Google 2-Step Verification - Setting up alternate second steps

Alternate second steps help ensure that you can always access your account. There may be times when you do not have your primary second step (most often a cell phone). In these cases, you can use an alternate second step to sign in. This article explains how to set up the following second steps:

Setting up Backup Codes

Backup codes are 10-digit numbers that you print out and keep with you in case you lose access to other 2nd steps. They can be useful when you do not have your cell phone. Each backup code can be used only once, however, you can get a new set of codes at any time.

For instructions on how to Create & View a set of backup codes, please visit

We recommend that you print out your codes, and then store them in a private but convenient location. You should consider carrying these backup codes in your wallet – when printed they are approximately the size of a business card.

Things to remember about backup codes:

If you need to use a backup code to sign in, click Try another way to sign in when signing in to your Google account

  • Each backup code can only be used once.
  • When you use a backup code, put a check in the adjacent box so that you know it has already been used.
  • If you lose your backup codes you can view them by going to the 2-Step Verification page (see steps here) and clicking SHOW CODES in the Backup codes section.
  • If you use all of your backup codes, you can generate a new set following the same procedures mentioned above (visit 

Setting up a Backup Phone

When you set up a backup phone, Google will call or text a verification code to use when signing in. You can set up multiple phones if desired. If you have a dedicated office phone, you should set that up as one of your alternate second steps.

How to Setup a Backup Phone:

  1. Open your UAH Google account at
  2. From the left menu, select Security. In the "Signing in to Google" section, click the arrow next to 2-Step Verification:

  3. Enter your password and click Sign in. If you are prompted for 2-Step Verification, follow the on-screen prompts.
  4. Under Backup phone, select ADD PHONE.
  5. Enter the phone number and select either Text message (for cell phones) or Phone call (for cell phones or landlines). Select Done.
  6. Scroll up and look for the phone number you just added – it should say “Not verified” next to it.
  7. Click the pencil icon and click VERIFY.
  8. Select either Text message (for cell phones) or Phone call (for cell phones or landlines). Select NEXT.
  9. Google will either send you a text message or call the phone number entered. Enter the code you receive and select DONE.

Using a Backup Phone to Sign-In: 

If you need to use a backup phone as a second step, select Try another way to sign in when signing in to your Google account.

Setting up Google Prompt

When signing in using Google 2-step verification phone prompts, the Google app on your phone will ask you if you are trying to sign in. This push notification is often more convenient and quicker than using a code from your phone. Google Prompt is available for iPhone and Android.

Step 1 – Download the Google App (for iPhone users only – Android users please skip to Step 2)

  • Download the Google app from the Apple App Store. When it is finished, open the Google app and tap CONTINUE until you are prompted to sign in.
  • Enter your email address and password and tap Next. If you are prompted for 2-Step Verification, follow the on-screen prompts and enter the verification code.
  • Once signed in, tap YES I’M IN to complete setting up the Google app on your phone.
  • Choose whether or not to allow Google to access your location even when you are not using the app. Your selection here does not affect 2-Step verification.
  • Choose whether or not to receive notifications from the Google app. Tap Allow to receive a notification when you are signing in.
  • Step 2 – Set up Google Prompt
    • On your computer, click the Google account button in the top right corner of the window (the circle with either your picture or your first initial) and click My Account.
    • Under Sign-in & security, click Signing in to Google.
    • Click 2-Step Verification and enter your password when prompted.
    • Under Google prompt, click ADD PHONE, and then click GET STARTED.
    • Your phone should be listed. If you have multiple phones set up, select the phone on which you installed the Google app. Click NEXT.
    • On your phone, the Google app asks if you are trying to sign in.
    • Go to the Google app on your phone and tap YES to sign in
    • On your computer, the sign-in completes. Click DONE.

The Google prompt will be set as your default second step.

Things to remember about Google Prompt:

  • When you set up Google Prompt, it will become your default second step
  • If you receive a sign-in prompt when you are not trying to sign in to your Google account, tap NO.

Setting Up Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator is an app that you install on your phone. It is available for iPhone/iPad and Android. It uses the current time and a secret key known only to Google and your phone to generate a six-digit code. This unique code is displayed in the Authenticator app and can be used as a second step when signing in to Google.

For instructions on how to Install and Setup the Google Authenticator app, please visit

Things to remember about the Google Authenticator app:

  • If you need to use the Authenticator app as a second step, select Try another way to sign in when signing in to your Google account.
  • The Authenticator app relies on your phone having the correct time. Usually this is not a problem since your cell phone gets its time from the cellular network.


Article ID: 134776
Wed 10/13/21 9:41 AM
Thu 8/24/23 11:46 AM

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