My phone isn't working so well, so I'd like to factory reset it. However, I use Google Authenticator for a number of different websites. How can I resume using it after I rest my phone?

Can I wipe my phone even if I use it for 2-step verification? Discusses editing 2-factor settings for Google, but I don't want to change the settings for all my different accounts on different sites.

How To Geek has a post on using Titanium backup, but is there a simpler way?

5 Answers 5


When you initially set up two-factor authentication you should have been given a set of 10 single-use passwords and told to store them somewhere safely for use if the authenticator on your phone was unavailable. Alternatively if you don't want to use one of them, log into your Google account before the reset and turn on SMS message authentication for two-factor.

You can then use one of those methods to log back into your Google account the first time after you reset your phone.

Once you're into your Google account go through the normal method to reset up the Google Authenticator for 2-factor and when you get to the point that it shows you the QR code that you can scan from your phone to set up your account, print out or save the picture of that QR code (obviously make sure you store this securely). If you ever reset your phone again, or want to set up the Authenticator app on another device, you can just re-scan that same QR code again, it seems to work every time, years apart.

  • 1
    Thanks for the hint to the printed backups codes. Had them in my wallet and totally forgot about them. And a useful note here: You can't use these backup codes in the prompt you're facing when resetting your phone, because the backup codes are of 8-digit length instead of 6. You have to click "Problems with your code?" below (not sure about the correct wording, German version here) and follow the instructions. Took some time until I figured that out. -.-
    – maryisdead
    Mar 11, 2015 at 15:11

I use titanium backup a lot for when i switch roms (which is almost every week at the moment), and it works flawlessly with restoring the Google Authenticator. Never really looked into any other options though.


Same here, I've used Titanium backup to transfer my authenticator settings across 3 devices for multiple accounts and it has worked flawlessly.

I only backed up the app's data though - usually install the authenticator app from the play store then restore the data using TiBu.

So you could possibly explore the app's data path and backup those files.


If you use Google Authenticator for different websites the only solution is to disable and re-enable 2FA for each service. You can also use backup codes but take into account that not all services offer them. You can use Google backup codes only to restore an access to your Google Account.

When you use 2FA you make your account more protected and secure. Be careful with Titanium backup as root permission will make your device less protected since different viruses could get an access to protected memory areas. 2FA apps store seed keys and if the phone is rooted it makes easier for the hacker to gain access to it.


It's possible to "export" a qr code from within the Authenticator App. You can take a photo of it with another phone or your desktop webcam and then use the "import" feature within the Authenticator app once you've reinstalled it. You probably want to disable TFA on the Google (Gmail) account associated with the phone and Google Play before doing this, in case the picture is too blurry for importing after the reset.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .