Alternative to Google Authenticator (for Mac)

At work we have to use Google Authenticator for certain services. Sometimes it’s really annoying to have to have to use an iPhone app. But these days we have Apple Silicon, so fixed! :slight_smile:

Well, not quite. Unfortunately, Google Authenticator seems to be one of these pesky apps that blocks downloads on a Mac. So is there an alternative app that I could run on my Mac to do what Google Authenticator achieves to satisfy our borderline paranoid IT security folks?

Authy. Or any of a dozen other TOTP code generators. They are all implementing the IETF standard for TOTP codes (RFC 6238), and most of them shouldn’t have any problem running if you install them on a Mac.

But doing this may run afoul of your IT department. They may explicitly want you to take out your phone in order to generate the code, because authentication will require the person logging in to have physical possession of your phone and its login credentials (making it a true second factor, not just a second password).


I dropped Authy in to replace Google Authenticator a few years ago when the Google app was very basic and lacking in any usability features apart from generating the 2FA time codes.

It just works, other options are available now I am sure.

There was just a discussion about TOTP apps here.

I don’t have an AS Mac yet, so I can’t answer from experience, but one of the ones discussed there should work.

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The question wasn’t so much about which iPhone app. I want to know which of those many iPhone apps actually works on a Mac. Better yet, which Mac app does the trick?

Authy works on Mac - it is cross platform. I mostly use it on a Mac, your question was not very clear on the target platform issue.

1Password does. It looks like LastPass might as well. I’d expect most password managers these days do.


Nah, it’s bogus. I have to use it on my phone to connect my phone to certain services. There’s no second possession involved there. If they tolerate me using it that way on my phone, I’ll use it the same way on my Mac. And if Google doesn’t want to play ball I’ll gladly take somebody else’s app.

I wonder what the simplest and most bare-bones app is to do this. I came across Authenticator on the MAS which is simple and free (and works), but I wonder if there’s even simpler apps where I just get the code displayed behind a menu bar widget. I’m really looking to make this monkey business as transparent as absolutely possible.

The one included on Setapp is

Also available on the App Store with in-app purchase.

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Have any of these apps undergone code audits? I’m not qualified to do one myself, but would be interested in knowing if the security of the code had ever undergone review.


The OTP Auth app I mentioned in that thread (which is the one that I use) has a native Mac app. It’s not free, though. Authy is also available as a native Mac app, which o believe is not a catalyst clone of the iPad app.

Step Two is very minimalist and nice. Free too. It would be nice if there were a way to relegate it to the menu bar. Authenticator has that, but it’s broken in another way. It launches a dock icon whenever you click on the menu bar item with no option to turn that off (like eg. Maestral).

Double down on this. I use it with 1Pasword is wonderful

It is but v8 is going to be a completely different beast with the lack of options for synchronisation service :frowning:

Which is a pity as it is rather good currently.

I switched from Google Authenticator to Authy. I use the Mac app and the iPhone app. It is a great experience. Items sync between the 2 and haven’t had any troubles.

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Yeah, there is: password manager BitWarden. Syncs across multiple Macs and i-devices.