The 5 best ways to fix Google Authenticator not working on iPhone

The 5 best ways to fix Google Authenticator not working on iPhone

The Google Authenticator is one of the best and most widely used two-factor authentication (2FA) apps for Android and iOS. Recently Google launched a major update that adds more features to further improve the security of your online accounts. What happens if Google Authenticator suddenly refuses to work on your phone? This means that you will not be able to access the applications / services that you have secured 2FA with the application.

In this article, we have listed five (5) different troubleshooting fixes each time Google Authenticator does not work on your iPhone.

Usually, Authenticator will not work if there is a difference between the application time and the date / time setting on your iPhone. And in the rare case that the app won’t work even though the date and time are set correctly on your device, the problem could be due to other software related issues. With that in mind, let’s dive straight into the solutions.

1. Check the time and date

Whenever Google Authenticator stops working on your iPhone, you need to check the time and date settings on your iPhone. If the time and date on your device are incorrect or out of sync, you may experience issues with the Google Authenticator app. The application time and date settings can also be out of sync if you are traveling in a different time zone. When this happens, Authenticator will not work. Other times, you may get “Invalid Code” error messages each time you use the codes generated by the application.

Fixed Google authenticator iphone image

On the Android version of the application, there is a section “ Correcting time for codes ” where you can easily correct the time synchronization error of the application by pressing the Synchronize now button. However, things are wired differently for iOS. Unfortunately, you cannot fix time and date synchronization errors directly in the Google Authenticator app on your iPhone.

However, you can make sure that the “Date and time” settings on your iPhone are configured to update / sync automatically. In this way, the time of the Authenticator application will also be synchronized. Here’s how to configure automatic time update / synchronization on iPhone.

Step 1: Launch the iPhone Settings menu and select General.

Fixed Google authenticator not working on iPhone

2nd step: Select “Date and time”.

Fixed Google authenticator not working on iPhone 01

Step 3: Activate the Automatically define option.

Fixed Google authenticator not working on iPhone 02

If the option was already activated, you can deactivate it and reactivate it. Now check if Google Authenticator works on your iPhone.

2. Restart the iPhone

Restarting your phone can also help resolve any issues that prevented Authenticator from working. In addition to eliminating some software-related issues, restarting your iPhone will also help you update and install new time zone definitions.

Correction of the Google authenticator not working on the iphone image 01

Press and hold the power button and one of the volume buttons to turn off your iPhone. You can also go to Settings> General> Stop> Slide to turn off.

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Hold the power button for about 5 seconds to restart your device. Your device must be refreshed at startup and new time zones must be installed. Now launch the Google Authenticator app and check if it worked.

3. Update Google Authenticator

4. Uninstall and reinstall Authenticator

Uninstalling and reinstalling Google Authenticator is another effective solution to get the app working on your iPhone again. It was the only way for some Google Authenticator users to run the app on their iPhones. Before proceeding, you should note that removing Authenticator from your device will also delete the app data. This means that you will need to reconfigure the Authenticator app (in the security settings of your Google Account) when you reinstall it on your device.

To remove Google Authenticator from your device, touch and hold the app icon on your home screen and select Remove app. In the confirmation window that then appears, press Delete.

Fixed Google authenticator not working on iPhone 04
Fixed Google authenticator not working on iPhone 05

Click the link below to open the App Store to reinstall the Google Authenticator app.

5. Update iOS

One of the recommended requirements for using Authenticator is to run the latest version of iOS updates. If the application does not work or if you encounter problems during use, check that the operating system of your iPhone is running the latest version available. Go to Settings> General> Software update and press the “Download and install” button to update your operating system.

Fixed Google authenticator not working on iPhone 06

If Google Authenticator didn’t work sooner due to an operating system issue, the iOS update should make it work again.

Secure your defenses

Usually Google Authenticator is a stable application. In unforeseen cases where the application does not work or does not display invalid codes, one of the five troubleshooting fixes mentioned above should reactivate it. Let us know which one worked for you or if you found another tip in the comments section below.


Do you use 2FA on social networks and banking sites? What to do if you lose access to these codes or lose your phone? See the linked article below for how to save 2FA codes and why you should.

Last updated on May 17, 2020

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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