Google authenticator not working? Try these fixes

There have been users facing an issue where Google authenticator codes do not work. As it turns out, this can often happen due to the time correction for codes being out of sync. Google authenticator works on the principle of TOTP which is also known as the Time-based One-time Password Algorithm. If the time of the codes being generated by the application is out of sync, the codes generated won’t work when you try to use them for 2FA or two-factor authentication. As a result, you stumble upon the Google authenticator not working issue.

Google Authenticator

Google authenticator is widely used for 2FA purposes and due to its popularity, most services have integrated it into their platforms to serve the said purpose. When the Google authenticator codes are not working, you will not be able to login into various accounts where 2FA is enabled. However, fortunately, there are some easy fixes to this issue. As it turns out, in addition to the time correction for code setting, the problem can also be caused when the time and date on your phone itself is not correct.

In some scenarios, Google authenticator may work on different platforms except a specific one like the Uplay Google authenticator not working. If this case is applicable, then the problem is usually not with the app itself but the platform that you are trying to use it on. In such a scenario, you will have to reach out to the customer support of the platform to try to resolve the problem you are experiencing. With that said, let us get started and show you how to resolve the Google authenticator not working problem.

Sync Google Authenticator Codes Time

As it turns out, the main reason that your Google authenticator app codes are not working is due to the time being out of sync. This happens when the time is not properly synced with the Google authenticator app on your system. To fix this, you will have to simply sync time correction for codes from the settings menu of the application and it should be good to go. It is important to note that doing this will not change the date and time on your phone but rather it only applies to the Google authenticator app. Therefore, if the problem is being caused by an incorrect date and time on your phone, this won’t fix it. With that said, to sync the Google authenticator codes time, follow the instructions given down below:

  1. First of all, go ahead and launch the Google authenticator app.
  2. Once it is open, on the top-right corner, tap the three vertical dots which will bring up a drop-down menu.
    Opening up the Menu in Google Authenticator
  3. From the menu that appears, tap on the Settings option.
    Opening Google Authenticator Settings
  4. After that, on the Settings screen, tap on the Time correction for codes option.
    Google Authenticator Settings Menu
  5. On the Time correction for codes screen, go ahead and tap the Sync now option provided at the top.
    Syncing Time Correction for Codes
  6. A new dialog box will appear that will connect to Google’s server and sync the time.

Check Time and Date

If syncing the time of the Google Authenticator app codes does not fix the issue for you and you are still not able to use the codes, then the issue may very likely be due to incorrect time and date settings on your phone. Since the application is a time-based one-time password generator, having the correct time and date on your phone is essential. Therefore, you will have to fix the wrong time on your phone to circumvent the issue. To do this, follow the instructions given down below:

  1. First of all, on your iOS or Android device, open up the Settings app.
  2. Now, if you are using an iOS device, make your way to General.
    iOS Settings
  3. After that, tap the Date and Time option on the General menu.
    Opening Date and Time Settings
  4. In the case of Android, on the Settings screen, scroll down to Date and Time and open it up. On some phones, this might be located in the System and updates or General Management menu.
    Android Settings
  5. At this point, on both devices, make sure that the Set automatically option is enabled.
    Setting Time Automatically
  6. Once you have done, open up the Google Authenticator app again and see if the codes work.

Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.