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I've heard that you can configure your Google account to use its (more secure) authenticator app rather than sending you a text message - in my most recent case, this was when Google sent me a text message to "make sure it was really me" when I signed in from an unknown device.

However I can't seem to find any setting that allows me to switch Google's mechanism of 2FA to the authenticator app for this scenario. Is it possible or will they always use the text message method?

  • Google supports 2FA using SMS, Authenticator app (or any RFC 6238 TOTP app), Google Prompt, and FIDO U2F Security key. – Lie Ryan Feb 5 '18 at 9:48
  • For regular signing in, yes. This is different though. – Jez Feb 6 '18 at 10:35
  • What is a non-regular signing in? – M'vy Feb 6 '18 at 13:40
  • When you sign in from an unknown device and instead of just asking for a password Google says "we've sent you a txt to make sure it's you, enter the code we sent". – Jez Feb 6 '18 at 15:27
  • Maybe Google helps. There is no mention of authenticator application, so I would assume you can't in this case. I'm not really sure of when does this trigger, since you should always have to provide you password and token when you log in on a new device? – M'vy Feb 6 '18 at 16:23
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Yes, you can do what you are asking. Just open the Google Security settings from here and open the "protect my account" section. From there you can add other phone numbers, configure your android device to allow new account logins and also configure the Google authenticator app.

  • I don't have a "protect my account" section. – Jez Feb 6 '18 at 10:34
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It is possible to use the google authenticator for logging into you google account.

From a connected page, go through 'My account' > 'Signing into Google' > '2-Steps Verification' and then you should be able to chose a method of authentication including the authenticator app, google prompt on your phone, voice or text, or a security key.

  • That's about signing in normally, not the same thing as "making sure it's you" when signing in from a different device. – Jez Feb 6 '18 at 10:35

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