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First published on CloudBlogs on Apr, 24 2018
Howdy folks, Many of you have asked for backup and recovery for the Microsoft Authenticator app. We've heard that need, and that's why I'm happy to announce that we've just released a backup and recovery feature for that app. Now, your Microsoft Authenticator app will keep your account credentials, so you won't get locked out of your accounts when you move to a new device. We're launching this feature beginning with iOS first, and we've already released a private preview to our iOS beta testers. Over the next few weeks, we'll roll this out to all iOS users. We're rolling out to iOS first as building the app using iCloud simplified our development. But later this year, we'll add this feature to the Android version as well. Try it out! If you don't have the Microsoft Authenticator app yet, get it here . If you want to try this feature before it's available to the general public, sign up here to become a beta tester. If you're already one of our beta testers, you can install the update (version 5.7.0) on your iOS device once it's available to you. Turn on Backup In the Microsoft Authenticator app, go to Settings . Under Backup , turn the toggle to ON for Auto backups and follow the prompts. Behind the scenes, this is how it works:
  1. We encrypt your backup data with your personal Microsoft account
  2. We then store the encrypted backup with your iCloud account
And that's it! Your account credentials are now backed up in the cloud and will stay up to date when you add, delete, or edit your accounts. Recover on a new device To recover the app on a new device, sign in to the same iCloud account and personal Microsoft account as on your previous device. After you sign in, the following options will be available:
  1. Your OATH verification codes for your third-party accounts and personal Microsoft accounts
  1. The ability to enable push notifications for your personal, work, or school Microsoft accounts
If you have additional questions, check out our Microsoft Authenticator docs . You can also use the Microsoft Authenticator forum to offer suggestions, ask questions, and talk with our support team and other fans of account security. I hope you'll take some time to check this new feature out. As always, we would love to receive any feedback or suggestions you have. Best Regards, Alex Simons (Twitter: @Alex_A_Simons ) Director of Program Management Microsoft Identity Division [ Update 4/27/18: We’ve received a few questions from Azure AD enterprise customers concerned that this new feature is backing up corporate accounts. We want to make clear that we’re not actually backing up corporate account credentials or any of the associated tokens. Instead, we simply store a placeholder marker to let the user know they previously had that account and they’ll need to take action to set up the account again.]
36 Comments
Occasional Visitor

I know this is a late comment, but I really appreciate what the Microsoft team has done with this app. It's leaps and bounds beyond the Google Authenticator on iOS, and I just finished switching all my accounts on the Google Authenticator over to the Microsoft Authenticator. Good work, folks. 

Occasional Visitor
Please also add to Android
Occasional Visitor

Isn't it a bit embarrassing that this is being added for Apple IOS users before Windows / Android users? 

 

Great that both Apple and Microsoft are putting Apple users first.

Senior Member

Google Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator, Authy Authenticator, DUO Mobile Authenticator, etc. all allow Android devices to backup & restore.  Why not Microsoft?  

In another article it was stated that "due to security reasons Android devices could not be backup up".  Is that because your software developers aren't smart enough to figure out how to do it? Or do you not trust the security features of OneDrive?  

 

Asking for a friend.... 

Regular Visitor

Thanks for the great article on backup and restore for MS Authenticator. A bit dissapointed that it isn't available on Android yet. How can i find out when you will be testing this new feature and maybe be part of the beta testing?

Occasional Visitor

Hi

 

Any news yet on the Microsoft android backup version.

Regular Visitor

Any time frames on the Android version... Really don't want root my devices just to transfer authenticator app (over 30 accounts

Occasional Visitor

WTH - Android this century?  I might have to dump this as my authenticator.

Occasional Visitor

Thanks for nothing Microsoft, Phone died today, I now have the hassle of getting all 2FA accounts reset and you know how hard that is with authenticator to AUTH with 2FA

 

Visitor
I don't understand why you guys can't use one drive to backup the accounts? It's a joke not to be able to support android until now.
Occasional Visitor

Hey Microsoft team!

Isn't it embarrassing for a person been with you all the time (while you were experimenting on Microsoft mobiles), and remained with you unless you yourself stopped making windows phones.  I was literally shocked to know about that I can not back up my Microsoft Authenticator because it was very obvious for me to have a backup option for password remembering app. Isn't it funny? don't you think so?   Where is the camera hiding Nice Prank Microsoft Nice Prank uncle bill?  

 

 

A very sad Microsoft user. 

Visitor

Seriously. Where is the backup option for Android users???? This should be extremely embarrassing to the developers and program managers. This is a nearly a year since the announcement.

Regular Visitor

Microsoft when will you enable this for Android users? Pretty poor that after a year it's still not enabled.

Regular Visitor

I am in total agreement with all of you and I find it very annoying as well as embarrassed that iPhone users would get this first, BUT, being negative isn't going to go anywhere as you can plainly see. Is there an update on the progress? Can you share something positive with the user community? Can we help to provide some testing as a beta group?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Cheers,

Tom

Visitor
Heads up, i formatted my phone and forgot to all about the app, after i opened it, it asked me to add an account, found the account for me and everything worked fine but only for the Microsoft account, another site i had is lost and now i have to go into the trouble of trying to remove the 2fa for it and create a new one, so you can get your Microsoft one back if you have a google account connected to the device over the google data restore but not the rest of your keys.

