One time passwords, otherwise known as OTPs, are great for keeping your accounts safe. They force anyone looking to sign into an app or site to not only know the username and password, but also provide a one-time code from a trusted device. Bu if you’ve ever received your OTPs via text, you know they can start to add up and get cluttered. Fortunately, Google is finally offering a solution to the problem.
What’s the problem with OTPs?
OTPs are fantastic, but they serve no purpose once they’re used (hence the name). If you’re constantly signing into accounts with 2FA, for example, you’ll receive these one-time passcodes frequently, use them, then…leave the text alone forever. After all, the only thing more annoying than a sea of useless codes is deleting these codes by hand, one after another, every time you sign in to your accounts.
How to delete temporary passwords on Google Messages
Google is beginning to roll out a new update for its main messaging app, Google Messages. The big change with this update is conversation categories, which uses AI to automatically sort your various text threads into groups. Right now, those groups consist of “All,” showing you all of your threads; “Personal,” which shows your texts from friends and family; and “Business,” which collects texts from work and other more formal contacts.
However, there’s a new setting buried in the update that isn’t getting much attention. If you head to “Message organisation,” you’ll see a new option for “Auto-delete OTPs after 24 hours.” All you need to do is enable the feature, and your 2FA codes will remove themselves from your phone 24 hours after they arrive.
24 hours is still pretty generous; with 2FA especially, codes are only useful for a very short period of time — typically minutes instead of hours. If you don’t enter the code in time, it expires, and you need to generate a new one in order to proceed. Still, at least by this time tomorrow, that code you generated will be removed from your phone, ready to make room for the next code, and the one after that.
How to download the latest Google Messages update
This feature, as well as the entire conversation categories feature, isn’t fully rolled out yet. As such, you’ll need to wait for it to hit your device. To check, download the latest version of Google Messages from the Play Store, or sideload the app from APK Mirror.