How to Sign In to an Account When You Have Lost Your Authenticator App
If you have lost your authenticator app, don't worry - there is still a way to sign in to your account. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps necessary to regain access to your account. Keep in mind that depending on the type of account you have, some of these steps may not be applicable. Let's get started!
No Access to Your Smartphone - Recovering the Authenticator
If you no longer have access to the phone on which the authenticator app is installed, your next actions are determined by whether you're signed in to the account you need to log in to on another device.
Recovering If You Are Logged Into the Account on Another Device
If you're still logged in to the account on another device, there's a chance it will work. Reset your authenticator in your account settings, which is typically linked to the app on the new phone. The thing you're looking for is most likely listed under Security. This setting is particularly useful if you use Google accounts. If you're signed in to any of Google's apps, such as YouTube, it will work with this feature.
In the settings of some (but not all) services, you can view the secret key or QR code of the authenticator. Simply enter the secret key or scan the QR code in the authenticator app on your new device to complete the installation.
Unfortunately, this approach doesn't always work. The difficulty is that not all services utilize the same settings in their Web version as they do in their mobile app. The option you're looking for might not be available on your device, since you're signed in using it.
Recovering Without Access to Your Account
If you're not logged in elsewhere and your phone with the authenticator is lost, destroyed, or stolen (in other words, if you no longer have access to it), or if the previous technique doesn't work, you won't be able to retrieve the authenticator.
What you can do now is get back access to your account. If you lost access to your account and it was with a major public service (e.g., Google, Facebook, or Instagram), you can simply regain entry by using another authentication approach.
To do so, go to your account settings and log in using your user name and password to begin the sign-in process, and if you need to use the authenticator app's one-time code, look for a "Try another way" (or similar) link.
Select the most convenient alternative — many services can send you the code by text, phone, or email — then wait for it to arrive. It won't take long, and eventually you'll be able to access your account.
Contact support services if your account access is blocked, for example, if you lose the authenticator app that does not have an automated way to restore access. You'll almost certainly be required to show proof of ownership.
When you're finally able to sign in to your account, connect the authenticator app to your new smartphone — and don't want to have to repeat everything if you lose your phone with the authenticator app — make a backup right away.
Wrap-Up: Always Have Alternatives
We hope that by understanding these methods, you'll be better prepared should something happen to your phone or authenticator app.
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