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What happens if you delete Google Authenticator?

Answer

The steps below outline how you can remove an Authenticator app from your device without un-linking it on other devices. It is still accessible to your synced devices, but the original device will now be removed.

Deleting the Authenticator will not break your 2-Step Verification if you have setup a backup method in case you lose your phone. Since Google Authenticator creates a key, deleting it won’t delete any other information or account data from your device. The only side effect is that you’ll need to set up Google Authenticator again on another device before using it to sign in with 2-Step Verification.

To see how to activate or deactivate Backup Codes for SMS follow this link: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6010255?hl=en&ref_topic=5120740

Can I use Google Authenticator without using 2-step verification?

Yes, you can use Google Authenticator as a simple second factor authentication app without enabling 2-step verification.


Why do I need to verify my mobile phone number?

The Google Authenticator application uses your phone number as an identifier. Because having access to a user’s mobile device is a fairly common form of attack, we require users to confirm their identity via SMS before granting them access to the application. It also allows us to send notifications about changes in your account status and quickly get in touch with you if there’s an issue that needs your attention.

Do I need 2-Step Verification enabled for two-factor authentication?

Google Authenticator is one of several methods available for logging into an account using 2-Step Verification. However, you can’t enable 2-Step Verification for a specific account without also enabling Google Authenticator. The only exception is when you’re setting up 2-Step Verification on your account for the first time: in this case, if you already have a device that supports Google Authenticator or another authenticator app installed, then you can use it as the second factor and do not need to generate backup codes.

How long does my backup code last?

Your Backup Codes don’t expire; however, each one becomes unusable after 10 failed attempts to sign in with it. If your Backup Codes are approaching 10 invalid login attempts and you haven’t used them recently, we recommend rotating them so they remain useful and protecting your account.

Why is Google Authenticator not available on Windows Phone?

Google Authenticator isn’t currently available for download in the Windows Phone Store, but a number of third-party apps are available. We’re reaching out to developers who have created these applications to make them aware that they should use Google’s official API and develop against our standards, so that we display their application correctly in search results. Depending on how the developer responds to our outreach, we may need to take further action. In some rare cases, we may choose not to allow an application on its network because it poses a security or privacy threat; however, this only occurs after careful consideration.

If you have questions about an app that claims to support Google Authenticator for your account, please contact that app’s developer before continuing to use it.

Can I still use Google Authenticator after disabling 2-step verification?

If you delete 2-Step Verification, you’ll also need to remove the application from your devices or it won’t work. You can remove the application by going to Manage Your Account in sign-in & security and following these steps:

1. Select “Signing in to Google” https://www.google.com/settings/security/signin#signInEnabled, then click “Remove.” Click here for detailed instructions on how to disable two-factor authentication for your account: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/185833?hl=en&ref_topic=5120740

If you disable 2-Step Verification and no longer want to use Google Authenticator, follow the steps below:

1. Open Google Authenticator on your device.

2. Open up the menu by tapping the three dots in the top right corner, then select “Settings”. Click here for instructions: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6010255?hl=en&ref_topic=5120740

3. Select “Backup codes” and click “Remove.” You’ll see a final notification that says, “Google Authenticator has been removed from this device.” When you’ve completed this step, there will be no backup codes available for use with your account.

4. Alternatively, to remove the authenticator app from your device without deleting 2-step verification altogether:

Open up the Google Authenticator App and select “Settings.” Select “Remove Authenticator” at the bottom of the screen. You’ll see a final notification that says, “Google Authenticator has been removed from this device.” When you’ve completed this step, you can still sign in using 2-Step Verification via SMS or one of our other authentication methods. To learn more about how to get started with these alternate options: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6128077?hl=en&ref_topic=5120740

When you remove the authenticator from a device, Google will also delete your current secret key. When you sign in again with 2-Step Verification, you’ll be prompted to set up an alternative second step before adding your account to a new device.

If you still see backup codes on your secondary devices after following these steps:

Follow these instructions to remove Google Authenticator from your other devices: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6010255?hl=en&ref_topic=5120740 If you can’t find the app after removing it and would like to install it again, follow these steps: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6010255?hl=en&ref_topic=5120740

After I remove the authenticator from my devices, how will I sign in?

If you’ve disabled 2-Step Verification and don’t want to use Google Authenticator with your account anymore, follow the steps here: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6128077?hl=en&ref_topic=5120740 If you’re changing phones or need to add another device to your account, you’ll be prompted to set up an alternative second step before adding a new device. Follow these instructions: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6010255?hl=en&ref_topic=5120740

While removing the authenticator app will not delete your 2-Step Verification, it means you won’t be able to use Google Authenticator anymore. If you want to continue using authenticator apps with your account, we recommend adding a backup method of authentication while maintaining 2-Step Verification for an extra layer of security: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/185833?hl=en&ref_topic=5120740

If you’re still having trouble signing in after following these steps, please try the sign-in troubleshooter tool by clicking here: https://www.google.com/accounts/Troubleshooter#signin

I still see backup codes in my Authenticator app, after following these steps. What should I do now?

It’s possible that Google has generated new backup codes for you. To check this, go to the Google Authenticator settings menu: Settings -> Advanced -> Back up account -> Restore by scanning barcode If you don’t see any new backup codes here, please try the sign-in troubleshooter tool: https://www.google.com/accounts/Troubleshooter#signin This will help provide our engineers with more information about what may be causing your issue with signing in.

I tried disabling 2-step verification on another device shortly after the authenticator was removed from my primary phone. Did anything go wrong?

Unfortunately, yes. If a user disables 2-Step Verification only a few minutes after the authenticator app is removed, and they try to sign in with 2-Step Verification again on another device, there’s no way for Google to generate backup codes or complete SMS based verification (if you have that enabled as well). This check is in place to protect your account and prevent unauthorized access if someone were to gain access to your backup codes. As a result, you will get an “incorrect code” error when trying to use the authenticator app removal code without first setting up an alternative second step. This only impacts devices that are used after your authenticator has been removed from the first device. Other accounts linked to the same phone number or email will not be impacted.

What happens if you delete Google Authenticator?

The steps below outline how you can remove an Authenticator app from your device without un-linking it on other devices. It is still accessible to your synced devices, but the original device will now be removed.

What happens if I uninstall Google Authenticator?

If you delete your Google Authenticator, you’ll lose access to any service that was enabled through this app. To prevent losing all tokens for services like Google and Facebook, backup codes are offered to use in case the authenticator is lost.

Why you should never use Google Authenticator?

Another disadvantage to Google Authenticator is that does not require a passcode or biometric lock. This makes the app easier for malware to access and steal the Authenticator code, making deleting this app valuable.

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