Google Authenticator finally syncs one-time codes in the cloud

You won't be locked out if you lose your device.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Your Google Authenticator one-time codes are no longer trapped if you lose the device that stores them. An update to Authenticator for Android and iOS now stores backups of codes in your Google account. You won't have to reauthorize all your linked apps (or scan a QR code) just because you got a new phone.

Once you have the latest version of the app, you only have to follow prompts to sign into Google and enable syncing. Of course, you'll also want to be sure your Google account is secure to prevent intruders from misusing Authenticator.

Google is still pushing for password-free logins that use technology like passkeys. However, it also acknowledges that people still rely on one-time codes. The Authenticator update promises to reduce some of the headaches of using those codes until you're ready and able to move to another system. This might also encourage the use of two-factor authentication if you were previously afraid of what would happen if your phone was lost or stolen.

This isn't a novel concept. Apps like Microsoft Authenticator also have cloud backups. However, it's no secret that Google's tool is popular. Cloud syncing should make a tangible difference, particularly when many apps can use Authenticator as an alternative to the conventional password.

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