I recently created a secondary Google account and wish to enable Two Factor Authentication using standard HOTP, such as Google Authenticator.

However when I go to my account's security settings, 2-Step Verification, I get this:


I only see options to verify through sms or phone call, or a physical security key, or a Google Prompt on my phone. Neither of these is what I need.

Note that in this case there is actually no phone involved whatsoever. I only created this account on my laptop. I'm using HOTP 2-FA on my main Google account so I know it's possible, but I can't seem to enable it here on this new account?

Am I looking in the wrong place? How or where can I enable regular 2-FA, not involving a phone or hardware key?

(P.S. note that I mention 'Google Authenticator' because that's the most commonly known implementation of HOTP 2-FA and probably how Google will refer to it, I will actually be using either Aegis or KeePassXC)

  • @Ramhound Thanks but it says "on your Android device...". In my case there is no Android device. Also after going to 2-Step Verification (which would be the screenshot I posted above) the next step says: "Under Authenticator app, tap Set up" but there is no Authenticator app whatsoever. Not sure if that has to do with no Android device being involved in my situation?
    – RocketNuts
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 20:07
  • 1
    "If you set up 2-Step Verification, you can use the Google Authenticator app to receive codes." - What this statement means is you have to setup "2-Step Verification" and only then can you configure the Google Authenticator (or otherwise compatiable HOTP 2-FA).
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 21:59
  • @Ramhound thanks, got it working! 👌
    – RocketNuts
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 8:25

1 Answer 1


Thanks to @Ramhound's comment:

  1. First set up 2-FA verification through a text message. Just a phone number required, doesn't have to be an Android phone and thers's no account on the phone involved, just a text (sms) message.

  2. Then you have additional 2-FA options, including the Authenticator App. After enabling 2-FA through an Authenticator App (HOTP), the text/sms verification can be disabled and the phone number can be removed if desired.

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