windows, how to, microsoft, android

Google Authenticator can be very useful, but it’s annoying that Google hasn’t made an official app for the desktop yet. However, you can use it on your Windows PC via other means. Let’s explore the ways you can use Google Authenticator on PC.

Content

  • Exporting Google’s 2FA Code to Your PC
  • 1. WinAuth
  • 2. WinOTP Authenticator
  • 3. Authy
  • 4. 2 Factor Authentication
  • 5. GAuth Authenticator
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Exporting Google’s 2FA Code to Your PC

To do this, you’re going to need to generate a “secret code” for Google Authenticator (Android | iOS). This is the seed from which the code generators can make codes that work with Google.

  1. To get the secret code, head to the Google Account security page.
  2. Scroll down until you get to the “Signing in to Google” section.
  3. Select “2-Step Verification.”

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. If Google knows you have a phone connected to your account, it will take you through the steps to set up a basic phone notification service. Press on “Get Started.”

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. After you have completed the steps, you’ll have the chance to set up the Authenticator app. While we’re not going to download the actual app, we do need to pretend we are getting the secret key. Click “Set up.”

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. On the next screen, press on “+ Set up authenticator.”

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Go through the prompts until it asks you to scan a QR code. Under the code, click “Can’t scan it?”

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Look for the secret key and copy it. This is what you’ll enter into third-party apps when they ask for a key. However, be sure to keep it a secret. If someone else gets this information, they can use it to get into your Google account!

windows, how to, microsoft, android

Now that we have the code, let’s see where we can put it.

1. WinAuth

If you’re worried about a third-party app stealing or leaking your code, try WinAuth. Its major draw is that it’s an open-source app that you download to your PC. As such, there’s no obfuscated code or cloud storage that can leak your key.

  1. Once WinAuth is running on your PC, go ahead and add a new Google account.

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Enter your secret code from the Authenticator app, then click the “Verify Authenticator” button.

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Take a look at the code that has been generated below, under the “Verify Authenticator” button. Try to remember it.
  1. Now go back to your Google security settings page, where the pop-up containing the secret code should be still opened and press “Next.”

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Enter the 6-digit code generated by WinAuth and press “Verify.”

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. If everything is done correctly, Google will show you a confirmation window letting you know that the app has been successfully configured. Just click on the “OK” button to save the changes in your Google account.

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Back in the WinAuth window, click on the “OK” button to save the changes in the WinAuth application.
  2. As soon as you click on the “OK” button, WinAuth will open the “Protection” window that allows you to set a password to encrypt the files saved by WinAuth. This ensures any unauthorized access will be blocked. Simply enter the password twice and click on the “OK” button to save the changes.

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Alternatively, you can also set WinAuth to encrypt files so that it can only be used on the current computer, but using the password protection is much more viable.

Now you can use the Google Authenticator on your Windows PC using WinAuth.

2. WinOTP Authenticator

WinOTP Authenticator is actually exclusive to Windows, and you can download it directly from the Microsoft Store.

  1. Click the “+” button at the bottom to add a new service.

windows, how to, microsoft, android

While the app claims to be able to read QR codes, we had trouble getting it to work, but definitely give it a try to see if it works for you. It took several tries for us.

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Otherwise, all you have to do is enter the name of the service, your username, and your code. Then, you’re all set. For the service name and username, you can pick what you want, but make sure you’re able to tell different services apart.

3. Authy

If you want to sync your mobile and PC codes, try Authy (Windows | macOS | Linux | Android | iOS). You can use it as a standalone on your PC, but it does ask you for your phone details during signup. If you have Authy on your phone, you can quickly sync your details between the two devices.

  1. On the PC version of Authy, click the plus icon at the top right.

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Paste the secret key in the box and then hit the “Add Account” button.

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. You can name and assign a color to the account. Once you’ve set it up, you’ll have a working Google code.

4. 2 Factor Authentication

2 Factor Authentication currently only supports Google, Microsoft, LastPass, and Facebook accounts, but it does work well as a Google authenticator on PC.

  1. Start by pressing the “+” icon at the bottom to add a new account.
  1. Enter a name for the account, such as Google, then enter your secret key.

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. You can also use the camera icon to scan a QR code if available. This worked better than WinOTP Authenticator, but not perfectly.

5. GAuth Authenticator

If you want something in your browser, you can try the GAuth Authenticator (Web | Chrome extension).

  1. To add your authenticator to GAuth click on the pencil on the top right.
  2. Click “Add.”

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Enter the name of the account name (in this case, Google) and the secret key.

windows, how to, microsoft, android

  1. Once done, you’ll have a functioning authenticator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Google Authenticator on my PC and my smartphone at the same time?

Yes. However, you must use the same code on both devices. Ideally, you should set up your phone and PC at the same time. If you’ve already set up Google Authenticator on one device, you may need to disable it on the services you use and re-enable with a new code. During the process of getting a new code, you can use the same code on your PC and mobile device. Google steps you through the process, including how to back up your codes.

