How to enable 2FA for Google & Gmail

Install Authy

The best way to manage all your 2FA accounts is to use the Authy app. It enables you to have a single mobile app for all your 2FA accounts and you can sync them across multiple devices, even accessing them on the desktop. Install Authy on your device by searching for it in your device’s app store.

Important: If any sites prompt you to use Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication, note that you can always substitute the Authy 2FA app instead. Although they work in similar ways, Authy is more feature-rich and allows for multi-device syncing, cloud-backups, and easier account recovery should you change or lose your phone or device. Read more information on the features of Authy here.

Locate 2FA

When logged into your Google or Gmail account, click on your account icon at the top right of the screen.  Then click “Manage your Google Account.”

In the next window, click “Security” in the top navigation. Then click on “2-Step Verification” on the next page.

The next pop-up will detail how the added security of 2FA works. After reading, click “Get Started.”

On the next pop-up, you will need to renter your Google password. When done, click “Next.”

On the next screen, Google asks you to set up your phone. Choose your country, and enter your phone number. You can then opt to receive a verification code via text or phone call. Make your choice and then click “Next.”

You will then receive a code via SMS, enter it into the field on the next screen and click “Next.”

Now that you have been verified, you can set up your Authy 2FA authenicator app. On the next screen, click “Set Up.”

Also – This is a good example of how other sites will prompt you to use Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication. While it makes sense that Google would want to promote their own app, but remember that you can always substitute the Authy 2FA app instead. 

Enable 2FA

First, choose the type of device you are authenticating with. Then click “Next.”

You will now be presented with a QR code which you will need to capture with your Authy app. Keep this window open as you reach for your Authy-enabled device.

To capture the QR code, launch Authy on your device. Click ‘Add Account’ at the bottom of the screen. You’ll be prompted to hold your phone up to your computer to ‘Scan QR Code’ and capture the QR code provided by Google.

Once the QR code is captured, Authy will display your Google account with the appropriate icon. If you desire you can also change the logo or the nickname you give the account right on the Authy app. When ready, click ‘Save’.

Then return to the computer screen and click “Next” below the Google QR code.

Finish Setup

The next screen will show an entry field. Return to your Authy app still opened to your Google 2FA account, and take note of the 6-digit code provided. Enter this code in the field and then click “Verify.”

You now have 2FA enabled for your Google and Gmail account. From now on, you will need to use the Authy app when you login.



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