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How to transfer your Google Authenticator 2FA to a new phone

Hand holding Android phone against illustrated background
Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the best and easiest ways to keep your online accounts secure. It works by issuing an authentication code on your phone when somebody tries to access the account; if that person doesn’t have the code, they (or you) don’t get in. By using a 2FA app, such as Google Authenticator or Authy, you can prevent somebody from accessing your data by getting your password. (You can have a code texted to you, but that is considered far less secure due to the rise of so-called SIM hacking.)

Google Authenticator lets you establish 2FA by using your phone to scan a QR code generated by the app on a separate device or by entering a key code. It’s a relatively easy process.

Except there used to be a catch….

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