How To Backup Two Factor Authentication on Mobile

Jim Haynes

Lifetime Premium Supporter
Premium Supporter
#1
Hello - I was wondering if there is anyway to backup or resync two factor authentication accounts from a mobile device after it is hard reset or after you have transferred the data to a new phone.

So let's say you have a mobile device (Windows Phone, iOS, Android, doesn't matter) and you have your Authenticator app such as Microsoft Authenticator or LastPass Authenticator. You add various accounts to the app.

If you hard reset your phone or transfer it to another device you then have to re-add all those accounts to your app. However, you're not able to access your accounts because they still have the two factor authentication tturned on and obviously you have to go through the hassle of turning them off, setting up the accounts again and then turning back on two factor.

Is there anyway around all these steps? I understand that saving the settings in the cloud kind of defeats the purpose of two factor but I was thinking then, why can't you have two phones and sync the settings between them? So if you have Windows Phone and iOS or Android, install the same app on both phones and you keep one phone in a safe place while your regular phone you have with you. But if your regular phone is hard reset, you can still resync it with the phone that you only use to backup your two factor settings.

So I am trying to find out how people handle this issue since I have not been able to come up with a solution.
 


Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
#2
I would say it probably needs to be a feature of the authenticator app itself
 


Jim Haynes

Lifetime Premium Supporter
Premium Supporter
#3
I agree with you but I was hoping that someone had a similar problem and found a solution. Cause I'm thinking about it like passwords. We have password managers to handle the password issue but now that we have all these two factor logins, how are people handling its backup and re-deployment?

It's fine when a service has both text and the app to get the code; so if you don't have the app, simply get the text. But when there is only the app available, that is what creates the problem in my opinion.
 


Axel PC

Well-Known Member
#4
I know with Google you can print out a set of authentication codes. Then use them for when you don't have your cellphone or access to the backup number you picked either. You can just use one of those printed codes.
I don't know about LastPass but I'd be curious to know if they did have something similar.
 


ussnorway

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#5
in the special case of Microsoft I know it can be reset from their end but in most senarios the answer is no
 


Jim Haynes

Lifetime Premium Supporter
Premium Supporter
#6
I know with Google you can print out a set of authentication codes. Then use them for when you don't have your cellphone or access to the backup number you picked either. You can just use one of those printed codes.
I don't know about LastPass but I'd be curious to know if they did have something similar.
Agreed, but that's just for the Google login. I was referring to all of the accounts that one adds to the Authenticator app.
 


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