My old phone packed up and although the iPhone that I have now has all my apps which I saved from iCloud, unfortunately the settings have not been saved. I never backed up my 16 digit security key.

I cannot now sign in to various websites because although I have username and passwords I no longer have access to my two factor authentication. Is there an easier way to solve this other than contacting each said website to reset my two factor authentication?

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    I learned a long time ago to have Google Authenticator active on at least two devices at all times. I’m not good at securely storing backup keys, but I do make sure Authenticator remains current on now 3 devices, my phone, my backup phone, and my iPad. – Tyson Aug 18 '18 at 15:59
  • Won't help the OP, but for future readers, the way to avoid this problem in the future is to use something like 1Password (1Password.com) or Authy (authy.com). Otherwise you risk being locked out of your accounts if your device is lost or stolen. (Most sites also let you store "emergency codes" when you set up 2FA, which you should store in 1Password or similar.) – TJ Luoma Dec 28 '18 at 12:27

Google Authenticator stores data in the Keychain and does not include such data in backups. You cannot recover your generators from a backup because they are not stored in the backup in the first place. You will need to perform the 2FA recovery steps for each service you no longer have access the 2FA to.

  • I previously restored my iPhone and Google Authenticator restored, too. This time Google Authenticator is not restoring even though I have keychain enabled. Is there anything else I can do? Can you retrieve this from Keychain manually? – A1m Jun 25 '19 at 0:54

I don’t use google authenticator, but you are correct you can always contact each account and get control of the multi factor setup link for each and re-enter it in to your app of choice.

I use 1Password on iOS for my saved credentials and it allows several formats of backup:

  • local backup to iOS and then iCloud / iTunes
  • cloud hosted storage of the secure vaults (some older users of 1Password used box.com or Dropbox.com or perhaps even google storage - but currently I think the vendor hosts all data as part of a subscription by default)

You should see the google authenticator documentation to see if they do any sort of backup that you could restore from iCloud / iTunes or another cloud storage system.

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