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One of the best ways to keep your online accounts safe from intrusion is to use 2-factor authentication (2FA). This adds a second layer to the sign-in, so you’ll need to use a one-way code (usually generated on your smartphone) to sign in successfully using a tool like Google Authenticator. Of course, this is the case if you actually have a smartphone with Google Authenticator installed. If not, your options are limited, but Google Authenticator can be used on your computer without needing another device. If you want to know how to use Google Authenticator on Windows 10, this is what you need.
There are now applications and browser extensions that allow you to generate 2FA codes right on your computer. That way, your phone doesn’t have to always be with you to be able to log into your web account by enabling 2FA.
How To Generate Google Authenticator
If your username and password expire or leaked online, your account is at risk. Even using a password manager at this point doesn’t help – you’ll need to change any passwords that have been compromised by the breach. To fix this problem, you can link your online account to a two-factor authentication service such as Google Authenticator. This will generate a one-time password (OTP) that you can use to successfully sign in to Google and other online services.
A secret code is like the master password – without it the code generated will not work for entering 2FA. This code only works for logging into your Google account. However, you will need a similar code to connect your other online services to the 2FA application on your Windows computer.
Steps To Generate Master Password
- To find the secret code for your Google Account, go to the Google Account website. Select Security in the menu on the left.
- In the secure area of the Google Account website, scroll to the Signing in with Google section and select the two-step verification option. You may need to log in again at this time.
- If you haven’t activated 2FA using your mobile device, you will need to follow the on-screen instructions on the two-step verification page. Next, scroll down to the Authenticator App tab and select Settings first.
- Choose Android or iPhone from the pop-up menu as it doesn’t matter. Select Next to continue.
- In the next step you will see a QR code which you should normally scan. However, they don’t want to, so select Unable to scan? As a replacement.
- The secret code for your Google Account is displayed in the field below using a combination of 32 letters and numbers.
- Write this down or make a copy. Then select Next to continue. Leave this page open as you will need it to complete the setup process afterwards.
Remember: Make sure you don’t give your secret key to anyone else as this can generate 2FA code for your account. After the process complete and saved your master password, Now you need to install 2FA application on PC.
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Install Google Authentication App For Windows 10
Unfortunately, there are a few apps that can be used to extend Google Authenticator support to Windows 10. WinAUTH is an exception. While WinAuth is still in active development, we can’t guarantee that it will continue. A Google Authenticator alternative will be provided.
With very few desktop apps available, the best alternative can be found on the Microsoft Store. One example is WinOTP Authenticator, an open source 2FA application that can be officially installed via the Microsoft Store, although the source code can be found on the developer’s GitHub page.
- First, download and install WinOTP Authenticator from the Microsoft Store. Once installed and opened, select the + (Add) icon at the bottom.
- You need to save your Google account information here. Enter Google under Services. Enter your Google Account email address as a username. Finally, enter your 32 digit secret code (with or without spaces) in the Codes tab before selecting Save to save it in the app.
- If successful, a six-digit single-use password will be displayed at the top of the window. Return to the Google Authenticator setup page (as described above). Go directly to the Google Authenticator setup page by selecting Setup from the Authenticator tab. Enter the six digit code you see on the WinOTP app into the Google Authenticator app setup box and select Verify to continue.
- Once verified, WinOTP Authenticator will be Google’s default authentication application for your account. You can then use WinOTP to generate the 2FA code. You will need to successfully sign into your Google account (and other Google services) in the future. If you want to delete the app at any time, click the delete icon next to the Authenticator App option listed in your Google Account Settings.
Simple Method to Remove Google Authentication App From Windows 10
With Google, you can only use one authenticator application at a time. Therefore, before removing the Google Authenticator function from your computer, you need to set this function on your other device. Otherwise, you won’t be able to generate a 2FA code to sign into your Google Account and you’ll usually be blocked from your own account (see How to Recover a Google Account). Configure the feature on your other device, then uninstall the Google Authenticator app that you installed on the computer.