Getting a new phone? Don’t throw out your old one until you do this one thing!

I almost lost access to my Exchanges when I replaced my broken phone due to MFA apps not transferring over. (Having my seed phrases saved me). If you use a multi factor authentication app (MFA) as two factor authentication for exchanges, do not throw out your old phone without transferring access! You can’t transfer MFA through the cloud without scanning QR codes from your old phone to your new one for most MFA apps. This means you need to keep your old phone long enough to transfer each MFA. Apps like LastPass Authenticator, Google Authenticator, and Authy allow for transfer with advanced settings. Don’t make the same mistake I did!

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33 thoughts on “Getting a new phone? Don’t throw out your old one until you do this one thing!”

  1. Very good point. That’s one of the reasons I’m scared that my phone will randomly stop working and I lose access to my apps.

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  2. I got a new phone and didnt transfer google auth, so I couldnt access 2 accounts, for the first (hpool chia mining) I simply sent them an email asking to unbind the google auth so I could bind it to my new phone, which they did promptly, 2nd one (OKX exchange) I had a Skype convo with a repesentative to verify my identity and they too unbound google auth, so all is not lost (in these 2 instances anyway).

    Still good advise to transfer it to your new phone or save your 2fa somewhere tho 👍

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  3. I’m in the middle of a phone transfer right now. I’ve taken the opportunity to swap from google auth to authy. It’s been quite the bear to tackle but I couldn’t imagine the exponential difficulty had I not used my previous phone to help set up the new one.

    Plus some exchanges such as [Crypto.com](https://Crypto.com) have some longer and more convoluted processes to even change a phone number with KYC so keep that in mind as well. It’s definitely not as easy as just swapping phones then going and changing settings one websites.

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  4. I was lucky enough to think to do this at the phone store when upgrading. I kept insisting and the phone staff member thought I was crazy for doing it. He was positive when I backed up the app through the phone backup service that it would keep all my codes. It did not and it freaked the staff member out a little bit that he had been informing people this didn’t matter.

    Huge headache if you do not do this.

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  5. I currently have 2 old phones with Google Authenticator 2FA backup. Every month I charge them and ensure everything is okay. Just a couple of minutes that can save my live in the future.

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  6. My old phone randomly just died and the toughest thing to make work is authenticator apps. What you can do is to save the QR code somewhere safe so in case your phone just dies, you won’t be screwed. It was a thousand dollars lesson for me and it still hurts.

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  7. Google Authenticator is a POS, I thought it was backed up to my Google account – dead wrong, it is far from it. In truth, it’s a stand-alone app without ties to any accounts, you lose the app in any way – you lose all your MFA accounts.

    I went with Microsoft Authenticator for this very reason, it is linked to my account and set to be backed up and sometimes I run manual backups too.

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  8. Centralized exchanges can remove the MFA for you if this happens. It’s really not that deep.

    ALWAYS keep a copy of your seed phrase(s) backed up somewhere safe. (I use a metal fireproof card designed for this purpose and I keep it in a safety deposit box.

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  9. You should always securely keep a backup of the code to reinstall your 2FA. Always. It’s SO easy to lose or destroy a phone.

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  10. I made the mistake of not doing this just last week and it took some time to gain access again through customer support. This is a good post.

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  11. How do you transfer 2fa google authentication? I just figured when I get a new phone the apps will transfer over no?

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  12. Will Coinbase allow you to unlock your account through a verification process if you can’t access your 2fa? Or does this have to happen through Google authenticator?

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  13. I personally use Authy. You can have multiple devices. Phone, laptop, tablet, etc. I love knowing that if I break or lose my phone I’m not screwed out of every account I own.

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  14. Use Apple keychain. It generates 2FA codes and stores them in your iCloud account, allowing access to all your devices.

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