For many decades people protected their online accounts using just a username and a password. But anyone could steal these credentials and login to your accounts. Even worse, sometimes cyber-criminals were just guessing or brute-forcing the passwords. This is when security experts came up with two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication adds an extra step for signing in to your account. This extra step involves sending a time based unique code to your mobile number. This code is valid only for 5 minutes. After this come authenticator apps that can generate these two-factor codes in real-time for you if you had previously configured the app to work with various of your online accounts.
Google Authenticator is a very popular two-factor authentication app that can be used with almost any online account that is protected with two-factor authentication. But what if you have to move all the accounts from the Google Authenticator app from your old mobile phone to the new one? Fortunately, this app also allows easy transfer of the accounts
Exporting accounts from the Google Authenticator app:
- Launch the Google Authenticator app on your old smartphone from which you want to transfer data.
- Tap on the menu in this app and choose Transfer accounts from this menu.
- On the next screen choose Export Accounts.
- You will be shown a list of all the accounts that you have added to the Google Authenticator app. Choose the accounts that you want to transfer and tap on Next.
- You will now see a large QR code on your smartphone screen. This QR code has to be scanned from your new smartphone. Do not share this QR code with anyone else. The following screenshot has an edited QR code.
Importing accounts from the QR code:
- Launch Google Authenticator app on your new smartphone.
- Choose Transfer accounts from the app menu.
- Chose Import accounts on the next screen.
- Scan the QR code generated by the Google Authenticator app on your old mobile phone. This will add all the accounts to your new mobile’s Google Authenticator app.
While using the QR code for exporting and importing of the accounts in the Google Authenticator app makes everything easy, we have to be very careful through the process. Do not share this QR code with anyone. Do not save this QR code anywhere. And do not scan the QR code from other people’s smartphones.