Tutorial

How to use Google Authenticator on a Windows PC

Google Authenticator can be helpful, but it’s annoying that Google hasn’t yet created an official desktop app. However, you can use Google Authenticator on your Windows PC through other means. Let’s explore the ways you can use Google Authenticator on your PC.

Exporting 2FA from Google to your PC

To do this, you will need the “secret code” for Google Authenticator. This is the seed from which code generators can create code that works with Google.

To get the secret code, go to the Google Account Security Page . Go to the “Sign in to Google” section and click on “Two-Step Verification”.

Google Authentication Code Step 2

If Google knows that you have a phone connected to your account, it will walk you through the steps to set up a basic phone notification service.

After you have completed the steps, you will have the opportunity to configure the Authenticator app. While we are not going to download the actual application, we must pretend that we are obtaining the secret key. Click on “Configure”.

Google Authentication Code Settings

Follow the prompts until it asks you to scan a QR code. Below the code, click “Can’t scan it?”

Google authenticator code scan

On the next page, find the secret key and copy it. This is what you will enter into third-party applications when they request a key. However, be sure to keep it a secret. If someone else gets this information, they can use it to log into your account!

Now that we have the code, let’s see where we can put it.

1. WinAuth

If you’re concerned about a third-party app stealing or leaking your code, try WinAuth . Its main attraction is that it is an open source application that you can download to your PC. As such, there is no obfuscated code or cloud storage that can leak your key.

Configuration with WinAuth is very easy. Once WinAuth is running, add a new Google account.

Google Authenticator Winauth Category

Enter your private key, then click the “Verify authenticator” button. Continue with your Google account setup and enter the code that WinAuth provides.

Google Authenticator Winauth Enter

Copy the generated one-time password and paste it into your Google security settings page and click the “Verify and save” button to verify the generated code.

Copy the generated one-time password

If everything is done correctly, Google will show you a confirmation window informing you. Just click the “OK” button to save the changes to your Google account.

Google will show you a confirmation.

Return to the WinAuth window: Now that you have committed the generated code, click the OK button to save the changes to the WinAuth application.

As soon as you click the “OK” button, WinAuth will open the Protection window that allows you to set a password to encrypt files saved by WinAuth. This ensures that any unauthorized access will be blocked. Simply enter the password twice and click the “OK” button to save the changes. Alternatively, you can also configure WinAuth to encrypt files so that it can only be used on the current computer, but using password protection is much more viable.

Set a password to encrypt saved files

Now you can use Google Authenticator on your PC using WinAuth.

2. Authy

If you want to sync your mobile and PC codes, try Authy. You can use it independently on your PC, but it asks for your phone details during registration. If you have Authy on your phone, you can quickly sync your data between the two devices.

In the PC version of Authy, click the plus icon in the upper right.

Google Authy Add Authenticator

Paste the secret key in the box.

Google authenticator authentication code

You can name and color the account. Once you’ve set it up, you’ll have a working Google code.

3. GAuth authenticator

If you want something in your browser, you can try GAuth Authenticator. You can install it as a Chrome Extension or a Web App .

Adding your authenticator to GAuth is easy. First, click on the pencil in the upper right, then click Add.

Google Gauth Add Authenticator

Enter the name of the authentication code (in this case, Google) and the secret key.

Google Authenticator Gauth Details

Once this is done, you will have a working authenticator.

Now that you know how to use Google Authenticator on your Windows PC, also check out the best Linux desktop authentication apps and essential settings to protect your Google account.

If you want to play more on Windows 10, check out our methods for checking and managing your hard drive status in Windows. See also how to capture a scrolling screenshot in Windows 10.

 

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