How to set up Google Authenticator for Xero on a new device?

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What is two-step authentication?

Two-step authentication (2SA) adds an additional layer of security to your Xero account. It is a requirement for all Xero users.

You enter a code to log in, as well as your email and password. The code is generated by the Google authenticator app on your mobile phone.

The authenticator app doesn’t connect to your Xero account, and works without a signal or network connection.

Setting up two-step authentication

These instructions from Xero explain how to set and use two-step authentication


  • Make sure that you set up an alternative email address when setting up 2SA, as this will help if ever you need to recover your Xero logon.
  • Also, set up secret questions. These can also be used to recover your account, if ever you need to.
Google Authenticator App

Downloading Google Authenticator

Download from the App Store (Apple) here

Download from from Google Play (Android) here

Log in using a recovery method

When you set up two-step authentication you would have set up ‘secret questions’ and a back up email as recovery methods, should you not be able to access your Google Authenticator.

To log in using one of these recovery methods click on the ‘Use another authentication method link and follow these instructions.

Disable two-step authentication

Once you logon you will need to disable two-step authentication. Follow these instructions to that.

Set up two-step authentication again

Then, set two-step authentication up again following these steps

Still having trouble?

If you are still having trouble setting up Google Authenticator for Xero on a new device contact your bookkeeper and they’ll get you up and running again.