Do you have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled on your Google account? Good. That’s smart. But don’t ignore the next important step!
Google provides a set of backup codes after you set up 2FA. If your primary authentication device is unavailable and you don’t have a backup phone on record, retrieving your Google account can be a nightmare. When this happens, there’s no way for you to receive the verification code.
That’s what these backup codes are for.
The account recovery process that Google has in place isn’t guaranteed to work. It involves recalling things like the month and year in which you set up your Google account. Can you believe that? But if you have your backup codes, you can bypass this headache.
Here’s how you can download the codes. When you’re signed into your Google account, click on your email ID at the top right. From the dropdown that appears, click on My Account.
Then follow this trail: Sign In & Security > Signing In to Google > Password & Sign-In Method > 2-Step Verification. You’ll find the backup codes in the Verification Codes tab on the next screen. Download or print them — and while you’re at it, add a backup phone number. You’ll thank us one day.
Remember that each backup code works only once, but you can always generate more if you run out.
Have you ever been locked out of your Google account because you didn’t have any backup codes handy? How did you get back in? If you have any tales of caution to share with our readers, feel free to do so in the comments.
Image Credit: jepoirrier