How to back-up your 2FA codes using Pixplicity Authenticator and why?

Backing up your codes is an important step in keeping your accounts safe and to make sure you never get locked out of your accounts. Because 2FA is such a secure way of keeping your accounts inaccessible for unauthorized people, it might actually lock you out as well if you can present a valid login code anymore!

In this post we explain how to keep a backup of your 2FA codes, and why.

How to back up your 2FA codes using Pixplicity Authenticator

After you have added an account to your Pixplicity Authenticator app, you should make a new backup.

  1. Open the menu in the app (the hamburger menu in the bottom left) and select ‘Back up’.
  2. If you have it set up on your phone, we ask to verify that you are you, by asking for your screen pin, face unlock, or fingerprint. We do this so no-one else can create a backup when they briefly got their hands on your phone.
  3. Think of a password, and enter it twice. If you can’t think of a secure password, hit ‘generate’ and the app will do a suggestion.
  4. Make sure you don’t forget the password! Store it in your password manager.
  5. Tap ‘Back up’.

The backup is now created. Yay! Are you done? No! The backup is still only on your phone. If you drop your phone into the river, you will still have lost your accounts. So, it is important to share the backup.

  1. Hit the share icon in the message that shows after creating a backup.
  2. Select the service you want to store the backup on. The available options here depend on the apps you have on your phone. Common is to use Google Drive, Dropbox, or Evernote. You can also select Gmail or Outlook and email the backup to yourself.

The backup is encrypted using the secure password you just picked. You could even email the backup to a friend, and they would be unable to crack it!

Read here how to restore the backup in case of emergency.

Why like this?

Pixplicity puts the responsibility of creating backups in your hands. We do this for a couple of reasons.

We could have created a cloud solution that automatically backs up your codes. But hosting is not free, and we wanted to be able to create an app that would always be free of charge for the end users.

We also wanted to make an app that was absolutely, 100%, suitable for the biggest privacy geeks. For people like us. We thought: what would it take for us, privacy geeks, to trust a random app from a random company with our security codes? The answer was simple: as a user, we always wanted to keep ownership over our own data. No vendor lock-in, not putting faith into the security skills of the server people, no secret back doors to China.

That’s why we made an app that does not make the backups for you and uploads them to a cloud provider somewhere.

Read all about our security approach here.


Read our other posts on what 2FA exactly is, how you use it with the Pixplicity Authenticator.