How to Install Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator is a free app from Google that helps you sign into websites and services securely. If your email account, workplace, bank, or other service has asked you to install the Google Authenticator so you can use two-factor verification or two-step authentication, you’ll just need to install the app on your Android, iPhone, or iPad, and then set it up with the service you want to use. This wikiHow teaches you how to install and set up Google Authenticator on your smartphone or tablet.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Android

  1. Open the Play Store on your Android . It’s the multicolored triangle icon labeled “Play Store” in your app list.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 1 Version 3.jpg
  2. Type into the Search bar. It’s at the top of the Play Store.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 2 Version 3.jpg
  3. Tap in the search results. It’s the app with a round gray vault icon.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 3 Version 3.jpg
  4. Tap the green button. Depending on your settings, you may have to verify your PIN or approve the download. When the download is complete, the “Install” button will change to “Open,” and Authenticator’s vault icon will be added to your app list.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 4 Version 3.jpg
  5. Enable two-factor verification (2FA) or two-step authentication for the site or service you want to sign in to. You can use Google Authenticator to sign into many different sites and services, including Google (of course), Facebook, Coinbase, Discord, Amazon, and Twitch.[1] If your workplace or school supports 2FA, you can usually use Google Authenticator for that as well.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 5 Version 3.jpg
    • To get started, locate the area of the site or service that allows you to set up two-factor authentication or two-step authentication, and then select the option to use an authentication app. You may be prompted to re-enter your password to confirm the change. The steps vary by service, so if you’re not sure how to set up 2FA, check with the site administrator or help area.
    • When setting up two-factor authentication or two-step authentication, you’ll usually see a QR code that you’ll be prompted to scan. Because of this, you’ll want to use a computer, or a different phone or tablet, to enable this feature on your account. That’ll allow you to scan the QR code with your Android. If you only have one device available, choose the option to display a setup key instead of a QR code.
  6. Open Authenticator. If you’re still in the Play Store, tap Open. Otherwise, tap the new vault icon in your app list.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 6 Version 3.jpg
  7. Tap . This takes you to the “Setup your first account” screen.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 7 Version 3.jpg
  8. Select a setup method. This part depends on the site or service you’re setting up.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 8 Version 3.jpg
    • The Scan a QR code option is the most common—choose this option if setting up 2FA on the site or service resulted in displaying a QR code.
    • If you see a string of text called a “setup key,” select Enter a setup key instead.
  9. Scan the QR code or enter the setup key. Once verified, Authenticator will be ready to use.
    Scan a QR Code Step 14 Version 2.jpg
    • If you selected the option to scan a QR code, tap ALLOW when prompted to give Authenticator permission to access your camera, and then align the QR code in the viewfinder.
    • If you’re entering a setup key, type a name for the account, enter the key, and choose a key type from the menu (the option you will choose varies by the service you’re setting up; just make sure you select the option required by your service provider) and tap Add.

[Edit]iPhone/iPad

  1. Open the App Store on your iPhone or iPad . It’s the blue icon with a white “A” in your app list.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 10 Version 3.jpg
  2. Tap . It’s the magnifying glass icon at the bottom-right corner.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 11 Version 3.jpg
  3. Type into the Search bar and tap . This displays a list of matching search results.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 12 Version 3.jpg
  4. Tap in the search results. It’s the app with a round gray vault icon.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 13 Version 3.jpg
  5. Tap . Depending on your settings, you may have to verify your PIN or approve the download. When the download is complete, the “GET” button will change to “Open,” and Authenticator’s vault icon will be added to your app list.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 14 Version 3.jpg
  6. Enable two-factor verification or two-step authentication for the site or service you want to sign in to. You can use Google Authenticator to sign into many different sites and services, including Google (of course), Facebook, Coinbase, Discord, Amazon, and Twitch. If your workplace or school supports 2FA, you can usually use Google Authenticator for that as well.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 15 Version 3.jpg
    • To get started, locate the area of the site or service that allows you to set up two-factor authentication or two-step authentication, and then select the option to use an authentication app. You may be prompted to re-enter your password to confirm the change. The steps vary by service, so if you’re not sure how to set up 2FA, check with the site administrator or help area.
    • When setting up two-factor authentication or two-step authentication, you’ll usually see a QR code that you’ll be prompted to scan. Because of this, you’ll want to use a computer, or a different phone or tablet, to enable this feature on your account. That’ll allow you to scan the QR code with your iPhone or iPad. If you only have one device available, choose the option to display a setup key instead of a QR code.
  7. Open Authenticator. If you’re still in the App Store, tap Open. Otherwise, tap the new vault icon on your home screen.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 16 Version 3.jpg
  8. Tap . This takes you to the “Setup your first account” screen.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 17 Version 2.jpg
  9. Tap a setup method. This part depends on the site or service you’re setting up.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 18 Version 2.jpg
    • The Scan a QR code option is the most common—select it if setting up 2FA resulted in displaying a QR code.
    • If you see a string of text called a “setup key,” select Enter a setup key instead.
  10. Scan the QR code or enter the setup key. Once verified, Authenticator will be ready to use.
    Scan a QR Code Step 3 Version 3.jpg
    • If you selected the option to scan a QR code, tap ALLOW when prompted to give Authenticator permission to access your camera, and then align the QR code in the viewfinder.
    • If you’re entering a setup key, type a name for the account, enter the key, and choose a key type from the menu (usually Time based, but the service you’re setting up may require a different option; either way, the option will be clear in your service provider’s instructions) and tap Add.

[Edit]Using Google Authenticator to Sign In

  1. Log in to the site or service. When you’re ready to sign in to the site or service you’ve added to Google Authenticator, open its login screen and enter your typical username and password to sign in. Once approved, you’ll be prompted to enter a verification code.[2]
    Install Google Authenticator Step 20 Version 2.jpg
  2. Open Google Authenticator on your phone or tablet. It’s the gray vault icon on your home screen or in your app list.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 21 Version 2.jpg
  3. Enter the code. As soon as you open Google Authenticator, you will see a 6-digit numeric code for the account(s) you’ve associated with the app. Codes refresh automatically every 30 seconds. This code is what you’ll need to enter into the site or service to complete the login process. Once the code is verified, you’ll be signed in.
    Install Google Authenticator Step 22 Version 2.jpg
    • This code actually changes every 30 seconds, so you’ll only have 30 seconds to enter the code. If you are still typing the code when it refreshes, erase what you’ve typed and enter the new code instead.
    • If you’re entering the code on the same phone or tablet, simply tap it to copy it to your clipboard, and then paste it into the verification screen by tapping-and-holding the verification blank and selecting Paste.

[Edit]Tips

  • You can add multiple accounts to Authenticator. To do so, set up 2FA on another site, open Authenticator, tap the + at the bottom-right, and then choose to Scan a QR code or Enter a setup key for a new service.
  • If you switch to a new phone or tablet, you can transfer the accounts to that device.

[Edit]References

[Edit]Quick Summary

Previous Entries Asus Zenfone 8 specs surface in full, detailing all of the hardware Next Entries How to Check Your Heart Rate and Breathing with Your Android Phone