Google Authenticator: what it is, how to recover and troubleshoot!

Need to know how to use, how to recover or are you having a problem with the Google Authenticator? Even if you are not a cryptolover or investor, this tool for two-factor authentication is used on several platforms. Therefore, in this text, I will restrict myself to speak only of this application, with the topics:

  • What is the Google Authenticator;
  • What is Google Authenticator for;
  • How to use the Google Authenticator;
  • Problems with Google Authenticator; and
  • How to recover the Google Authenticator.

What is the Google Authenticator?

Google Authenticator is a two-factor security tool. That is, in addition to logging in to a specific platform or website with your password, you also need to place a token that changes every 30 seconds. You can get this app for iOS, Android and even a plug-in in your browser. The Google Authenticator is a simple tool to increase the security of online access and can be used in exchanges, schools, bank accounts, etc.

Google Authenticator passwords

What Google Authenticator is for?

It is quite common to find two-factor authentication using 3 methodologies: email, phone verification and Google verification. By e-mail, I don’t think it’s so safe, after all, if someone is hacking into your exchange account, they can also hack your email from any computer.

The phone verification and the Google Authenticator app, on the other hand, are through the smartphone and we hardly forget to take the smartphone with us. This way, you and anyone else will only be able to access your account if you also have your phone.


For this tutorial, I am using the prints I took making my Binance account, however, the procedure will be very similar on any other platform. And speaking of Binance, there is this tutorial with step by step for beginners who want to use Binance. Now, come on? 😊

How to use the Google Authenticator?

1. At Binance, you can choose to scan by SMS or the Google app. Click on the option you prefer. Although I use SMS at Binance, I prefer Google Authenticator (which I use for other exchanges. At Binance I’m just too lazy to change, lol 🤣)

Two-factor verification with Google Authenticator, example on exchange Binance

2. Using Google Authenticator, you will need to download it from your app store, be it iOS or Android. Click here to download it if you have Android or here, if your smartphone is from Apple;

Two-factor verification with Google Authenticator, example on exchange Binance

3. Open the Google Authenticator on your smartphone after downloading it. For security reasons, the app does not allow screenshots to be taken and therefore I will not be able to show you my screen here. But look over there in the bottom corner of the app, there will be a ➕ button click on it;

4. With the Google Authenticator open and ready on your smartphone, on the Binance website, click on “Next”, a QR Code will be displayed on the screen, as well as an alphanumeric code. “Oh, Jessica, but my phone has a broken camera, I won’t be able to scan! What do I do?”. In this case, you just have to copy the code and paste it manually into your application;

5. Now, scan or write the code in the app. If it works, it will appear in the Google Authenticator app, something like: “Plataform.com (your email)” and a sequence of 6 numbers below, which will change over time;

6. Back to the Binance screen, click “Next” again. Now, this step is VERY IMPORTANT and I will highlight step 7 below below 👇

7. GOOGLE AUTHENTICATOR BACKUP KEY

Dude … You only access your account on the exchange if you have your cell phone, right? What if you are stolen, lose it or drop it in the toilet of the bar? You will never access your account again, right? WRONG!
That’s why the backup key exists, which is like a seed in a wallet (which I explain in this text here). If something happens to your phone, you use this code to redeem the app on another device.
BUT, you have to take the same care that we take with the seed: write it down on paper, by hand, in a safe place, offline and don’t share it with anyone! OK?
“Jessica, but can’t Exchange help me with this?” Yes, but it will take at least 7 days and a lot of work for the platform to help you 🤷‍♀‍

8. After writing down the Google Authenticator backup password, you can click on “Next” there on the Binance or Exchange page you are using. A new screen will appear:

Two-factor verification with Google Authenticator, example on exchange Binance

9. Click on “Send code” to have a 6-digit password sent to your registered email. When you receive the code, enter it in the “Email verification code” field;

10. Now, go to the Google Authenticator app and type in the “Google verification code” field the 6-digit password that is being displayed on your phone screen (quick, you have a few seconds before the password changes!). And then, just send it. END.

TROUBLESHOOTING FOR GOOGLE AUTHENTICATOR


This part of the text I’m going to reserve just to update it, posing problems that you had with the tools and that we were solving. So, if you have any questions or problems, leave them in the comments 👇 for me to help you and post here, because your problem with the Google Authenticator may be the same as that of other classmates 🤗 I will put here two problems I solved for some customers.

GOOGLE AUTENTICATOR, INCORRECT OR INVALID CODE


Sync time with the Google Auth app


PROBLEM: I put the correct password on 2 factors Google Authenticator on the exchange, for example Binance, and the platform responds that the code is incorrect, wrong or invalid.
CAUSE: lack of synchronization between your phone’s time and the Google Authenticator app.
SOLUTION: on Google Authenticator app, click on the 3 dots in the top corner, then on “Settings”> “Time correction for codes”> “Synchronize now”. Wait and your application will be synchronized. Your smartphone’s date and time will not be affected.

ACCOUNT NOT VERIFIED WITH GOOGLE AUTHENTICATOR


PROBLEM: even when doing time synchronization on the cell phone and in the Google application, the problem of “invalid or incorrect code”, continued to appear.
CAUSE: The 2-factor verification process on the platform has not been completed. For example, I just passed the Google Authenticator tutorial and walkthrough here for you, correct? But let’s assume that you didn’t finish STEP 9 of the tutorial for any reason, be it carelessness, lack of Internet, power, etc. The password will appear in the app normally and the platform, in this example, Binance, will continue to ask you for verification 🤦‍♀‍
SOLUTION: Keep your Google Authenticator recovery key close to you, you may need to. Repeat this step by step that I wrote for you, since STEP 8. If that doesn’t work, delete the account that is appearing within your Google Authenticator application and repeat this tutorial since STEP 3.

HOW TO RECOVER GOOGLE AUTHENTICATOR


PROBLEM: Have you lost, broken or formatted your phone and now need to recover your Google Authenticator passwords? So let’s use the Google backup key. You know, the one I said in STEP 7 here in the tutorial? Itself!
SOLUTION: Download Google Authenticator on the new device. Then go to Settings> Import accounts> enter your backup code 👌

If none of this works to solve the problem you have with the 2-step verification of Google Authenticator, then my son (a) … take a deep breath and call me here in the comments or on the social networks below👇

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial with step by step and troubleshooting Google Authenticator! ♥

Jéssica.

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