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winauth/winauth: Authenticator for Battle.net / Steam / Guild Wars 2 / Glyph / Runescape / SWTOR / Bitcoin and crypto

WinAuth is a portable, open-source Authenticator for Windows that provides counter or time-based RFC 6238 authenticators and common implementations, such as the Google Authenticator. WinAuth can be used with many Bitcoin trading websites as well as games, supporting Battle.net (World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo), Guild Wars 2, Glyph (Rift and ArcheAge), WildStar, RuneScape, SWTOR and Steam.

Download Latest Version

The latest stable version is WinAuth 3.5 and is available to download from this source repository, or as a pre-compiled binary from WinAuth downloads.

WinAuth 3.5 (latest stable)

WinAuth provides an alternative solution to combine various two-factor authenticator services in one convenient place.

Latest Version (WinAuth-3.5.1)

There is also a .Net 3.5 build of WinAuth that can be run on Windows 7 installations "out of the box".

Features include:

  • Support for time-based RFC 6238 authenticators (e.g. Google Authenticator) and HOTP counter-based authenticators
  • Supports Battle.net (World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III), GuildWars 2, Trion / Glyph (Rift, ArcheAge), RuneScape, WildStar, SWTOR and Steam
  • Supports Steam's SteamGuard and trading confirmations
  • Supports many Bitcoin trading websites such as Coinbase, Gemini, Circle, Bitstamp, BTC-e, Cryptsy
  • Displays multiple authenticators simultaneously
  • Codes displayed and refreshed automatically or on demand
  • Data is protected with your password, locked to Windows machine or account, or a YubiKey
  • Additional password protection per authenticator
  • Restore features for supported authenticators, e.g. Battle.net and Rift
  • Selection of standard or custom icons
  • Hot-key binding with standard or custom actions, such as code notification, keyboard input, and copy to clipboard
  • Portable mode preventing changes to other files or registry settings
  • Import and export in UriKeyFormat and from Authenticator Plus for Android

Visit WinAuth.com for more information.

  • 3.5.1 - Issue#366: fix spamming notifications when Steam is down. Hide confim/cancel all buttons on login.

How To Use

Use the following link to download the latest version of WinAuth, or go to the downloads page on winauth.com.

Requires Microsoft .Net 4.5

To use:

  • Download the latest stable version of WinAuth
  • There is no installation required, just open the zip file and extract the WinAuth.exe file to anywhere on your computer
  • Double-click or run WinAuth.exe
  • Click the Add button to add or import an authenticator
  • Right-click any authenticator to bring up context menu
  • Click the icon on the right to show the current code, if auto-refresh is not enabled
  • Click cog/options icon for program options

To compile and build from source:

  • Download source code file or clone project
  • Requires Microsoft Visual Studio 2015
  • any other dependencies are included in the source tree in the 3rd Party folder
  • Use ILMerge to combine assemblies into one single exe file

New Features

Version 3.5 includes Steam trade confirmations.

If you registered SteamGuard with WinAuth 3.3.7 or earlier, you will need to remove it from your Steam account and add it again. This is because WinAuth 3.3 only kept information relevant to generating the SteamGuard authenticator codes, however, confirmations needs more information.

You can go into the normal Steam client, choose Account Details, then click "Manage Steam Guard". Click the Remove Authenticator button and enter the recovery code (aka revocation code - found from right-clicking in WinAuth).

Once the new authenticator is added, you will have an extra option when right-clicking called "Confirmations...". This will login with your username/password and show your current trade confirmations. You can click to view more details, and use the buttons to accept or reject them.

If you choose "remember me", WinAuth will keep you logged in (does not keep your username/password) so you can quickly go into Confirmations again.


Is it secure? Is it safe?

All authenticators just provide another layer of security. None are 100% effective.

A physical/keychain device is by far the best protection. Although still subject to any man-in-the-middle attack, there is no way to get at the secret key stored within it. If you are at all concerned, get one of these.

