What is Google Authenticator? Complete guide to Google Authenticator

By Le Thanh | Instruments

What is google authenticator

Security is important when setting up an account on an exchange.

To secure your trading account, you will be required to perform 2-factor security (2FA Verification) through the Google Authenticator app.

In this article I will explain and guide you to install and use this security software.

Google Authenticator is a code generator used to log in accounts.

It consists of 6 random numbers that have a shelf life of just 30 seconds.

After 30 seconds, the application will automatically generate another 6 random numbers and so on.

Why use Authenticator software?

Google Authenticator will help generate a separate code for you to sign in to any app's account. Therefore, it is an indispensable tool when you use an application requiring high security.

And in the cryptocurrency market, this is your top concern. You do not want your property or personal information to be stolen, do you?

And 2-layer security with Authenticator is almost mandatory action when trading on the floor.

Not only that, Authenticator authentication has a simple process. Just install the app on your smartphone and there are 6 numbers of code every 30 seconds.

The popular Authenticator software

There are two of the most popular Authenticator software in the world, Google Authenticator and Authy.

Google Authenticator

This is a free smartphone app from Google available for both Android and iOS.

The advantage is that it is very simple to use, helping beginners get familiar with 2FA security - 2-factor authentication.


Google Authenticator has the disadvantage of being unable to sync, only use on one device.

When switching to another device, you must reset your account. This process is very time consuming and laborious.

Authy is the application that solves this problem. This is the best multi-phone solution.

Compare Google Authenticator and Authy

Google Authenticator

  • Operating system: Android, iOS. There are some clients that develop Google Authenticator on Chrome, Windows, ...
  • Works on 1 device only.
  • When switching to a new phone, you need to log in to your Google account, change the phone number.


  • Operating systems: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and also applications on Chrome browser.
  • Use for multiple devices at the same time.
  • Allows you to back up all of your accounts.

When you want to transfer your Authy account to a new device, you just need to login and authenticate the account.

Instructions for installing Google Authenticator

Activate 2-factor authentication on Google accounts

Step 1: Go to your account settings page and sign in to your Google account.

Under Sign-in & security, select "Signing in to Google".

Step 2: In the Password & sign-in method, select “2-Step Verification”.

Step 3: Select “Get Started” to continue.

Step 4: Enter the password for your Google account and select “Sign in”.

Step 5: Google sets up phone-based verification.

You can enter the phone number in this step to become a backup number to use later.

Select "Try it" to have Google send the code to your phone.

Step 6: Once you have the verification code, enter the code and click Next.

Step 7: Select Turn On to finish activating 2-factor authentication.

Step 8: Sign out and then re-sign your Google account.

You will receive a text message with a 6-digit code, enter that code on the 2-Step Verification screen.

Step 9: At 2-Step Verification, select Setup in the Authenticator app section.

Step 10: In the dialog box that appears, choose the type of phone you use and Next.

Step 11: QR code or barcode is displayed.

Simply scan the code using the Google Authenticator app on your device as instructed below.

Step 12: Once you have generated the code on the Google Authenticator app, you will be back with your Google account.

Select Next and enter the 6 numbers and press Verify.

Step 13: Select Done and finished.

Install Google Authenticator on Chrome

Google Authenticator does not have an app for Chrome. But you can use another extension with a similar role Authenticator.

Be assured that this app still meets the security requirements, as it uses the API provided by Google Authenticator.

Step 1: Install the Authenticator extension on the Chrome browser here.

Step 2: Re-open the QR code 2-factor authentication of the Google account.

Click on the Authenticator extension, select "Scan QR code" and use the mouse to scan the code.

Install Google Authenticator on Android phones

Step 1: Download the Google Authenticator app for Android here.

Step 2: After installation is complete, open the application and click "+" at the top right corner of the screen.

Step 3: Click "Scan barcode" at the bottom of the screen to scan the QR code from your Google account.

Install Google Authenticator on Iphone

Step 1: Download the Google Authenticator app for iOS here.

Steps 2, 3 do the same with Android.

Install Google Authenticator on Windows

Google Authenticator doesn't have software for Windows, but can use WinAuth to link.

Step 1: Download software WinAuth here. Extract and install on your computer.

Step 2: To use Google Authenticator in WinAuth, select “Add” and select the “Google” option.

Step 3: Re-open your Google account with QR code in 2-factor authentication.

WinAuth does not support scanning QR codes, so please select “Can't scan the barcode” to enter it manually.

Step 4 Paste the secret code into the WinAuth window, select “Verify Authenticator”.

Step 5 Copy the created 6-digit code and paste it into your Google account, select "Verify and Save" to verify.

Google will display a successful confirmation window. Select Ok and finish.

Step 6: Return to WinAuth software. Click OK and set up a password to protect your account.

Install Google Authenticator for WordPress

Step 1: Access your WordPress site management interface. Select Plugin, find "Google Authenticator" and proceed to install the Plugin.

Step 2: Go to Users / Your Profile to edit personal account information to get QR Code.

Step 3: Go to the Google Authenticator app on your device to scan the code.

Instructions for using Google Authenticator

When you need to set up 2-factor authentication for any account, open the app and click "+" at the top right corner of the screen.

Click "Scan barcode" at the bottom of the screen to scan the QR code.

For example, with a Binance account, you just need to pick up your phone and scan the code as follows.

So Google Authenticator will start automatically generating 6-digit code.

Every time you need to sign in to Binance, you just need to open the app and see 6 numbers and enter it.

Important note: When you scan the QR Code on the Binance floor, the QR code will automatically disappear and exchange for a new QR code. Therefore, you should take a photo of the QR code before scanning.

Or you can also write a backup key. Later, when you need to backup the QR code on your new phone. You just need to re-enter this code and you're done.

Instructions for using Authy

The Authy app works similarly to Google Authenticator. For example, if you want to install 2-factor authentication for a Remitano account, you do the following:

Step 1: After installing Authy, go to Remitano's settings and activate the function.

Step 2: Go to the Authy app on your phone and scan the QR Code.

How to fix problems when losing 2FA codes

Instructions for Backup 2FA code

Google provides a backup code in case you lose your 2FA code.

To set up this code, click on "Setup" in the Backup codes section of "Set up alternative second step".

The Save your backup codes dialog box appears with a list of 10 backup codes. You will need to print them out and keep them in a safe place.

Each backup code can only be used once.

Sync Google Authenticator on new devices

Step 1: Install and sign in to the Google Authenticator app on the new device.

Step 2: Sign in to Google's 2-factor verification page.

Step 3: Click the pencil button next to the Authenticator section.

A pop-up will ask if you want to change your phone or remove the Authenticator from the account altogether.

Step 4: Select your new device type and scan the QR code with the Authenticator app on the new device.

Step 5: Finally, enter the verification code that appears on the screen to verify the device.

Before deleting Authenticator from your old device, remember to move the other accounts associated with the app.

You will need to visit each website individually and scan a QR code through the new device.

Some notes to remember when using Google Authenticator

Since Google Authenticator is only used on a single device, it takes a long time to restore the account.

Take care to keep your phone and always back up your Google account.

Besides, when switching to a new phone, make sure you re-create the linked accounts before deleting the app from your old phone.

Le Thanh

Cryptocurrency is a type of high-risk investment that yields high returns. Get involved with venture capital and always consider it before investing.

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