How to transfer Google Authenticator to a new phone?

Google Authenticator is an increasingly important tool for many of us.

It adds two-factor authentication to vital accounts by ensuring you need to use your smartphone to enter a randomly generated key alongside your usual password. 

With great power comes complications, though. For instance, what happens if you need to switch smartphones?

 Fortunately, it's fairly easy to transfer Google Authenticator to a different device, even if it might feel a little nerve-wracking. 

Whether you're using an Android phone or iPhone, the process is very similar now. 

1. Open Google Authenticator.

2. Tap the three dots in the upper-right corner to bring up a drop-down menu.

3. Tap Export Accounts. On some devices, this may also be called Transfer Accounts but the same process applies. 

4. Tap Continue or Export Accounts to get past Google explaining what it means to export an account. 

5. On some devices, you may need to confirm your identity again, either via Face ID, fingerprint ID or by entering your phone's password or PIN.

6. Choose which accounts you wish to transfer to your new device. 

7. Tap Export. Still not sure if that's what you want to do? Don't worry. You're still not committed to anything! 

8. A QR code will appear and your screen will get much brighter. Scan that code with the Google Authenticator app on your new phone to get it added on.

9. To get to that point, you need to tap Get Started on the new phone before tapping Import Exist Accounts. 

10. Tap Scan QR code before scanning that QR code on your old phone. You'll need to do this for each account but Google Authenticator simplifies the process by listing each barcode as you go along.

11. Once you've done all that, on your old phone, tap next to move onto one of the last steps.

12. Now you can choose whether to remove all the exported accounts or whether to keep them on your old device. If you plan on using your old device, it could be worthwhile keeping them.

13. Also, don't forget that the more devices you have set up for Google Authenticator, the less secure it may be. Obviously, that's assuming someone has your phone password.