An iPhone app or app on a non-rooted Android device is also secure. There is no way to get at the secret key stored on the device, however, some apps provides way to export the key that could compromise your authenticator if you do not physically protect your phone. Also if those apps backup their data elsewhere, that data could be vulnerable.

A rooted-Android phone can have your secret key read off it by an app with access. Some apps also do not encrypt the keys and so this should be considered risky.

WinAuth stores you secret key in an encrypted file on your computer. Whilst it cannot therefore provide the same security as a separate physical device, as much as possible has been done to protect the key on your machine. As above, physical access to your machine would be the only way to compromise any authenticator.

I'm concerned this might be a virus / malware / keylogger

WinAuth has been around and used since mid-2010 and has been downloaded by thousands of users.

It has always been open-source allowing everyone to inspect and review the code. A binary is provided, but the source code is always released simultaneously so that you can review the code and build it yourself.

No personal information is sent out to any other 3rd party servers. It never even sees your account information, only your authenticator details.

There are no other executables installed on your machine. There is no installer doing things you are unable to monitor. WinAuth is portable so you can just run it from anywhere.

I found WinAuth on another website, is it the same thing?

WinAuth source code is uploaded to GitHub at http://github.com/winauth/winauth and pre-built binaries and installers are on winauth.com. It had been hosted using Google Code at https://code.google.com/p/winauth, but has been moved to GiHub since Google Code is being closed down. It is not published anywhere else, so please do not download any other programs claiming to be WinAuth.

Where does WinAuth save my authenticator information?

Unlike some other authenticator applications, WinAuth does not store/send your information to any 3rd party servers. Your authenticator information is saved by default in your account roaming profile, i.e. c:\Users<username>\AppData\Roaming\WinAuth. However, this file can be moved anywhere and passed into WinAuth when run.

More Information

All trademarks are recognised, including but not limited to:

  • Blizzard, Battle.net, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo
  • ArenaNet, Guild Wars 2
  • Trion, Rift
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Steam


WinAuth was written by Colin Mackie. Copyright (C) 2010-2016.

Bitcoin donations can be sent to 1C4bMkMATViiWYsmJSDUx2MruWM785C36Y


This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.


FAQ - WinAuth

Is it secure?

All authenticators just provide another layer of security. None are 100% effective.

A separate physical/keychain device provides the best protection. Although still subject to any man-in-the-middle attack, there is no way to get at the secret key stored within it. If you are at all concerned, you should look at getting one of these for the service you are trying to protect.

Apps running on an iPhone and non-rooted Android devices are fairly secure. Normally there is no way to get at the secret key stored on those devices, however, if your phone were stolen or physically accessed it is possible for someone to get your authenticator information.

A rooted-Android phone can have your secret key read off it by someone with access. The key is not encrypted and so should be considered risky.

WinAuth stores you secret key in an encrypted file on your computer. Whilst it cannot therefore provide the same security as a separate physical device, as much as possible has been done to protect the key on your machine. As above, physical access to your machine would be the only way to compromise any authenticator.

I typed in the code but it says it is invalid

Right-click and choose “Sync Time”. Try the next code.

The code is generated both from the secret key you originally typed/copied into WinAuth as well as the current time. In order for the codes to match, the time needs to be the same on your computer and the servers. However, the time on your computer might change, so WinAuth remembers the difference in time so it can always adjust to generate the correct code.

WinAuth checks the time each day and whenever the clock on your computer changes. However, sometimes the times can get out of sync and so has to be corrected manually. The Sync Time option recalculates the time difference.

I forgot my password

Your password is used to encrypt the authenticator data. If you can’t remember it then you cannot access your authenticators.

If you have a backup of the configuration file, from c:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\WinAuth (Windows 7/8.x), then you can just restore it. However this won’t work if you are using a new computer (or re-installed Windows) and used the “Encrypt to only be useable on this computer”.

