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 the Android, iPhone, or a Blackberry, 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.

Android devices

Requirements

To use Google Authenticator on your Android device, it must be running Android version 2.1 or later.

Downloading the app

  1. Visit Google Play.
  2. Search for Google Authenticator.
  3. Download and install the application.

Setting up the app

  1. If you haven’t already, complete the SMS/Voice setup and enroll your account in 2-Step Verification using your phone number.
  2. On your computer, go to the 2-Step Verification settings page and click on Android.
  3. On your mobile device, open the Google Authenticator application.
  4. If this is the first time you have used Authenticator, select Begin setup. If you are adding a new account, choose Set up account from the app's menu.
  5. 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 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 in the "Enter your key" box. Make sure you've chosen to make the key Time based, then select Add.
  6. To test that the application is working, enter the verification code on your mobile device into the box on your computer next to Code, then click "Verify."
  7. If your code is correct, you will see a confirmation message. Click "Save" 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.
iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad

Requirements

To use Google Authenticator on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, you must have iOS 5.0 or later. In addition, in order to set up the app on your iPhone using a QR code, you must have a 3G model or later.

Downloading the app

  1. Visit the App Store.
  2. Search for Google Authenticator.
  3. Download and install the application.

Setting up the app

  1. If you haven’t already, complete the SMS/Voice setup and enroll your account in 2-Step Verification using your phone number. You can add the Google Authenticator app only after you’ve already enrolled using your phone number.
  2. On your computer, go to the 2-Step Verification settings page and click on iPhone.
  3. On your mobile device, open the Google Authenticator application.
  4. Tap the plus icon.
  5. Tap Time Based.
  6. To link your mobile device to your account:
    • Using Barcode: Tap "Scan Barcode" and then point your camera at the QR code on your computer screen.
    • Using Manual Entry: Tap "Manual Entry" and enter the email address of your Google Account. Then, enter the secret key on your computer screen into the box next to Key and tap "Done."
  7. To test that the application is working, enter the verification code on your mobile device into the box on your computer next to Code, then click "Verify." The clock icon on your mobile device will let you know how much time is left before the verification code expires and a new one is generated.
  8. If your code is correct, you will see a confirmation message. Click "Save" to confirm. 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.
BlackBerry devices

Requirements

To use Google Authenticator on your BlackBerry device, you must have OS 4.5-7.0. In addition, make sure your BlackBerry device is configured for US English -- you might not be able to download Google Authenticator if your device is operating in another language.

Downloading the app

You'll need Internet access on your BlackBerry to download Google Authenticator.

  1. Open the web browser on your BlackBerry.
  2. Visit m.google.com/authenticator.
  3. Download and install the application.

Setting up the app

  1. If you haven’t already, complete the SMS/Voice setup and enroll your account in 2-Step Verification using your phone number. You can add the Google Authenticator app only after you’ve already enrolled using your phone number.
  2. On your computer, go to the 2-Step Verification settings page and click on Blackberry.
  3. To link your mobile device to your account, open the Authenticator app menu and select Manual key entry.
  4. Enter the email address of your Google Account below "Enter account name."
  5. Enter the secret key on your computer screen next to "Enter key," select Time based from the drop-down menu, and press Save.
  6. To test that the application is working, enter the verification code on your mobile device into the box on your computer next to Code, then click "Verify."
  7. If your code is correct, you will see a confirmation message. Click "Save" 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.
Setting up 2-Step Verification for multiple Google Accounts

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.

Setting up Google Authenticator on multiple devices

You can set up Google Authenticator so that you can generate verification codes from more than one device.

  1. Make sure that you have Google Authenticator downloaded on all devices that you want to use.
  2. Go to the 2-Step Verification page.
  3. 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.
  4. Follow directions as usual to set up 2-Step Verification for the mobile app, making sure to either scan the generated QR code or enter the generated secret key on all devices that you want to set up.
  5. Check to make sure that all devices are working correctly by entering the verification codes from each device 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 iOS 8.3 on your device, you will no longer have to use App passwords to use 2-Step Verification.

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Ashley is an Accounts expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about how to improve it.

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