google Authenticator application on your old device. Tap on the three dots in the top right-hand corner and choose ‘Export Accounts’

Click the three dots then choose Export Accounts
Click the three dots then choose Export Accounts

Tap ‘Continue’ on the next screen to be shown a list of accounts that you can export. Your accounts should be selected automatically with a blue tick next to each one (You can select and unselect accounts but tapping on these ticks). Once you are sure that you have selected all the accounts you would like to transfer tap ‘Export’.

Click Continue then Export
Click Continue then Export

A QR code will now be displayed that you can scan with your new device.

Import 2FA accounts onto your new device

Now that you have your QR code displayed on your old device you can import your accounts onto your new device.

Download the Google Authenticator app on your new device (just search for ‘google authenticator’ in the Apple or Play store), open the application and tap ‘Get started’

On your new device, click Get Started then Import Existing Accounts
On your new device click Get Started then Import Existing Accounts

Next tap ‘Import existing accounts?’. On the next page tap the ‘Scan QR code’ button in the bottom right-hand corner. Google Authenticator will active your camera on the new device allowing you to scan the QR code displayed on the screen on your old device.

Bring up the QR code on your old device and use the camera to position the QR code within the square displayed on your new device. You will see a popup confirming how many accounts have been imported once the QR code has been recognised. You have now successfully imported your accounts.

Finalise on your old device

You can now decide what to do with the accounts on your old device. Tap ‘Next’ on the screen displaying the QR code on your old device. The next page will show you two options.

  • Remove all exported accounts
  • Keep all exported accounts

This gives you the option to either wipe or keep the accounts from the old device (this will not affect your new device). Make sure that you have all the accounts you need on your new device before deciding to wipe them from the old one. Once you have decided which option is right you for tap ‘Finished’.

See our guide for setting up an app password for older applications that don’t support 2 factor authentication.

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