If you had made an export copy, you can click Add and choose Import. You will first need to rename the existing winauth.xml file in c:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\WinAuth otherwise it’ll just keeping asking you for your old password.

It is always a good idea to write down the Secret Key you originally add to create a new authenticator. If you still have a copy of that key you can click Add for a new authenticator and enter the same key.

If you didn’t write down the keys and don’t have a backup, then you will need to contact the Support for the services you use and request they remove the authenticator from your account.

I’m concerned this might be a virus / malware / keylogger

WinAuth has been around and used since mid-2010 and has been downloaded by thousands of users. It was originally written as an alternative to the public domain Blizzard Mobile Authenticator.

It has always been open-source allowing everyone to inspect and review the code. A binary is provided, but the source code is always released simultaneously so that you can review the code and build it yourself.

No personal information is sent out to any other 3rd party servers. It never even sees your account information, only your authenticator details.

There are no other executables installed on your machine. There is no installer doing things you are unable to monitor. WinAuth is also portable so you can run it from anywhere.

I found WinAuth on another website, is it the same thing?

WinAuth is only uploaded to winauth.com and the source code is hosted on GitHub at https://github.com/winauth/winauth. It is not published anywhere else, so please do not download any other programs claiming to be WinAuth.

Where does WinAuth save my authenticator information?

Your authenticator data is saved by default to a file in your Windows account profile, e.g. c:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\WinAuth\winauth.xml (for version 3.x) or c:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Windows Authenticator\authenticator.xml (for version 2.x). The file is encrypted with your password (unless you have explicitly chosen to not do this) and can also be protected so that it is locked to your computer or Windows account. This means, even if your computer were compromised , the file could not be opened anywhere else.

How can I use WinAuth on multiple PCs?

WinAuth was designed to be portable, although the default mode is to run on a single PC.

If you were always using WinAuth on the same PCs, it is recommended you install WinAuth on both computers and clone your authenticators onto each. Right-click each authenticator in WinAuth and choose “Show Secret Key” or “Show Serial and Restore Code”. Copy down the values. On the other PC, use the Add button and add each one from the code you copied down. (In WinAuth 3.1 you can use the Export/Import feature)

The reason to do this is so that you can enable the additional Windows “Encrypt to only be useable on this computer” in Change Protection, so that your authenticator data is locked to that PC, and if the configuration file is unreadable if it were opened or stolen by a malicious application.

However, if you want to run WinAuth in true portable mode, or a USB stick for example, then you first need to copy the WinAuth.exe file onto your USB stick. Next, open Explorer and go to c:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\WinAuth (Windows 7/8.x) and copy or move the winauth.xml file from there into the same folder as winauth.exe on your USB stick. When you then run WinAuth from the USB stick it will run in portable mode and will not write any data to that computer. This means it can be taken and used anywhere.

Make sure that you do NOT have the “Encrypt to only be useable on this computer” enabled before you copy the file and also that you are using a secure password.


Battle.net / World of Warcraft / Diablo III

Is this against the TOS (Terms of Service)? Could I get banned?

No. Whlist Blizzard does not support or endorse WinAuth, they are not against its use.

“As you may have already seen from the small related section on the creator’s website, you can use the program if you wish, but I should make clear that we obviously won’t endorse it nor support or encourage its use.” (source)

Will it work with Mists of Pandaria or Diablo III?

WinAuth provides security for your Battle.net account and so can secure any games that make use of authenticator. This includes all version of World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2 and Diablo III.

Do I need to have the existing Mobile Authenticator app or keychain to use WinAuth?

No. WinAuth is completely independent and can register a new authenticator code with the Battle.Net servers. You don’t need to have or have used the official app beforehand.

When I add an authenticator it asking for a 10 digit serial number, but WinAuth is showing a 12 or 14 digit number?

There are two different types of authenticator: the physical keychain device and the Mobile authenticator. WinAuth works like the Mobile Authenticator, so you must make sure that is the one you are adding to your Battle.Net account.

