How to set up and use Microsoft Authenticator

Dave W. Shanahan

Microsoft Authenticator Android

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Microsoft Authenticator allows you to sign into your Microsoft account from any device without using your password. At times, It’s frustrating to have to remember multiple passwords for all your accounts online, but it’s nice to know that you can use Microsoft Authenticator for all things Microsoft. For added security, there is also two-step verification, which will require you to use your fingerprint, face recognition, or a PIN to login to your Microsoft Account via your phone. First, you’ll need to download the Microsoft Authenticator app. Depending on the phone you use, you can download the app directly in the links below.

Microsoft Authenticator
Microsoft Authenticator

Using Microsoft Authenticator, you can settle for the basic authentication or setup two-step verification for added security on your Microsoft Account. If you are using a work or school account, your administrator will likely require you use two-step verification. For two-step verification, you will be required to enter a separate passcode or PIN provided via a phone call or text message. It is important to remember that the Microsoft Authenticator app supports the industry standard for time-based, one-time passcodes.

These one-time passcodes have three industry standard types of authentication:

  1. OTP=One-time passcodes
  2. TOTP=Timed one-time passcodes
  3. HOTP=Hash-based message authentication code (HMAC) one-time passcodes

First, you need to add your Microsoft account to the Microsoft Authenticator app. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device.
  2. Select Add account from the Customize and control icon in the upper right as shown.
    Microsoft Authenticator add an account
  3. In the Add account page, choose Personal account.
  4. Sign in to your personal account, using the appropriate email address (such as [email protected]), and then choose Next.
  5. Enter your password, and then choose Sign in.

Now, your personal Microsoft account is available via the Microsoft Authenticator app. Microsoft Authenticator will be able to help you to access any online account you need. Microsoft Authenticator works in the same way that similar account authenticator apps work on other platforms. If you are signing in on an unrecognized device or using an unrecognized network, Microsoft Authenticator is available to verify your identity through notifications on your phone.

Here are the steps you need to follow for each account login available in Microsoft Authenticator:

  1. On your computer, sign in to your account with your username and password.
  2. Select Approve from the Microsoft Authenticator approval notification sent to your mobile device.
  3. Sign in to your account on your computer using the Microsoft Authenticator app verification code sent to your mobile device.

In other instances, you can receive the two-step verification code via an automated phone call or text message. If you choose to receive a phone call, you will receive a call with a verification code. It’s as simple as answering the phone and following the voice instructions. If you choose to receive a text message, you will receive the verification code via text message. Thankfully, it’s not an overly complicated process using Microsoft Authenticator.