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After a minor security scare, I want to improve security for both my kids by walking them through setting up 2FA for all their important accounts - their Microsoft ID (aka Live ID), Google, Facebook, etc.

I've got this set up myself - when I log onto my Google account, it prompts me to enter a six digit number generated by Microsoft Authenticator on my phone, so I know this works and is currently supported by Google.

When I set this up on my phone (Lumia 950XL) in March 2016, the Google security page generated a QR code that I scanned using the Microsoft Authenticator app, and everything "just worked".

Trying to set this up for my daughter tonight, I can't find the option in her Google settings to generate a QR code. Instead, 2FA seems to now revolve entirely around apps that Google publishes for Android and iOS, not much help for her Lumia 640.

How do we set up 2FA for her Google account without an Android or iOS phone?

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I've just set this up for an account for someone, and I'll go through the whole process (I expect you've already done some of this)

Once you're signed in to a Google service, go to the "My Account" option, and in the "Sign in and security" section, choose "Signing in to google"

You'll then see the option to enable 2 step authentication, so set this up if you haven't already (this will require confirming the phone number is accurate by receiving an SMS).

Once you've done this (or if you go back in to the 2 step authentication section), you'll see the advert to add Google Prompt at the top, below that is your current 2nd step authentication method, and then in the section below, are the options for "Set up alternative second step": Set up alternative second step options

You want the third option to use the Authenticator app, and when it asks if you've got an Android or iPhone, choose Android - this gives you the QR code that the Microsoft Authenticator app will understand and work with.

Once confirmed, Google will automatically change to using that method

  • Thanks for the detailed steps - they parallel what I eventually found for myself and documented on the migrated question. – Bevan Jun 15 '17 at 10:21

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