How to use Google Authenticator on a Windows PC

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Marie-Ange Demory

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

Export Google 2FA to your PC

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

To get the secret code, go to. Go to the 'Sign in to Google' section and click 'Two-Step Verification'.

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

After completing the steps, you will have the option to set up the Authenticator app. While we won't download the actual app, we have to pretend to get the secret key. Click on "Configure".

Follow the instructions until it asks you to scan a QR code. Under the code, click "Can't scan it?"

On the next page, search for the secret key and copy it. This is what you will enter in third party apps when they ask you for a key. However, be sure to keep it 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.


If you are concerned that a third-party app will steal or spread your code, give it a try. Its main attraction is that it is an open source app that you download to your PC. Therefore, there is no obfuscated code or cloud storage that can leak your key.

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

Enter your private key, then click the "Verify Authenticator" button. Continue with the configuration of your Google account and enter the code that WinAuth provides you.

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

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

Go back to the WinAuth window: now that you have confirmed the generated code, click on the OK button to save the changes in the WinAuth application.

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

You can now use Google Authenticator on your Windows PC using WinAuth.

Autenticatore WinOTP

it's actually exclusive to Windows 10 and you can download it directly from the Microsoft Store. Click the "+" button below to add a new service. Although the app claims to be able to read QR codes, it didn't work for me, but definitely give it a try to see if it works for you.

Otherwise, all you have to do is enter the service name, your username and your code. So, you're good to go. For the service name and username, you can choose what you want, but make sure you are able to tell the difference between the different services.


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

In the PC version of Authy, click the plus icon at the top right.

Paste the secret key into the box.

You can name and color the account. Once set up, you will have a working Google code.

2-factor authentication

currently only supports Google, Microsoft, LastPass and Facebook accounts, but works fine as a Google authenticator on PC. Start by pressing the "+" icon below to add a new account.

Enter an account name, such as Google, then enter your secret key. You can also use the camera icon to scan a QR code if available. It worked better than WinOTP Authenticator but not perfectly.

Autenticatore GAuth

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

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

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

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

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