Google backup codes: what you need to know and how to use them

Content
  1. Can’t receive codes via email, text or voice calls? Try this method instead
  2. Print or download backup codes from Google with your computer, iPhone or iPad
  3. Create Google Backup Codes on Android
  4. Find your Google backup codes on your computer
  5. Use Google Authenticator backup codes to login

Can’t receive codes via email, text or voice calls? Try this method instead

When you secure your Google Account with 2-Step Verification, you’ll need to enter a code to complete the sign-in. This code can be obtained via text message, voice call, Google Authenticator app, or security key.

In some cases, you don’t have a phone or security key. Be prepared for these emergencies; print a list of backup codes from Google and keep it in a safe place that only you know.

Print or download backup codes from Google with your computer, iPhone or iPad

After you set up your Google Account with 2-Step Verification, you can print or download a set of backup codes.

To get backup codes:

  1. Sign in to your Google account.

  2. Go to the two-step verification page. You must enter your password a second time to access this page.

  3. Scroll down to the section Backup Codes and choose Show codes .

  4. Select To download to save a text file containing the codes to your computer, iPhone, or iPad. Or choose seal to print the codes.

If your backup codes are lost or if you have used all codes, select Get new codes . You will have a new list of codes to work with and the old set of backup codes will become inactive.

Create Google Backup Codes on Android

The steps to get backup codes on an Android phone or tablet are slightly different:

  1. Open the app Settings , then go to bills > google > Manage your Google account .

  2. Select Safety .

  3. Select Two-step verification . You may need to enter your password.

  4. In chapter Backup Codes select Show codes .

  5. Select To download to save a text file of codes on your Android phone or tablet. Or choose seal to print the codes.

Find your Google backup codes on your computer

If you can’t find your Google backup codes after downloading, search your computer for the text file. The backup codes are in a file called Backup-codes-username.txt , true user name is your Google account name.

Use Google Authenticator backup codes to login

If you need to use a backup code to sign in to your Google account, find your list of backup codes before signing in.

Log in with the backup code as follows:

  1. Go to Google, Gmail or another Google service and select Enter .

  2. Select your account or enter your Gmail email address.

  3. Enter your password and select Further .

  4. Select extra options .

  5. Select Enter one of the 8 digit backup codes .

  6. Enter the backup code.

Once you use a code, it cannot be used again. Make sure you can cross this off your list.

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