Google Accounts and Backup codes

Basics of backup codes

If you lose your phones or otherwise can't receive codes via SMS, voice call, or Google Authenticator, you can use backup codes to sign in. Follow the instructions below to generate backup codes. You can also use these codes to sign in if you don’t have your Security Key.

The codes come in sets of 10, and you can generate a new set at any point, automatically making the old set inactive. In addition, after you’ve used a backup code to sign in, it will become inactive.

We recommend you store your codes wherever you keep your other valuable items. Like the codes on your phone, backup codes are only valuable to someone if they manage to also steal your password.

Creating and viewing a set of backup codes

To create a new set of backup codes:

  1. Sign in to your account at
  2. Look for the “Backup codes” area.
  3. Click Setup or Show codes.
  4. If you are fine using the current set of backup codes, you can print or download them. If you believe this set of codes might have been stolen or you’ve used many of the backup codes, you can generate a new set by clicking Get new codes.

Note: Can't find the backup codes you downloaded? Search your computer for "Backup-codes-username.txt" with your username. For example, if your username is google123, search for "Backup-codes-google123.txt"

Signing in

  1. Locate your backup codes.
  2. Go to the sign-in page of the Google service you want to use (for example, Gmail).
  3. Enter your username and password.
  4. When asked for your verification code, click Try another way to sign in.
  5. Click Enter one of your 8-digit backup codes.
  6. Enter your backup code.
  7. Optional: As each code can be used only once, you might want to mark the code as used.