Setting up Google Authenticator is as easy as scanning a QR code


A few weeks ago I posted the steps for enable Google two-step verification for one of your Gmail accounts. It gives us the hazy feeling that even if someone got their hands on our password, they still can’t get your account. The only problem is that in order to connect we need to be able to receive an SMS or a phone call. With the Authenticator app, Google aims to make our lives easier by allowing our smart devices to generate security codes. Today my goal is to show you how easy it is to set up the Authenticator app on your mobile device.


There are a few things that need to happen before you can continue with this setup.

  1. You must have set up two-step verification for your Google account. If you haven’t finished yet, please click here and follow the tutorial.
  2. You need to install the Google Authenticator app on your mobile device. This installation is as easy as downloading the app from Google Play.
  3. You must install a barcode reader. (if you don’t have one installed, Authenticator will ask you to install one)


Now that you’ve met the prerequisites, let’s jump right into setting up your device to be your mobile authenticator.

  1. From your favorite browser, open the Google Account Security page
  2. Click on “2-step verification”
  3. In the App Authenticator section, click on “Configuration”
  4. Choose your device type (Android, iPhone) and click “Next” to reveal a QR code
  5. Open the Authenticator app on your device
  7. Press ‘Scan a barcode’ (if you haven’t installed a barcode reader, you will now be prompted to do so)
  8. Scan the QR code that is open in your browser
  9. Click the “Next” button
  10. Type the code you see on your mobile device in the text box and click verify.
  11. Click on the Done option to complete your configuration


There you go, now you have the added security of a 2-step login process with the ease of a code generator on your mobile device.

A few points to note:

  1. You are only allowed to configure one device at a time as an authenticator,
  2. Make sure you never set this up on a publicly shared device,
  3. I recommend that you add a password to your device if you configure this feature, remember that the security is only as good as the person guarding it.

Now that you have this setup, let us know what you think. How do you use it in your daily life? What other security measures do you take? Hit us up in the comments to share the knowledge.

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