Install Google Authenticator
If you set up 2-Step Verification using SMS text message or Voice call and also want to be able to generate codes using your mobile device, you can use the Google Authenticator app to receive codes even if you don’t have an Internet connection or mobile service.
To set this up, first you need to complete SMS/Voice setup. Then, follow the directions for your type of device explained below.
To use Google Authenticator on your Android device, it must be running Android version 2.1 or later.
Download the app
Set up the app
- If you haven’t already, turn on 2-Step Verification for your account using your phone number.
- On your computer, go to the 2-Step Verification settings page.
- Scroll to "Set up alternative second step."
- Under "Authenticator app," click Set up.
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Authenticator application.
- If this is the first time you've used Authenticator, tap Begin. To add a new account, in the bottom right, choose Add .
- To link your mobile device to your account:
- Using QR code: Select Scan a barcode. If the Authenticator app cannot locate a barcode scanner app on your mobile device, you might be prompted to download and install one. If you want to install a barcode scanner app so you can complete the setup process, select Install, then go through the installation process. Once the app is installed, reopen Google Authenticator, then point your camera at the QR code on your computer screen.
- Using secret key: Select Enter a provided key, then enter the email address of your Google Account in the "Enter account name" box. Next, enter the secret key on your computer screen under Enter code. Make sure you've chosen to make the key Time based, then select Add.
- To test that the application is working, enter the verification code on your mobile device into the box on your computer under Enter code, then click Verify.
- If your code is correct, you will see a confirmation message. Click Done to continue the setup process. If your code is incorrect, try generating a new verification code on your mobile device, then entering it on your computer. If you’re still having trouble, you might want to verify that the time on your device is correct or read about common issues.
Google Authenticator can issue codes for multiple accounts from the same mobile device. However, every Google Account needs a different secret key, which you will get by going through the setup process. Simply repeat the setup process for any additional accounts, using the same Google Authenticator app.
You can set up Google Authenticator so that you can generate verification codes from more than one device.
- Make sure that you have Google Authenticator downloaded on all devices that you want to use.
- Go to the 2-Step Verification page.
- If you've already set up Google Authenticator for your account, delete that account from Authenticator so you can start fresh. If you have not yet set up Google Authenticator, skip to the next step.
- Follow directions as usual to set up 2-Step Verification for the mobile app, making sure to either scan the same generated QR code or enter the same generated secret key on all devices that you want to set up. The verification codes on each device should be the same.
- Check to make sure that all devices are working correctly by entering the verification code from one of your devices and clicking Verify. Then click Save.
Google Authenticator does not generate App Passwords. If you are prompted by an application for a new password after turning on 2-Step Verification, you must sign in using an App Password.
Note: If you have the latest operating system on your Apple mobile device, you will no longer have to use App passwords to use 2-Step Verification.
Nick is an Accounts expert and the author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about how to improve it.