If you have Google Authenticator installed on your lost phone, you will need to take some steps to regain access to your accounts. It can be a challenge to access your accounts that rely on two-factor authentication (2FA). To recover your accounts, you’ll need to take a few steps. Here are some common ways to deal with this situation:
Recover your accounts
- Use a backup method: If you previously set up a backup method for 2FA, such as a recovery phone number or email address, you can use this method to regain access to your accounts.
- Contact account support: Contact the customer support team for each account that uses Google Authenticator 2FA and explain that you’ve lost your phone. They can help you regain access, often by asking for additional identity verification.
- Recover Google Authenticator: If you previously set up an authentication app backup, reinstall the app on your new device and follow the instructions to restore the backup. If you didn’t set up a backup, it may be difficult or impossible to recover your Google Authenticator data.
- Rely on Cloud sync if it was activated: Cloud syncing enables your Authenticator codes to be synced to your Google Account and across your devices, so you can always access them even if you lose your phone.
- Generate new codes: If you have no other option, you may need to generate new verification codes from Google Authenticator. You’ll need to log in to each account that uses two-step verification and disable and re-enable two-step verification to generate new codes.
Rule of thumb
In the future, it’s a good idea to store a backup copy of the QR codes or secret keys that are used to generate verification codes in Google Authenticator in a safe place, such as a password manager or a secure file storage service or set up alternative methods for account authentication. This will make it much easier to regain access to your accounts if you lose your phone or switch to a new device.
More Information ℹ
- Install Google Authenticator for Android
- Google Authenticator for iOS
- Get verification codes with Google Authenticator
- Google Authenticator receives update that allows synchronization with Google account