What to do if Google Authenticator codes don't work

If using Google Authenticator on Android codes don't work in the app, there are a couple of solutions to consider in this situation.

Google Authenticator is an application that we can use to access our accounts, as part of two-step verification. Many websites and applications in Spain are compatible with it, such as Facebook or PayPal, among others. It is presented as a very helpful tool to access our accounts safely, preventing someone from entering them without our permission.

As can happen with any app on Android, Google Authenticator may also have malfunctioned. If applicable, the app may not display codes when we need to sign in. Because of this problem, we find it impossible to enter any account.

This is a problem that can have multiple sources, it is not well known what causes it, so there are several possible solutions to apply in this case, which usually help the application to show again the codes necessary to log in to one of our accounts.

Code time correction

A common cause that causes Google Authenticator to not display the codes is that there has been a problem with the Time Correction feature for the codes. There are times when the time used in the app has not been synchronized with the current time, which is used on the phone at that time. That's why codes aren't displayed when we try to use it. All we have to do is restart that function, as follows:

  1. Open the app on your phone.
  2. Tap the three vertical dots.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. Go to Time Correction for Codes.
  5. Tap Sync Now.

Most commonly this will serve to make it work well again, as it is usually the most common problem that Google Authenticator usually experiences on Android. So with this simple step, you can have the codes back, although it won't always work.

Restart app and phone

The oldest solution in these cases, but it still works well. There are times when the application itself has a bug, and just close it, kill it from the recent apps menu and then open it again. When this is done, the codes make an appearance again in Google Authenticator, allowing us to use the app normally again. It's worth trying this option.

A step further will restart the phone, which also gives good results with any kind of problem, also when an app does not work well. If you're having trouble with this app, restart your device and when it's turned on again try using it again. The codes are probably displayed again and you can use them normally to access your accounts.

Install Google Authenticator on more devices

You may only have installed Google Authenticator on one of your devices, such as your Android phone. Typically, you're only going to need to use the app on a device, although in case of a problem like the current one or in situations like when the battery runs out or you don't have the device with you, it can be a serious inconvenience. In this situation, it is best to have this tool on more device.

Installing it on a tablet or an old phone that you don't, so giving it a real utility can be a good help. Since this way, if the android app is failing or your phone has run out of battery, you can resort to one of the other devices, to get the necessary codes to log into one of your accounts.

Also, you can move Google Authenticator from one device to another, so it's easy to have it on more than one device to be able to use it. The process doesn't have too many complications, as we showed you a while ago how it can be done. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the app on your phone.
  2. Go to Google's two-step verification website here. (do it from your computer)
  3. Sign in to your Google Account.
  4. Go to the Google Authenticator section.
  5. Tap the set option.
  6. Select the type of phone you're going to use.
  7. Tap Next.
  8. Open Google Authenticator on your new phone.
  9. Tap "Start Settings".
  10. Tap scan barcode.
  11. Scan the code on the screen on the Google website on your computer.
  12. Enter the code you are prompted for.

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