S&*!t! I’m Locked Out By Google Authenticator and I Can’t Get In!


Get Shift Done: Tips and Tricks

It’s great to depend on Google’s authentication system to confirm your identity on an online application’s website — until it doesn’t work. If you’ve ever been locked out of your own life, here’s how to work around that conundrum.

The authentication process is a little hard to explain, so let me give you an example to show why it matters. Let’s say your old cell phone died and you bought a replacement. After you restore all your apps and your contacts, you are ready to return to your normal routine. You sit down at your computer, and go to log into your Dropbox account. Because you previously enabled two-factor authentication using Google Authenticator, Dropbox prompts you to open the Google Authentication app (available for both Android and iPhone users) on your phone and enter the code it shows you.

Whoops! Although the Google Authenticator app was restored to your new phone, the settings were not — and now you can’t log into your Dropbox account.

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