Google Authenticator crashes on account setup (Workaround)

After being fed up with waiting for the official Android 5 Lollipop update for my LG G3, I decided to flash it manually – CloudyG3 to be exact (very smooth ROM, I can recommend it to every LG G3 owner).

Everything works, but Google Authenticator suddenly cashes (force closes) when I try to add my Google Account (after tapping on “Begin setup”). Using SMS to receive 2-step verification codes is the temporary workaround but that is a pain and there are other options, including switching to some other 2-factor authentication App.

I’m not alone with this problem and the bug is reported by other users already.

Comment #23 includes a nice workaround:

  • Open Authenticator but do NOT press the “Begin setup” button.
  • Instead, select “setup account” from the option menu.
  • Then from another device, go to https://accounts.google.com/b/0/SmsAuthSettings, select “Move to a different phone” and scan the QR code.

If Google Authenticator is not set up as PRIMARY WAY YOU RECEIVE CODES, set it up.

Yay, this works!

If you happen to have the same problem, it is probably a good thing to star the issue in Google Code and to keep an eye on it. Let’s hope this will get fixed soon.



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34 comments

  • Subbass

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting this, I’d just upgraded my phone a few days ago to an LG G3 and couldn’t set up Authenticator. Your posted solution worked :D

  • Michela

    Partially worked for me, it gives me the code but when I use it it’s not valid. I tried to make the time correction from the option in the menu but the app stopped again.

  • Iain

    Came across same problem – Google Authenticator on a Galaxy S5 running Android 5. Doing as the post suggests I got my two factor auth working.

  • Valentine

    The provided setup works BUT the code need to be timely sync which does force closed when trying to sync it up. Without that the code provided would be wrong and when you try to use it you will be given an error

  • Henrik

    Excellent! Just got my LG G3 and had this problem, ie the issue is not fixed and its now April 2015…

  • Peter Bekesi

    Just got my hands on my new LG G3 and ran into this issue. Thanks for the workaround, it worked.
    BTW the link to the issue reported doesn’t work any more as the project has moved to a new location.

  • Ridzwan

    Yes it worked and yes it didn’t!!
    I somehow find the way as mention above then it affects my other apps including games e.g smash hit – it crashes. Reported it to google. Didn’t receive any response yet. Hope they will come up with real solution soon. For now, i deleted the app and stop from using it. Please fix it google.
    Thanks.

    • nico

      Are you sure Google Authenticator interferes with other apps? I don’t have any problems with other apps.

  • David

    Any work-around for syncing without crashing? This method worked to get codes, but they are all wrong until I can sync.

  • Mica

    This just works! Thank you so much, Bro! I was about to take my old phone with me all the time, just to have an working authenticator with me…
    saved my day!

  • Sam

    Thanks for the advice! The URL re-directed me to me to https://accounts.google.com/b/0/SmsAuthLanding where there was no ‘Move to another phone’ option. But your tip about starting from Set Up Account showed me the QR code option. So, retrieving my QR codes stored on my old phone’s QR logs I just scanned them into the new Phone/new Authenticator and all’s good with the world. Thank you.

  • bg

    On my LG G3, this does not work. If I try to follow these steps, after selecting the app to scan barcodes, I am thrown into the ‘setup’ menu again, from where I can only press ‘Begin Setup’.

  • Dan

    Thanks for posting this. Have recently bought a G3 and was about to disable two-factor auth before I stumbled across this article. Saved me from a whole load of hassle. Thanks

  • Justin

    I got fed up after not having this on for 6 months, went to try set it up and it crashed, remember why I didn’t have it set up. Went to Google, found this page, and not it’s working. Love the Internet. Thanks for this quick fix that was driving me crazy.

  • Claudia

    Cant you just go to find my account on the menu and that follow the steps? That worked for me with 2 step verification

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