How to Use Google Authenticator – Everything You Need To Know

Decades ago, companies have implemented a one-time password to provide more security to their customers’ account. Due to the popularity of one-time password (OTP) and the added security it provides, Google has also implemented the security feature under the introduction of an app called Google Authenticator.

With Google Authenticator, accounts and services that support it will require the password it generates if the owners of the account logs-in to an unfamiliar device. For example, you will typically use your smartphone to log-in to your Google accounts. Google will then be aware of this and will be able to familiarize its services with the unique address of your device.

Logging your Google accounts into a different device, in which Google is not familiar with, will cause Google to require an additional password generated by the app. This is to ensure that the individual who is attempting to log in a Google account to an unfamiliar device is the owner of the account.

The added layer of security that the Google Authenticator app provides is definitely a welcome and most sought out feature with today’s technological age. Most especially how easy it is to get your accounts stolen through phishing and other means.

If you are new and are unfamiliar with Google’s authenticator app, fret now. We will show you how to use the Google Authenticator app and tell you everything you need to know about it.

How Does Google Authenticator 2-Step Verification Work?

Key Features

  • Generate verification codes without a data connection
  • Google Authenticator works with many providers & accounts
  • Support for Android Wear
  • Dark theme available
  • Automatic setup via QR code

Google authenticator is also used by millions of WordPress administrators to harden the security of their website’s login. Learn more on how to add two-factor on your WordPress with the best WordPress two-factor authentication plugins.

Learn more about Google Authenticator here.

How To Use Google Authenticator App

Before anything else, using the app will induce an additional step before you can log-in to your Google accounts on an unfamiliar device. You can, however, tell Google that you don’t want a 2-step verification that the app implements by registering your device and linking your accounts with it on your Google accounts.

On the other hand, as a reminder, using the Google Authenticator will require you to have the app installed on your smartphone. Additionally, this will implement an extra step before you can log-in to your accounts on an unregistered device.

1. Install Google Authenticator App

Google Authenticator App
Google Authenticator App

Before you can use the 2-Step verification that Google offers with their app, you first need to download and install the Google Authenticator app. If you are using an iPhone, iPad, or an iOS device, you can download the app from the Apple App Store.

For Android devices, you can download the app from the Google Play store or by clicking/tapping the link below.

2. Enable 2 Step Verification

2-Step Verification

After installing the app. Ensure that you have enabled the 2 Step Verification on your Google account. If you haven’t yet and don’t know how to do it, simply do the following:

  1. Go to and log in your Google account.
  2. Proceed to Security tab found on the left side quick menu.
  3. Look for Signing in to Google.
  4. Tap/Click on 2-Step Verification.

After the 4th step, you will then be prompted to the 2-Step Verification settings page. In this page, Google will let you configure your preference on how to use the app. This will also be the page that will let you configure how the 2-Step verification will work. For now, ignore the rest and proceed to Set up alternative second step.

3. Set Up The Alternative Second Step

Authenticator Setup

On the 2-Step Verification page, proceed to set up alternative second step and click/tap Set Up under the Authenticator app. This will then prompt a modal asking that you launch the app to begin setup.

Additionally, Google will want to know a couple of things before the setup begins such as the device you are using and provide a QR code linked directly to your Google account.

In this step, tap Begin and follow the instruction. Select Android if you are using an Android smartphone or iPhone if you have an iPhone instead. Google will then provide a QR Code for you to scan with the app. This will then create a unique software token that will link the authenticator and your Google account. Don’t forget to fulfill the verification code for all of this to work.

4. Launch App to Begin Setup

Once you’ve enabled the 2-Step verification option on your Google account, the next step is to launch the Google authenticator app. Launching the app will let you start setting it up with your Google account.

And once you have scanned the QR code using the app, then you’re pretty much done. That’s how easy it is to set up the Google Authenticator app with your Google accounts.

If you wish to learn more about the complete list of services and company that uses and support the Google Authenticator app, you can refer to this list.

All you have to do is type the name of the company or website that you are interested to know. A list will then be provided to you after you key in the keywords. On the result list, observe the Software Token. If the company that you are looking for is on the list and has a check in the Software Token then that means that the company in that list with the checkmark supports the use of the Google Authenticator app and is compatible with their services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Google Authenticator work offline?

Yes, once you linked your Google Authenticator app with your accounts, Google Authenticator will work offline.

When to use Google Authenticator?

The best time to use Google Authenticator is now. It does not just add an extra layer of security for your devices, it also provides you more ways to recover your linked accounts.

Where is Google Authenticator QR code?

The QR code for your Google accounts can be found inside your Google account settings. All you have to do is proceed to the 2-step verification settings page and open the authenticator app settings. You will the QR code there.

Extra Layer of Security with Google Authenticator 2-Step Verification

Setting up the Google Authenticator app is not as complicated as it sounds. Google will also provide a step by step guide on what to do once you install the app.

Overall, the extra layer of security that the Google Authenticator provides is definitely a sought out idea by most companies. It not just ensure that you own the account that you are logging, it also protects your account and information when logging in the public places where vulnerabilities and attacks are most likely to happen.

So, we hope that we helped you in understanding how to use the Google Authenticator. Have questions, comments, or suggestions? Do let us know in the comment section below!

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