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How can I use 2 factor Gmail authentication in this situation?

I have a Gmail account, a laptop and a phone. I use 2 factor authentication so that when i try to access Gmail on the laptop, i verify my identity with the phone, and it allows me to login in.

Now let's say I am out, and only have the phone with me. How do I login?

EDIT: Changes to gmail authentication have made this question obsolete (since a long time ago). In the old days you had to carry two separate devices with you to use this feature, and I was searching for a way to bypass this requirement.

This should be closed as "no longer appropriate due to changes in the plaform."


migration rejected from Jul 18 at 14:33

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Votes, comments, and answers are locked due to the question being closed here, but it may be eligible for editing and reopening on the site where it originated.

closed as off-topic by Al E., Alex, Rubén, Vidar S. Ramdal, Eight Days of Malaise Jul 18 at 14:33

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on applications or application features that are no longer available are off-topic for Web Applications as no one will ever be able to make use of the answers again." – Al E., Alex, Rubén, Eight Days of Malaise
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I really don't understand the question. If you have your phone with you, you can simply switch to the Authenticator or SMS app, copy the code from there, then back into Google to login...? I do this all the time with just one phone. –  Phong Oct 12 '12 at 20:29
@Phong, If I have only the phone, and I login into gmail from the phone, how can i use 2-factor authentication with only 1 device? –  gecko Oct 13 '12 at 19:33
Exactly the way I described it, which is exactly the way you would login on your computer. That's what I do all the time. –  Phong Oct 13 '12 at 23:41
@gecko: If you think this question should be closed because the features you're asking about no longer exist, then you should flag it as such rather than editing the question. (Yes, you can flag your own posts.) There's even a specific reason under "off-topic" which covers obsolete apps/features. –  Al E. Jul 14 at 12:07

2 Answers 2

You can open it from mobile and when it asks for a code,you can select an option,like "Send code to backup phone". Then the code is sent to another phone number. For this, you have to add one more phone number while registering for two-step authentication..


Check this for more details.


From a verified device(laptop)
1. Login to
2. Click on Security>2-step Verification>Edit
GA-Security-2-step verification-Edit
3. Click on Edit for your verified phone. You will see the following screen. Google Accounts - Security -Edit Verified Phone
4. You are now able to send codes via SMS or a Voice call to verify this phone. No real need to set up a Back Up phone unless you would like to.

I don't understand what you mean. If I have only the phone with me, and I login from the phone, to which device does it send the verification? –  gecko Oct 13 '12 at 19:35
It sends you a text message that has a verification code. You can also choose a Voice Call. –  dmcgill50 Oct 15 '12 at 21:15
Thanks for reply. It doesn't answer the question as it's no longer 2 factor authentication... I guess the answer is that it can't be done without carrying 2 phones (using only a single phone would lose the 2 factor authentication) –  gecko Jan 3 '13 at 23:07
Two factor does not mean two devices. It means two of three types of authentication. In this scenario, you have entered a password on your phone's web browser. This is the first factor. The second factor is something that you have. The thing that you have is your phone. The assumption is that an attacker will have your password and not your phone, making the attack unsuccessful. If you would like to secure this further, have it call your home phone or a voicemail service and then retrieve the code from the VM that is left by Google's authentication service. Please let me know if this helps. –  dmcgill50 Apr 11 '13 at 18:15

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