I created an authenticator with WinAuth. Can I switch to using the iPhone/Android app?

With the Restore feature added in the official app, you can copy your authenticator between devices. In WinAuth, use the menu to show the “Restore Code” and then that can be added into the official app.

Of course, this means you can also copy your official app authenticator to WinAuth, by getting the Restore code and then using the “Restore…” feature in WinAuth.



WinAuth Classic - WinAuth

WinAuth is an open-source Windows authenticator that supports Battle.net for World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2 and Diablo III, and ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2.

WinAuth (version 2.x) is the original version of WinAuth, similar to the Battle.net Mobile Authenticators for iPhone and Android and used to secure Battle.Net accounts for World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo III. It also implements the Google authenticator and specifically supports ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2.

About WinAuth

WinAuth uses the same algorithm as the Mobile Authenticator for Android and iPhone, and so generates the same codes when using the same serial number and secret key. One of the initial reasons to write it was to remove the dependency on having the phone available, but still use the same codes.

Whilst you cannot directly read the Mobile Authenticator’s private keys from an iPhone or non-rooted Android, you can now use the new Restore feature to copy your authenticator over to WinAuth. On your existing iPhone/Android app, select the menu and choose “Setup” and then press “Continue” to the next page. Note down the Serial Number and Restore Code. Within WinAuth you can just right click and select the “Restore…” option and enter those two same codes.

WinAuth can also load the record store from a Java enabled phone. Just retrieve the .rs or .rms file from your phone and use our “Load Authenticator…”. You can also import key data directly using the “Import Key…” feature.

WinAuth & Security

A physical authenticator device/keychain is the best for security, as there is no access to the internal key. Similarly, the official Mobile Authenticator app running on an iPhone or non-rooted Android phones are secure as long as you protect physical access to your phone. You should use these if you are extremely concerned about security on your account.

Desktop applications and emulators provide an alternative, convenient and portable option. However, you should only use one that is open-source so that you are able to inspect the code, and even build it yourself.

Whilst any Authenticator is subject to a man-in-the-middle attack, something is still better than nothing.

Using WinAuth

The first time you run WinAuth, you will be prompted to generate new Authenticator data from communication with the Battle.net servers. This data must be saved and is used to generate keys. It is imperative that this file (authenticator.xml by default) is kept safe and secure.

In the Windows version, you will be prompted to choose an encryption method that will be used to secure the Authentication data. If you use your own password, you will have to enter it each time your start your Authenticator.

A new code is then generated automatically every 30 seconds (you can only have one code per 30 seconds) and the GUI shows how much time that code has left to live. If you turn the Auto Refresh off from the menu, you can still click the button to get the current code.

Right-click in the GUI windows to bring up a menu to load/save different Authenticator data or change various options.

Can be run from the command line: (really to help with multi-boxing with more than one authenticator – most people don’t need this)

winauth.exe [-min] [-p password] <authenticator-xml-file>

where:-min to start WinAuth minimized-p is explicit password to decrypt authenticator<authenticator-xml-file> is the XML file containing your authenticator

  • Register a new Battle.Net Authenticator
  • Load/save/create multiple encrypted authenticators
  • Restore/clone existing iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile 7 authenticators using the Restore Code
  • Import directly from Android Mobile Authenticator and Java enabled phones
  • Import manual keys from other software authenticators
  • Skinning to look like the latest official app, or create your own custom skin
  • Export keys for other authenticator applications including iPhone/Android
  • Displays code as bitmap making it harder to be read by malicious apps
  • Auto/manual time-sync with Battle.net servers
  • Auto-refresh code showing code’s valid duration or manual operation by pressing button
  • Always on top option
  • Hide to system tray
  • Start with Windows
  • Optional auto “copy to clipboard” on code generation
  • Show/hide serial number
  • Auto type directly into code field on hitting a single system-wide hotkey
  • Send backups of authenticator data to your email
  • Microsoft Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8 (32 or 64 bit)
  • Microsoft Net 2.0

