Tired of reaching for your phone every time you need a 2FA code? How To Generate Them On Your Computer!
Do you find it inconvenient to pick up your phone every time you need to use Google Authenticator? Fortunately, if you're using a Windows 10 PC, you can transfer your phone's authentication functionality to your computer.
There are now apps and browser extensions that allow you to generate 2FA codes right on your computer. This way, you don't have to always have your phone with you to log into your 2FA enabled web accounts.
This guide describes how to use Google Authenticator on Windows 10.
Generate a secret key for your Google account
To use Google Authenticator on your Windows 10 PC, you need the secret key for your Google account. You can get this key by signing in and going to the security area in your Google account.
Here we show you step by step how to do it:
Open a new tab in your browser and go to the Google My Account page. Sign in to your account if you haven't already.
click security Left.
Find the 2 step review Option on the right and click on it.
Google may ask you to re-enter your account password. Do this and move on.
If you've already set up the authenticator app on the following screen, click Switch phone Possibility. Otherwise click To install.
Choose Android on the following screen and click Next. They pretend to be configuring the secret code on an Android device.
A QR code will appear on your screen. Click on the option that says Can't scan it to view your secret key.
You should now see a secret key that is specific to your Google Account. Make a note of this key if you need it when you configure the Authenticator app on your PC.
Leave this tab open in your browser.
Make sure you Do not share your secret key with anyoneWith the key anyone can generate 2FA codes for your account.
Also, keep the My Account page open for the following tutorials. You will need it again in a moment.
Use Google Authenticator on Windows 10
After you have your secret key, you need an app that can use that key and help you generate 2FA codes on your Windows 10 PC. There are actually quite a few apps that you can use to generate 2FA codes, and we're going to cover some of those options here.
Use WinAuth to generate 2FA codes on Windows 10
WinAuth is a free, portable, and open source app that allows you to use Google Authenticator on your Windows PC. Once you've added your key, you can use this app to generate 2FA codes to log into your Google account.
You can configure this app with your secret key as follows:
Download the WinAuth ZIP file and extract it to your PC.
Double-click the executable file to start the WinAuth app.
Click on the main interface Add to add a new account.
From the options available, click Google while adding a google account.
Enter a name that will help you recognize this account in the Surname Field, then select an icon of your choice.
Enter or paste the secret key in the provided field. This is the secret key that you previously noted down on Google's "My Account" page.
After entering the key, click Check the authenticator Click the button and a six-digit code will appear in the app.
Return to the Google My Account page that you opened in your browser. Press the Next Button on this page.
Google will now ask you to enter the code that your authenticator app generated. Enter the six-digit code you received from WinAuth here, then click Check.
Your page should display a success message if everything went well.
Return to WinAuth and click okay.
WinAuth asks you to protect your authentication with a password. In both cases, enter a password of your choice password and Check Fields and then click okay below.
WinAuth should now be able to provide you with 2FA code every time you need one.
Use Authenticator to generate 2FA codes on Windows 10
If you'd rather use a browser extension, Authenticator (free) is a good choice. It's a Chrome extension that allows you to generate 2FA codes for your accounts without leaving your browser.
As with WinAuth, all you have to do is configure this extension with your secret key and you can start generating 2FA codes.
How to use the extension on your PC:
Open Google Chrome on your PC.
Go to the Authenticator page in the Chrome Web Store and click Add to Chrome Button.
click Add extension in the command prompt.
Once the extension is installed, click on Authenticator Icon in the top bar.
Click the pencil icon, then press Add (+).
Choose Manual entry Option because you enter the secret key manually.
Art Google by doing Exhibitors Field and enter your secret key in the field secret Field.
Expand Advanced and enter your Google account username in the field Username Field.
Choose Time based of the Art Drop down menu and click Okay.
To generate a 2FA code, simply click on the authenticator symbol in your browser. This will bring up a code for you to use.
How to remove Google Authenticator on Windows 10
Google only allows you to use one authenticator app at a time. Therefore, before you remove the Google Authenticator function from your PC, you need to set up this function on your other device.
If you don't, you won't be able to generate 2FA codes to sign in to your Google Account and you will basically be banned from your own account (see Recovering a Google Account).
Configure the feature on your other device, then uninstall the Google Authenticator apps installed on your PC.
Generating Google Authenticator Codes on Windows 10
If you often need 2FA codes for your online accounts, it is recommended that you set up the Google Authenticator feature on your PC. This should eliminate the hassle of reaching for your phone every time you need a code.
It's easy to use Google Authenticator on both desktops and smartphones. If you ever switch phones, you can quickly move your authenticator settings to the new phone.
How to switch the Google Authenticator to a new phone
Here's how to switch Google Authenticator to a new phone and find the best alternatives to avoid this tedious process.
About the author
(103 articles published)
Mahesh is a tech writer at MakeUseOf. He has been writing technical guides for about 8 years and has covered many subjects. He loves teaching people how to get the most out of their devices.
From Mahesh Makvana
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