We are excited to announce an update to Google Authenticator, across both iOS and Android, which adds the ability to safely backup your one-time codes (also known as one-time passwords or OTPs) to your Google Account.
Across all of your online accounts, signing in is the front door to your personal information. It’s also the primary entry point for risks, making it important to protect.
We make signing into Google, and all the apps and services you love, simple and secure with built-in authentication tools like Google Password Manager and Sign in with Google, as well as automatic protections like alerts when your Google Account is being accessed from a new device.
We released Google Authenticator in 2010 as a free and easy way for sites to add “something you have” two-factor authentication (2FA) that bolsters user security when signing in. While we’re pushing towards a passwordless future, authentication codes remain an important part of internet security today, so we’ve continued to make optimizations to the Google Authenticator app.
One major piece of feedback we’ve heard from users over the years was the complexity in dealing with lost or stolen devices that had Google Authenticator installed. Since one time codes in Authenticator were only stored on a single device, a loss of that device meant that users lost their ability to sign in to any service on which they’d set up 2FA using Authenticator.
With this update we’re rolling out a solution to this problem, making one time codes more durable by storing them safely in users’ Google Account. This change means users are better protected from lockout and that services can rely on users retaining access, increasing both convenience and security.
In addition to one-time codes from Authenticator, Google has long been driving multiple options for secure authentication across the web. Google Password Manager securely saves your passwords and helps you sign in faster with Android and Chrome, while Sign in with Google allows users to sign in to a site or app using their Google Account. We’ve also been working with our industry partners and the FIDO Alliance to bring even more convenient and secure authentication offerings to users in the form of passkeys.
To try the new Authenticator with Google Account synchronization, simply update the app and follow the prompts.
Making technology for everyone means protecting everyone who uses it. We’re excited to continue building and sharing convenient and secure offerings for users and developers across the web.