How To Transfer Microsoft Authenticator To A New Device

Microsoft Authenticator
Great news! You have upgraded to a new phone or tablet and you’re keen to get set up and put your old device to bed. In the rush, one very important step that can be missed is transferring your 2FA accounts from the Microsoft Authenticator app to your new device. This guide will show you how to back up Microsoft Authenticator and restore it on to your new device.


Before you start it is important to make sure that all your 2FA security info for your Microsoft account is up to date. You will need to use your mobile number to receive a 2FA code via text to log into Microsoft Authenticator on your new device.

Turn on cloud backup

Start by opening the Microsoft Authenticator app on your old device. Tap on the three lines in the top left-hand corner and then tap ‘Settings’.

Look for the ‘Backup’ section and tap the toggle to switch on ‘Cloud Backup’. You will now see a pop up confirming that your 2FA accounts have been backed up as well as displaying the email address you will use to recover the accounts on your new device.

It’s as easy as that! Now that your account is backed up to the cloud you can move onto the next step.

Recover your accounts on your new device

Download the Microsoft Authenticator app from the Apple app store or Google play store on your new device. Open it and Accept the Microsoft Privacy Statement and then continue.

You will now be met with the option to restore your accounts. Tap the ‘Restore from backup’ option at the bottom of the screen.

You will now get a pop-up with an option to allow notifications from Microsoft Authenticator. Tap ‘Allow’ so that you will be notified when signing into an account and 2FA is required. Next you will see a pop-up letting you know that ‘App lock’ is enabled by default. Tap ‘OK’ to proceed.

Restore the account

You will now have the option to choose which account you would like to recover. There will be 2 possible options. Your back up account will be shown for you to select, or you will need to add the backup account. 

  1. If your account is already shown, go ahead and tap on it and enter in your password for the account. You can now skip past option 2.
  1. If your account is not shown, tap ‘Add new account’ and enter in the email that you used to back up your account to the cloud with and the password for that account.

You will now need to verify your identity. This is where our guide on keeping your 2FA mobile number up to date for your Microsoft account comes in really handy (see link at the end if you are changing number too).

Tap on ‘Show more verification methods’ and you will see the option to verify your identity via text message. You will be asked to verify by entering the last 4 digits of the phone number you use for 2FA. Once you have entered in the digits tap ‘Send code’.

You will receive a text message with a code to enter into the on-screen prompt. Once you have entered in this code tap ‘Verify’.

How you unlock your device will determine the next pop up that you see. You will now either enter the passcode you use for your device or allow your device to use face ID or fingerprint ID to unlock Microsoft Authenticator.

If you use face or fingerprint ID press ‘OK’ to proceed. If you use a passcode to unlock your phone you will need to enter in this passcode on screen.

You have now successfully recovered your Accounts! Tap ‘OK’ on the pop-up that confirms the successful recovery.

If there are no warnings for ‘Action required’ on your 2FA accounts you are now fully set up on your new device. If you do see warnings on your accounts please proceed to the next step.

Action Required For Microsoft Work Or School (M365) Accounts

Some accounts that are managed by an organisation require additional steps to recover. These accounts will show a red warning symbol with an ‘Action required’ label displayed.

If this is a work or school Microsoft account, you will be required to log into your Microsoft account on a PC and scan the QR code associated with this account.

On your PC

Open a web browser on your PC and navigate to Click on ‘Sign in’ in the top right-hand corner and enter in the log in credentials for the Microsoft account that you are attempting to recover. Click on your profile picture/ display name in the top right corner and then click ‘View account’.

Look for the ‘Security info’ tile and click on ‘Update Info’.

This will take you through to the ‘Security Info’ page. Here you can manage the different 2FA sign in methods for your Microsoft account. You will see ‘Microsoft Authenticator’ listed with the option to delete this method. Go ahead and click ‘Delete’, then click ‘Ok’ to confirm.

Now click on the ‘Add sign-in method’ option at the top of the list.This will bring up a popup with a drop-down menu. Click on the ‘Choose a method’ box, select ‘Authenticator app’ and click ‘Add’.

Once you have clicked ‘Next’ on the next 2 pop-ups you will be shown a QR code on your PC screen.

On your phone

In the Microsoft Authenticator app on your new device, tap on the account with the red exclamation mark icon and then tap on the ‘Action required’ text on the next screen.

Your device may ask you to allow Authenticator to access your devices camera. If this happens tap ‘OK’, then scan the QR code. You will be taken back to the main screen in Authenticator. Click ‘Next’ on the pop-up displaying the QR code on your PC.

You will now be shown a number on the screen that you will need to input into your new device. Once you have input the code tap ‘Yes’.

You will now receive a message on screen letting you know that the 2FA notification was approved. Finally click ‘Next’.

You have now restored your 2FA accounts on your new device.

Further Links

If you use Google Authenticator, we have another guide on How to transfer 2FA accounts from Google Authenticator to a new device.

If you are also changing phone numbers, follow our guide on How To Change Your 2FA Mobile Number In Your Microsoft 365 Account

Like this article?

Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Share by Email

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Get the best IT tips and Office ideas in your inbox

Further reading

How To Set Up Signatures In Outlook

Email signatures are important and have a number of purposes. A well designed signature can be a real benefit to your company brand. They also provide all your contact details, can be used to help with marketing campaigns, and if you’re a business, provide important required information about your company registration. Here’s some guidance on adding signatures in Outlook.

Read More »

How To Find The Conflicts Folder in Outlook

In Outlook, the Conflicts folder is like a record of problems when your emails don’t sync well with the mail server. If there’s trouble syncing, you might end up with extra copies of the same email. These issues get listed in the Sync Issues folder. You wouldn’t often need to look in this folder, but over time it can get quite big, so you might occasionally need to see it to empty some space.

Read More »

How To Get Best Experience From Your Wireless Access Point

We all know that Wi-Fi can be much more convenient for your office setup than connecting everything via cable, and as Wi-Fi speeds and connectivity get better, more offices are switching to wireless. However, many people have concerns that wireless is less reliable than cabled, and they worry that they will struggle with weak signals or frequent disconnections. This blog will provide you with all the knowledge you need to get the best wireless experience and keep you at your desk rather than under it, fiddling with cables.

Read More »
Scroll to Top