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Google Authenticator finally supports Google Account sync

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Google is finally adding Google Account backup and sync capabilities to its authenticator app, addressing a big gap that could lock users out of their accounts should they lose their devices. Specifically, the company is adding the ability to back up your one-time codes to your Google account. The authenticator app is also getting a new icon. 

According to Google, this is a “major piece of feedback” for the app. Up until now, one-time codes in the authenticator app were stored locally on a single device. This means that users would lose the ability to sign in to any service on which they’d set up 2FA using Google authenticator if they lost their device. That said, the company is also keeping the option of using the app without your Google account open. 

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Photo by Sarah Pflug

The app was released all the way back in 2010 as a “free and easy way” for sites to add 2FA protection to their user accounts. As the company continues its push towards a passwordless future, authentication codes become all the more important meaning backing them up in the cloud increases both convenience and security. The update also comes alongside the Google Password Manager built-in to Android and Chrome getting more visibility. 

The new cloud sync capabilities are still rolling out and will be available in version 6 of the Android app and version 4 of the iOS one. Once the new version is installed, users will have to go through a set-up process and get the following features:

  • Cloud sync abilities: Authenticator codes can now be synced to your Google account across your devices, meaning they can be accessed from any device with your Google credentials. 
  • Improved user interface and visuals.
  • New app icon and illustrations

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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