What happens if you lose access to a 2FA authenticator app?

I’ve secured my various wallets with 2FA and most of them are utilizing a third party app such as Google Authenticator.

My newbie question is, what happens if I lose access to the authentication app (e.g. phone is stolen, lost or I get a new one and forget to transfer everything over first)?

It seems like some apps (such as Uphold) gave me “pass keys” to write down and keep in case I ever get locked out, so that makes sense that I’d be able to provide it to the company and they’d restore my access… but I don’t remember getting any pass keys for some other apps such as Binance. So for example what would happen if I lost my authenticator code for Binance?

I want to make sure in a worst case scenario I never lose access so if anyone has any advice or input I’d appreciate it!

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12 thoughts on “What happens if you lose access to a 2FA authenticator app?”

  1. I have done this, TWICE now.

    Some sites (like Binance and Kraken) make it easy to reset your 2FA, others like Coinbase are a fuckin’ pain). Upload is okay to recover. Eventually though, with proper proof of identification single exchanges will eventually grant you access back into your accounts but it’s such a pain.

    So instead of backing up/recovering all your individual 2FA one by one, all i can advise is to backup/export ALL your Google Authenticator 2FA onto a QR code in one go

    That way if you ever lost, damage or factory reset your phone, you can just re-download GA, and mass import all your 2FAs from that one backup.

    To do this:

    * Just click the three dots in the top right hand corner of Google Authenticator
    * Click on Transfer Accounts
    * Click on Export.

    This is essentially a master backup key for authenticator apps. Do NOT share this or put online anywhere. leave this offline.

  2. I have actually contacted every single exchange that I deal with and asked them this exact question. Every one of them that got back to me told me that with the proper proof of identification they could grant me access back into my account. It wouldn’t be quick but it could be done.

  3. Every single exchange etc is going to have the ability to reset your 2FA. Provide some personal identification and you’re good to go

  4. With authy you can add a second device. Then you always have a way back into your authenticator without a backup if your phone dies. But always remember to turn off allowing multiple devices for normal authentication.

  5. Contacting some supports you can verify with them and get it back.

    Just in case I have an old phone with my 2FA configured too but I have the recovery codes written down too just in case.

  6. This has been the issue I have been facing due to the fact I can’t get access to some wallet that I have safe a huge sum of SYS in and which is now bullish

  7. You install the authenticator on another device and use the code they gave you when you set up your original authenticator to make it work again.

  8. I’m not aware of any way to recover your authenticator app without a backup key. As far as I know if you lose your phone and you don’t have a backup key all hope is lost.

    So if you haven’t recorded your back up keys do that NOW and store it in a safe place.


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