What to expect when you reset your Authy account

Josh Sherman
3 min read

I’ve been an Authy user for a while. I switched to it after I had lost some accounts in my Google Authenticator app when I had switched phones.

This was never an issue with Authy, and on the off chance I didn’t have access to an authorized device, I was able to log in with my backup password and get back to work.

That was, until the other day when I casually factory reset my phone.

This all transpired because my phone, an O.G. Pixel, started to give me shit. It started a few weeks prior in Atlanta, when it wouldn’t connect to the cellular network.

It happened again a few weeks back while at Target and then this past week happened again. This time it didn’t magically fix itself as it had in the past.

I put my SIM in other phones and it worked fine. I put other SIM cards in my phone and no dice. Best as I can tell, the cellular modem in the phone crapped out leaving me with the equivalent of an iPod Touch.

“No big deal”, I thought. “I’ll just factory reset my phone”, thinking it could potentially get things working again.

So I did that.

And that didn’t fix anything.

And then a wave of anxiety washed over me as I tried to get into Authy so I could log into something and was greeted with the news that I would need to reset my account to gain access again.

Wait, what? That’s not how it worked in the past. Fuck me sideways.

After some digging, it seems that there’s a connection between having Coinbase as a configured account in Authy and the need to reset when you’ve lost access to any authenticated devices.

Okay, no big deal, I’ve reset accounts in the past and it’s usually pretty quick and painless.

Not this time.

You see, the Authy reset takes 24 hours. Not up to 24 hours, but 24 fucking hours.

My earlier digging resulting in me reading the rants of angry Redditors that had been locked out of their account for well over 24 hours.

Panic really set in at this point.

Fortunately, it was all for naught as the process actually was extremely patient and even though it took a while, it was basically an unattended process.

Here’s what transpired when I reset my Authy account:

  1. I initiated the process at approximately 5:22PM CST.
  2. I received an SMS message around the same time alerting me that Recovery of my 2FA account was in process and takes 24 hours. This was alert 1 of 4.
  3. At exactly 1AM CST I received another SMS, 2 of 4, advising that my request to recover was under review.
  4. At exactly 8AM CST I received SMS alert 3 of 4. The message said that account recovery was almost complete. “Ahead of schedule!”, I thought.
  5. 5:22PM CST came and went (exactly 24 hours) and then at 6:20PM CST, just shy of 25 hours, I received an SMS alert that my account recovery was complete and I was good to go!

After that final message arrived, I was able to log back into my account and get back to business.

Coinbase was another matter all together as part of the recovery process is also to remove the Coinbase account from Authy.

Based on what I had read online, and what Authy had emailed me post-recovery was that I would need to contact Coinbase and their recovery process can be significantly more long and drawn out.

That wasn’t the case for me as I actually had a backup verification method in the system so things went way smoother.

Moral of the story, if you’re using Authy and want to reset your device, be sure to have another device authenticated already.

Authy offers a Chrome/Chromium app/extension that can be used in a pinch or if you have access to another phone or tablet, you could set things up on there.

While panic attack inducing at the time, the Authy reset process was quite painless and worked out in the end.

If you’ve encountered this post because you’re in the middle of a reset, just take a deep breath and be patient :)

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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