Using an authenticator app to monitor and approve new devices trying to access your Google account is a great way to keep your account safe. However, if you don’t have access to your authenticator app and you try to access your Google account from a new device, you may find yourself locked out. To help prevent you from being totally locked out of your account in this situation, Google lets you download 8-digit backup codes for you to store somewhere safe in case of an emergency that you can use to access your account instead of entering the code from your authenticator. Please note that each of these 8-digit backup codes can only be used one time. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in both the YouTube video above and the image collection located beneath the steps.
Steps to Find Google 2-Step Verification Backup Codes
- Open a web browser and navigate to myaccount.google.com. I’ll walk through how to do this on a desktop browser. If you choose to do this on a mobile device, the path will be the same but some of the options may appear in a different place on the screen. You’ll land on your Google Account home screen.
- Select “Security.” The Security menu appears on the screen.
- Scroll down to the Signing in to Google section, and then click “2-Step Verification.” Enter the password associated with your Google account when prompted. You’ll land on the 2-Step Verification screen.
- Scroll down this screen until you arrive at Backup Codes, and then click “Show Codes” in the Backup Codes section. A screen showing your Google backup codes will be displayed, prompting you to save your backup codes. You can choose to download or print your existing Google backup codes, or you can choose to generate a new set of backup codes. If you choose to download the backup codes, they will be downloaded to a simple text file.