Common issues with 2-Step Verification

My phone was lost or stolen

If your phone was lost or stolen, we strongly recommend that you revoke your App Passwords and change your Google Account password. This will help prevent others from accessing your Google Account from your phone.

You have several ways you can get back into your account, depending on your circumstances.

Use backup options
If you've lost access to your primary phone, you can select to have codes sent to backup phones. In addition, you can use one of your printable backup codes to sign in.
Sign in from a trusted computer
If you’ve previously signed in from a computer and checked that the computer should remember you, you might be able to sign in from that computer without a verification code. Once you’re in your account, you can turn off 2-Step Verification until you can again get verification codes.
Retrieve code with voicemail and a voice call

When signing in, ask that you have your code sent to you by voice call. We’ll then leave a voicemail on your phone with your verification code. If you can access your phone’s voicemail remotely, you can then call your phone and get the verification code.

To request a verification code by voice call:

  1. Sign in with your username and password at
  2. When asked for your verification code, click Other ways to get a verification code at the bottom.
  3. Select the button next to “Send to your backup phone number ending in **” and click OK.
  4. If you set up your backup phone to get voice calls, you should get a voice call. If you set up your backup phone to get text messages, you’ll need to click Call your phone ending in ** at the bottom.

Once you’ve switched to getting your verification codes by voice call, you should be able to request a code, then retrieve it from your voicemail.

Get a new phone from your carrier

If you’ve lost your phone, you might be able to get a new phone with the same phone number from your carrier.

Fill out our Account Recovery form

We recommend you use this option only if you cannot get into your account in any other way. This process can take several days and usually involves more effort than other recovery options.

  1. Sign in to your account with your username and password.
  2. On the verification code challenge page, click Problems receiving your code?
  3. Click "I need Google's help getting back into my account."
  4. You'll then need to fill out an account recovery form to verify ownership of the account. Take time to answer each question to the best of your ability. The form was designed to ensure that no one can gain access to your account except you. Since Google doesn't collect a lot of information about you when you sign up for an account, we will ask you questions like when you created your account, what Google services you use, and who you email frequently (if you use Gmail) to make certain you are authorized to access your account.

If you’re a Google Apps user (business)

If you’re a Google Apps user (for example, your email is, you have two options:
Use backup options
If you've lost access to your primary phone, you can select to have codes sent to backup phones. In addition, you can use one of your printable backup codes to sign in.
Contact your domain administrator
Your administrator can turn off 2-Step Verification for your account so you can sign in without a code.

Why you shouldn’t use Google Voice to receive verification codes

If you use Google Voice to receive verification codes, you can easily create a situation where you’ve locked yourself out of your account.

For example, if you are signed out of your Google Voice app, you might need a verification code to get back in. However, you won’t be able to receive this verification code because it will be sent to your Google Voice, which you can’t access.

Link to set up 2-Step Verification not showing

If you do not see the link and you are a Google Apps user, you might have to access the 2-Step Verification setup through a special URL. It is also possible that your domain administrator has not yet set it up for your organization. Check with your domain administrator to find out.

More about Google Authenticator

Learn more about the Google Authenticator open source project.

I turned on 2-Step Verification and an app on my phone or computer stopped working

When you turn on 2-Step Verification, any apps that need access to your Google Account will stop working until you enter an App Password in place of your normal password.

Common applications and devices that require an App Password include:

  • Old versions of email clients such as Outlook, Apple Mail and Thunderbird
  • The email app that comes with your phone (but is not made by Google)
  • Some chat, contacts and YouTube clients

Note: If you have iOS 8.3 on your iPhone or OSX 10.10.3 on your Mac, you will no longer have to use App passwords to use 2-Step Verification.

You do not need to memorize App Passwords because every App Password is only used once. You can generate a new App Password whenever you’re asked for one--even for a device or application you’ve authorized before.

App passwords not working

If you’ve double-checked to make sure you’ve entered the App Password in correctly but it’s still not working, try going to on your device’s browser. Enter your username and password, then type the letters on the screen. Then go back to the application you're trying to access and enter your App Password.

I lost my backup codes and I want to revoke them

If you lost the print-out of your backup codes, you can revoke them on your settings page. Click Show codes, then click Generate new codes. This will invalidate the previous set of backup codes and generate a new set.

I didn't receive a verification code via text message or phone call

If you chose to receive codes by text message, make sure your service plan and mobile device supports text message delivery. Delivery speed and availability may vary by location and service provider. Also make sure you’ve got adequate cell signal when you’re trying to receive your codes.

If you chose to get codes by voice call, note that a voicemail with the verification code will be left on your phone if you’re unable to answer the call.

If you have a smartphone, we recommend you use the Google Authenticator app.

You can also switch between receiving your codes by text messages or voice calls - sometimes delivery of one of these services is more reliable than the other.

Note: If you received multiple verification codes, only the newest one will work. If you requested multiple verification codes, keep in mind that it might take some time for the latest code to arrive.

My Google Authenticator codes aren’t working (Android)

This might be because the time on your Google Authenticator app is not synced correctly.

To make sure that you have the correct time:

  1. Go to the main menu on the Google Authenticator app
  2. Click Settings
  3. Click Time correction for codes
  4. Click Sync now

On the next screen, the app will confirm that the time has been synced, and you should now be able to use your verification codes to sign in. The sync will only affect the internal time of your Google Authenticator app, and will not change your device’s Date & Time settings.


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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