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Android QR code "something went wrong"


I used the search util on the forum to search the words in my post title but I was a little surprised this hasn’t been posted as a Q.

I have a new phone. my old phone has the Duo accounts backed up to google. I was able to generate a QR code exactly once, even after rebooting the old phone I get this:

I also tried the passphrase on the new phone to unlock the backup, and that also failed. I reset the passphrase on my old phone thinking that maybe I got it wrong when I stored it, but that one also does not work on the new phone.

I tried clearing storage and cache on the Duo app for the new phone, and also toggled the backup option on the OLD phone several times to force a new backup with the new passphrase. Still no luck.

This is frustrating. Why doesn’t this work? How do I get it to work?

2 Replies 2

Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

It appears that if Instant Restore was already performed once, it cannot be performed again. Any attempt to generate a QR code on the old phone that successfully performed the Instant Restore will result in the error you see.

Did you actually scan the QR code on the old phone with the new phone?

Are you using Duo with an organizational account (work or school) or only for personal use?

Duo, not DUO.

Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Hi Tee3,

There might be two problems happening here--one with recovering accounts with Duo Instant Restore and the other with Duo Restore for third-party accountsYou mentioned the QR code, which is present in the Instant Restore flow, but you also mentioned your passphrase (or recovery password), which is present in the Duo Restore for third-party accounts flow.

During account recovery, Duo Instant Restore (Enabled in the Duo Admin Panel and allows the user to migrate the Duo-protected accounts to a new phone by scanning the QR code) should recover your Duo-protected accounts, and Duo Restore (Enabled in the Duo Mobile app, backed up by Google, and requires the recovery password) should recover your third-party accounts after that.

Per DuoKristina's point, any attempt to generate a QR code on the old phone that successfully performed the Instant Restore will result in the error you see. So it appears now that the Duo Instant Restore feature is preventing Duo Restore for third-party accounts from completing since you can't get past the Instant Restore flow since you already used the QR code when you attempted Instant Restore the first time.

Please see a workaround below:

Step 5 from this guide ( instructs you to "Tap Yes, continue setup to continue," instead selected No, to force Instant Restore to bypass the QR code generation step.

  1. From your new Android device, download the latest Duo Mobile App from the Google Play Store.
  2. Open the Duo Mobile app on your new device.
  3. Tap I have existing accounts from the welcome screen.
  4. Duo Mobile will check for a previous backup in Google Drive. Select the Google account you used when initially setting up Duo Restore.
  5. You'll be asked if you have your old phone. Tap Yes, continue setup to continue. Select No.
  6. Continue the prompts and enter your recovery password for the third-party accounts backed up with Google when prompted.
  7. From there, reactivate your Duo-protected or admin accounts if you don't have the option to Reconnect them from Duo Restore.
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