Android phones have this awesome feature whereby your list of installed applications, your application settings, your Wi-Fi settings, etc., are backed up automatically inside your Google account, such that when you set up a new phone and link it to your Google account during the initial setup, all that stuff gets restored automatically, making for a lot less work for you returning your phone to the condition you want it to be in.
However, if you have two-factor authentication enabled on your Google account, it doesn’t work properly, or at least it didn’t for me. Here’s what happened:
- I turned on my newly factory reset phone.
- During the initial setup process, I entered my Google account username and password.
- The setup app told me I had to log in on the internet (i.e., through the browser) because of my two-factor authentication.
- I logged in on the internet, including entering the two-factor authentication code I received as a text message.
- The setup process proceeded to completion.
- I discovered after it was done that my Google account had not been successfully configured into the phone.
- I configured the account again. This time it worked, but my apps and settings were not restored.
- I couldn’t find any way to tell the phone to restore my apps and settings at that point.
Moral of the story: if you’re setting up a new phone or resetting and rebuilding your old one, and you want your apps and settings to be restored, then turn off two-factor authentication completely until the phone is set up, and only then turn it back on.