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Google Authenticator vs. Microsoft Authenticator

Google Authenticator vs. Microsoft Authenticator

Two-factor authentication is one of the most critical security measures you can have right now. The two most common authenticators are Google and Microsoft Authenticator.

Google takes a simple approach, whereas Microsoft offers a few more options. This is the Google Authenticator vs. Microsoft Authenticator comparison if you need help deciding.

What are both?

Microsoft Authenticator
Microsoft Authenticator

Google and Microsoft Authenticator are well-known two-factor authentication (2FA) apps.

Both apps generate a six-digit temporary login code for authenticated accounts.

Even if a hacker figures out your password, they won’t be able to access the account without a 2FA code. Both are somewhat similar but also have some key differences.

Microsoft Authenticator is more than just an authenticator. It can save your password, payments, address, and verified IDs.

It can also save your data to the cloud, so you can still access your accounts even if you lose your phone. This option is missing from its competitor.

Login code

Google Authenticator
Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator lets you enable time-based and counter-based login codes. Time-based codes are more secure because they reset every 30 seconds.

To reset the counter-based code, you need to click the refresh icon.

On the other hand, Microsoft Authenticator only supports time-based codes refreshing every 30 seconds.

Even though there is a 30-second time, the code is active a few seconds after.

For example, if a code refreshes before you hit the enter key or click the “verify” button, you still get a couple of seconds to login in.

Winner: Tie

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Authenticator app security

Google Authenticator app has no password protection. So whoever has access to your phone can use it. However, you can utilize third-party apps for this.

In contrast, Microsoft Authenticator can enable a screen lock (pin, fingerprint, or face recognition) to open it, approve notifications, and autofill websites.

Winner: Microsoft Authenticator

Transfer data across devices

Exporting and Importing and Google Authenticator
Exporting and Importing and Google Authenticator

Both let you transfer account data to other devices, but the process varies.

In Google Authenticator, this is done by creating a QR code for selected accounts on the exporting device and scanning the code on the importing device.

You can also see the activity and an option to reset the authenticator in case of an unknown activity.

Microsoft Authenticator does not support importing and exporting accounts. However, you can import and export passwords and verified IDs.

Also, you can enable the “cloud backup” option in the app settings to backup codes to your Microsoft account. It supports one account on multiple devices.

Winner: Tie

Backup and recovery

Google Authenticator lacks backup and recovery features.

To log in to authenticated apps, you must use an alternate method or, in some instances, contact customer support.

On the other hand, as discussed, you can back up your codes to access them if you lose or reset the phone.

This can be good or bad, depending on your values. With Google Authenticator, all your accounts are lost if you lose your phone.

However, with Microsoft, if someone gets into your account, they can steal the data. Of course, for that to work, they must have the password.

Winner: Microsoft Authenticator

Hiding codes

Both apps let you hide codes while copying so others can’t see them.

This is helpful if you are in crowded spaces such as events and public transport where others can easily see your fingers and copy the password.

In Google Authenticator, you can’t take screenshots or record screens. The same rule applies to its opponent, but you can override this in the settings menu.

Winner: Tie

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Searching and organizing

In Google Authenticator, there is no search and organization feature. If you have added many accounts, it becomes difficult to find a specific one.

Contrarily, Microsoft Authenticator lets you search for a specific account and rearrange them.

Winner: Microsoft Authenticator

Extra features of Microsoft Authenticator

Passwords and auto-filling

Passwords in Microsoft Authenticator
Passwords in Microsoft Authenticator

Microsoft Authenticator can save your passwords and auto-fill them on websites. You can see and edit passwords anytime.

You can add passwords manually or import them in the following ways:

  • Import from CSV file
  • Import from the Microsoft Edge browser by using the same email account
  • By installing an extension from the Google Chrome store
  • Export passwords from Chrome mobile browser directly to Microsoft Authenticator

The Google Chrome extension enables other browsers to utilize auto-fill data. Moreover, it generates customized passwords by configuring the following options:

  • Enable and disable letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Define password length


To access cards while shopping online, you can save card data to this app without the CVV number.

Verified IDs

As some organizations use Verified IDs to verify your credentials, you can scan a QR code of a website offering this feature.

Battery saver

You can turn on battery optimization to reduce background usage of the app.

Which one is for you?

Google Authenticator offers limited features and no cloud synchronization. It makes things simple, which is okay.

However, I suggest using the Microsoft Authenticator app, especially if you often change your phone, forget it, or lose it. Its backup feature is its most powerful feature.

Google vs. Microsoft Authenticator: Links


Both authenticators are great tools for securing your online accounts. They both have their pros and cons.

This is where we end this Google Authenticator vs. Microsoft Authenticator battle. I hope it helps. Feel free to share with us what you think below.