Where is the Microsoft Authenticator backup option for Android!?  This blog post from 2018 said by the end of the year, it's now 5 months late!

 

FYI for others.  You can add a secondary MFA device using using code auth vs push notifications.   I've done that and added it into Authy so that at least I have a backup MFA option for WHEN (Not IF) I need to replace my MFA device.

 

Most users are going to be using their primary mobile device for MFA.  These devices are almost guaranteed to be replaced every ~2-4yrs.  Backup/Restore is a requirement and not having it is a massive deterrent to MFA adoption. 

Visitor

We're all still waiting on that sweet Android update due at the end of 2018?

Occasional Visitor

Yes, it would be swell if I could backup my auth codes.

Visitor

According to Alex's reply to my Tweet: "Just got an update from the team. It's currently in development. Should go into public preview sometime in the next ~90 days"

https://twitter.com/andrewbadge/status/1115814245319565314

Frequent Visitor

@Alex Simons, I'm also looking forward to backup & restore for Authenticator on Android. Can you share a short update, whether this is still on track for the next ~60 days?

Thanks!

Occasional Visitor

Any update on this? Hoping this is getting closer. I just got a new phone and have spent an hour just finding the QR codes to rescan. It's a pain.

Visitor

@jgaylord "Any update on this? Hoping this is getting closer. I just got a new phone and have spent an hour just finding the QR codes to rescan. It's a pain."

I have a calendar reminder for Mid Sept to hassle Alex (sorry Alex) if backup does not appear by then. This is estimated time-frame he stated on Twitter.

Senior Member

I've given up on the Microsoft Authenticator backup for Android.  I doubt it will ever happen.  I asked Alex the same questions over a year ago and he said "soon", but still nothing.  

I've switched all my accounts to LastPass Authenticator and it works GREAT and does backups for Android.  I only use the MS Authenticator for work & my O365 account.  

New Contributor

Would LOVE to see this MS Auth App backup feature become available for Android users.  With us IT/MSP guys pushing 2FA strongly for all of our O365 clients...we like the ease of use of the MS Auth App (and of course would like to keep everything Microsoft).  Lots of us Android users out there..and when a phone gets lost/upgraded/replaced...having multiple MFA accounts in the Auth app is a chore to re-do.  Other Auth apps make this easy with their backup/restore.

Occasional Visitor

I gave up on Android support and moved to Authy, which allows for backup of codes.  The backups are encrypted with a password that is not uploaded to their servers.

Visitor

I actually moved from authy to 1password that includes support for 2fa in their password manager, plus has yubikey, windows hello and other goodies in it, only downside is that is paid only.

 

I continue to use the authenticator as a supplement for the password less login and nothing else

Visitor

+1 Android backup. I actually need it in the next few weeks because I'm switching phones soon. If I don't see an option at that point, I'll probably just switch apps then too.

New Contributor

Where is the Android backup option?  It's now 9/1/2019 and even the notes on the website say it is available, but it is not an option on my oneplus 6 running android 9:

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/user-help/user-help-auth-app-backup-recovery

 

Applies to:

  • iOS devices, running version 5.7.0 and later

  • Android devices, running version 6.6.0 and later

Visitor

@Chris PoroskyIt's live. I'm using it (A9, OnePlus 3T). Try a manual check on app updates? Failing that, probably just a short waiting game for it to propagate.

Regular Visitor

I've just joined the beta and it immediately showed the backup was available, not sure why the final version doesn't have it yet.

Visitor

@jspittle 

They just release it to beta, so after testing in a beta stage, the software is hardened and release to production. I don't work for MS, but this is just how the software stages work and how things get released :) 

 

If you want this feature on Android, sign up for the beta (9/3/2019 - I'm time-stamping this because it will not always be in Beta)
https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.azure.authenticator

New Contributor

I have so many MFA accounts on it I didn't want to wait for the official version so I just signed up for the BETA and downloaded/installed it.

 

I do wish they allowed it to tied to your WORK account, it would be logical.  Most of us that will have many MFA accounts will be doing this "work related"..and have an O365 business/enterprise account.  The last time I signed into my "personal" Microsoft account was probably 15 or more years ago.

Regular Visitor

@philcarbone  - Where did you sign up for the beta? I looked on my Android and do not yet see the Cloud backup option.

 

Thanks in advance!

- Tom

Visitor

Hi @TommyD  - I updated my original comment too, but here is the link: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.azure.authenticator 

 

Once you sign up you should see the Beta version show up when you go to the app, in the Google Play store, on your Android. 

Occasional Contributor

@YeOldeStonecat so they disappointed us... Backup - yes but only to a personal account. Because they want to keep some promises. Who pays the licenses? outlook.com users?

Occasional Visitor

I had a chance to use the restore option. My Samsung Galaxy S10 5G device wasn't working properly so I factory reset it. Everything in the Authenticator restored properly except the Microsoft MFA. Go figure.