Do I have to start from scratch any time I add Google Authenticator to a new PC?

There is a trick to making the transition to a new PC easier than having to set up Google Authenticator from scratch. However, you need to do this during the initial setup.

When you’re given QR codes for each site, print them or screenshot them to save for later. Make sure you name each code so you know which sites they belong to. Then, if you need to set up a new PC to use Google Authenticator, you just need to install your chosen app from the above list and add in your QR codes. It’s quicker and doesn’t involve having to remove 2FA from any accounts.

Why is it a good idea to have Google Authenticator on your PC?

While many services want users to rely solely on their phones for 2FA, it’s not feasible. Phones get hacked, lost, and broken, leaving you with no access to your Google Authenticator codes. Even if you’re just being texted codes to enter, you’re still stuck if you don’t have access to your phone for any reason. By using your desktop, you don’t have to rely on your smartphone to into any accounts that use 2FA via Google Authenticator. Of course, this only works as an alternative if you’re only logging into your accounts when you’re at your computer.

Image credit: Firmbee.com via Unsplash All screenshots by Crystal Crowder

TECH NEWS RELATED

Leak reveals watch bands and watch faces of the upcoming Google Pixel Watch

The latest leak of the Google Pixel Watch reveals more about the upcoming smartwatch. Tipster @OnLeaks published a series of purported promotional materials which reveal the various watch bands and watch faces of the Google Pixel Watch. The Google Pixel Watch is seen with silicon band (black, dark gray, ...

View more: Leak reveals watch bands and watch faces of the upcoming Google Pixel Watch

Leaked Pixel Watch renders reveal design and three color options

The Google Pixel Watch has made an appearance online in the form of leaked renders ahead of its imminent launch. Google will be unveiling its first-ever smartwatch on Thursday, October 6. However, the upcoming smart wearable has been floating around the rumor mill for quite some time now. The Pixel ...

View more: Leaked Pixel Watch renders reveal design and three color options

YouTube Shorts to drive long-term India-first innovations

YouTube is eyeing more India-first innovations, a senior executive said, citing its short-video format Shorts, which was developed in the country and scaled up for the rest of the world. YouTube Shorts was Google’s answer to Meta-owned Instagram’s Reels and Chinese ByteDance-owned short-video app TikTok. “We hope to do a ...

View more: YouTube Shorts to drive long-term India-first innovations

4 Best Alternatives of Google Stadia

As we all know, Google surprisingly announced to shut down its cloud gaming service, Stadia. Even a month ago, the company denied the rumors of its shutdown. The company has also announced to refund of the hardware and software transactions, so there is no need to be disappointed. However, ...

View more: 4 Best Alternatives of Google Stadia

Pre-order the Google Pixel 7 Pro and get a FREE Pixel Watch

Google will hold a new product launch conference on October 6 where it will launch the Google Pixel 7 series. This series will have two models including the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro. The company will also release a variety of new accessories. As the launch date approaches, ...

View more: Pre-order the Google Pixel 7 Pro and get a FREE Pixel Watch

Does the 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Have Android Auto?

The Jeep brand has been offering its Wrangler models for years. Recently it rolled out its newest plug-in hybrid version, the 4xe, which is the company’s first adventure into electrification. Many potential Jeep shoppers, however, want to know if its connectivity systems are in line with modern times by offering ...

View more: Does the 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Have Android Auto?

How to Change Your Hotspot Name on iPhone and Android

Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock.com To make your mobile hotspot appear with a different name on other devices, you can modify your hotspot’s name on both your iPhone and your Android phone. We’ll show you how to do that. When you rename your hotspot, you can choose any name you want. Keep ...

View more: How to Change Your Hotspot Name on iPhone and Android

This Week in Apps: Google goes visual, Twitter copies TikTok, OG app drama

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. Global app spending reached $65 billion in the first half of 2022, up only slightly from the $64.4 billion during the same period in ...

View more: This Week in Apps: Google goes visual, Twitter copies TikTok, OG app drama

How to watch Google October event 2022 — Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch are near

Random: You Can (Kind Of) Thank Toby Fox For Sakurai's English YouTube Channel

How to Use Filter Function on Google Sheets (Detailed Guide)

Stadia died because no one trusts Google

Google Stadia Will Shut Down in 2023, All Purchases to Be Refunded

Here’s How Screenshots Work on Android

How to Fix “This Plugin is Not Supported” on Google Chrome

What Is Android System WebView and Should You Uninstall It?

Bungie, IO Interactive, and Ubisoft working to bring Stadia game saves to PC

YouTube TV now lets you subscribe to some add-ons without a base plan

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Pixel 6 Pro Camera Comparison: A Photo Is Worth $1,000

How To Use Android Auto Wireless: Ultimate Guide

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News