Authy backup question

New at Authy and software 2FA. Authy keeps prompting me for backups. Is that not taken care of in Time Machine or iCloud iPhone backups?

I wouldn’t want to bet on iCloud iPhone backups having backups of important data like that. iCloud backups can be finicky about what gets included, and “app data” isn’t always part of it.

My understanding of Time Machine is that it gives you a backup you could use to restore your entire Mac in the event of a disk crash. If that’s true, then yes - it covers any data Authy would use.

But if Authy’s data gets corrupted, Time Machine backs up the corrupted data, and then you have a drive failure, you could potentially find yourself in a bad position. Doesn’t hurt to have another layer of redundancy. :slight_smile:


good point by @webwalrus, but I want to give suggestion if I’m in the place to do so.

Please separate between Password Manager and 2FA and any other app, also different passphrase between any of them. It may feel like a hassle at first, but truly give you better protection for your accounts.


Hi @webwalrus. Seems like a reasonable way to look at it. I agree with you that it doesn’t hurt to have another layer of redundancy.

Good lord don’t rely on iCloud/Time Machine for this.

Setup Authy on at least two devices (“one is none”). Make sure you don’t forget your password.

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Authy backups go to Twilio’s servers, not iCloud, so they do provide some redundancy. These backups aren’t to recover the accounts so much as get you back up and running should you lose access to your devices. Your backups to recover access to your actual accounts (Gmail, Dropbox, Github, etc.) should be the paper backup codes they each gave you when you set up 2FA for each individual account. You ideally want those codes printed out and kept in a fire safe or a safety deposit box.

You should also maintain two or more devices with their Authy apps synced together, as TJ mentioned. Even with backups, Authy designs its recovery process to be a pain if you have only one device and lose it.

So yeah, I have those backup codes from the accounts. But where Authy offers the option to enable a “Master Password” is that only to make and recover the backup? I haven’t needed a “Master Password” with the few accounts I use Authy for.

If two are more devices are synced wouldn’t that lessen the need for a backup, other than redundancy? I suppose I might lose both devices at one time in a fire, flood or burglary, I guess, but it would be unlikely. And I would have the paper codes. But then I would need to re-associate my accounts with Authy, I guess … so is that where the backup would come in?

Yes. Multiple devices are a Very Good Thing.

What that doesn’t solve is the issue of the server hosting your data having an issue - in which case all of your data can be lost.

And it doesn’t solve the potential issue of “one device deletes / corrupts the data”, as that deletion / corruption could get synced to everything else.

I’m not saying either of those scenarios is going to happen. I’m saying it’s worth being aware of the fact that it can happen, and making the decision about whether that matters to you. :slight_smile:

I use Authy as well and I get a little annoyed at the reminder of the backup password. Here are the details from Authy’s webpage

Authy Backups Password

Authy allows you to backup and sync your 2FA account tokens across devices. With Authy Backups, you can easily sync 2FA access to your important online accounts between your phone, tablet, computer, and more.

Personally, I enable the Authenticator backups and I disable the “Allow Multi-Device” once I’ve setup any new devices. Theoretically, if I have multiple devices, then I could disable the backups as well.