To build:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (2005 or 2008 will work, but you will need to create your own solution file)
  • Legion of the Bouncy Castle cryptographic assembly
  • Zip library for .NET
  • ILMerge is used to combined assemblies into one single exe


License - WinAuth


Version 3, 29 June 2007
Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc. Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed. Preamble The GNU General Public License is a free, copyleft license for software and other kinds of works. The licenses for most software and other practical works are designed to take away your freedom to share and change the works. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change all versions of a program--to make sure it remains free software for all its users. We, the Free Software Foundation, use the GNU General Public License for most of our software; it applies also to any other work released this way by its authors. You can apply it to your programs, too. When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. 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WinAuth Windows 2-factor Authentication app

WinAuth is a free open-source program for the Windows operating system that can be used to generate codes for various services offering 2-factor authentication.

2-factor authentication, sometimes also called 2-step verification, is an authentication scheme that adds a second verification step to authorization processes.

Companies started to add these options to improve account security. Basically, what it does when enabled is to require another code to be entered before access is granted.

This prevents many common attack forms such as phishing, brute forcing and even password dumping.

There are three core types of code generations for 2-factor authentication schemes: hardware-based, software-based, and remote-generation.

  • Hardware-based: usually come in form of a simple gadget that you sync with an account. Once synced, you press a button to generate a code.
  • Software-based: usually as an application that you install on a smartphone. Google Authenticator and Authy are two popular solutions, but there are more, and some companies have created their own authenticator application.
  • Remote Generation: requires a mobile phone, with codes arriving via SMS.


WinAuth has been designed as a free program for Windows to give Windows users a tool at hand that they can use to generate codes for several popular services.

The program supports — at the time of writing — Google, Microsoft, and the gaming services or games Battle.net, Steam, Guild Wars 2, Glyph, SWTOR, RuneScape, and WildStar. WinAuth supports any service that uses Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, or RFC 6284 based authentication.

Note: WinAuth requires the Microsoft .Net Framework but not installation.

The program displays a basic dialog on first start which you use to add services to the program. Click on the add button and select one of the listed services or the generic “authenticator” option from the menu that opens up.

The process is usually the same regardless of service, but it is only explained in detail for the listed services and not the generic option.

What you need to do usually is open the service on the web to start the 2-factor authentication setup. How that is done depends on the service in question. Generally speaking, you will get an email or SMS first to verify the setup, and need to copy a secret key that is displayed on the site into the WinAuth application.

Since it does not support the scanning of QR codes, it is a required step to make the program the code generator for the selected account.

You can then hit the verification button in WinAuth to generate a verification code that you entert on the service’s website to complete the sync process.

The program displays protection options once the syncing completes. You may protect the data using a custom password, or may use Windows account encryption to protect it so that it cannot be used on another computer, or even another user on the computer.

Last but not least, if you own a Yubikey device, you may use it for protection as well.

Once done, you will be asked to enter the code when you sign in to the service. Some services request a code all the time while others allow you to define a device as secure so that codes are requested only occasionally when you are using them.

When a code is requested open WinAuth to get the code that you need to complete the authentication process. Each generator can be set up to generate codes automatically when the program is open, or only on request.

As far as security is concerned, the developers have this to say:

All private authenticator data is encrypted with your own personal password, salted and enhanced with key strengthening to reduce the ability for brute force attacks. The data can also be protected using Windows in-built Data Protection API, which will “lock” the data to a single computer or account, making it completely unusable if copied to another computer.

WinAuth saves the data to c:Users<username>AppDataRoamingWinAuthwinauth.x by default

Closing Words

WinAuth is a handy program for Windows users who want to use 2-factor authentication without using a mobile device to do so. Doing so may limit mobility, but that may not be a requirement.


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