Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (2024)

You can follow these steps to add your two-factor verification and password reset methods. After you've set this up the first time, you can return to theSecurity infopage to add, update, or delete your security information.

If you're prompted to set this up immediately after you sign in to your work or school account, see the detailed steps in theSet up your security info from the sign-in page promptarticle.

If what you're seeing on your screen doesn't match what's being covered in this article, it means that your administrator hasn't turned on this experience yet. Until this experience is turned on, you must follow the instructions and information in theSet up my account for two-step verificationsection.

Note:If you don't see the authenticator app option, it's possible that your organization doesn't allow you to use this option for verification. In this case, you'll need to choose another method or contact your organization's help desk for more assistance.

Security versus password reset verification

Security info methods are used for both two-factor security verification and for password reset. However, not all methods can be used for both.

Method

Used for

Authenticator app

Two-factor verification and password reset authentication.

Text messages

Two-factor verification and password reset authentication.

Phone calls

Two-factor verification and password reset authentication.

Security key

Two-factor verification and password reset authentication.

Email account

Password reset authentication only. You'll need to choose a different method for two-factor verification.

Security questions

Password reset authentication only. You'll need to choose a different method for two-factor verification.

Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app from the Security info page

Depending on your organization’s settings, you might be able to use an authentication app as one of your security info methods. You aren't required to use the Microsoft Authenticator app, and you can choose a different app during the set up process. However, this article uses the Microsoft Authenticator app.

Important:

  • If you have set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on five different devices or if you've used five hardware tokens, you won't be able to set up a sixth one, and you might see the following error message:

  • You can't set up Microsoft Authenticator because you already have five authenticator apps or hardware tokens. Please contact your administrator to delete one of your authenticator apps or hardware tokens.

To set up the Microsoft Authenticator app

  1. Sign in to your work or school account and then go to yourMy Account portal.

    Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (1)
  2. On theAdd a methodpage, selectAuthenticator appfrom the list, and then selectAdd.

  3. On theStart by getting the apppage, selectDownload nowto download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device, and then selectNext.For more information about how to download and install the app, seeDownload and install the Microsoft Authenticator app.

    • If you want to use an authenticator app other than the Microsoft Authenticator app, selectI want to use a different authenticator app.

    • If your organization lets you choose a different method besides the authenticator app, you can select I want to set up a different method.

      Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (3)
  4. Remain on theSet up your accountpage while you set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device.

    Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (4)
  5. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app, select to allow notifications (if prompted), selectAdd accountfrom theCustomize and controlicon on the upper-right, and then selectWork or school account.

    Note:The first time yousetup the Microsoft Authenticator app, you might receive a prompt asking whether to allow the app to access your camera (iOS) or to allow the app to take pictures and record video (Android). You must selectAllowso the authenticator app can access your camera to take a picture of the QR code in the next step. If you don't allow the camera, you can still set up the authenticator app, but you'll need to add the code information manually. For information about how to add the code manually, see seeManually add an account to the app.

  6. Return to theSet up your accountpage on your computer, and then selectNext. TheScan the QR codepage appears.

    Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (5)
  7. Scan the provided code with the Microsoft Authenticator app QR code reader, which appeared on your mobile device after you created your work or school account in Step 6.

  8. The authenticator app should successfully add your work or school account without requiring any additional information from you. However, if the QR code reader can't read the code, you can select Can't scan the QR codeand manually enter the code and URL into the Microsoft Authenticator app. For more information about manually adding a code, seeManually add an account to the app.

  9. SelectNexton theScan the QR codepage on your computer. A notification is sent to the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device, to test your account.

    Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (6)
  10. Approve the notification in the Microsoft Authenticator app, and then selectNext.Your security info is updated to use the Microsoft Authenticator app by default to verify your identity when using two-step verification or password reset.

    Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (7)

Delete your authenticator app from your security info methods

If you no longer want to use your authenticator app as a security info method, you can remove it from theSecurity infopage. This works for all authenticator apps, not just the Microsoft Authenticator app. After you delete the app, youhave to go into the authenticator app on your mobile device and delete the account.

Important:If you delete the authenticator app by mistake, there's no way to undo it. You'll have to add the authenticator app again, following the steps in theSet up the authenticator appsection of this article.

To delete the authenticator app

  1. On theSecurity infopage, select theDeletelink next to the Authenticator app.

    Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (8)
  2. SelectYeswhen asked to confirm to delete the authenticator app. After the authenticator app is deleted, it's removed from your security info and it disappears from theSecurity infopage. If the authenticator app is your default method, the default changes to another available method.

  3. Open the authenticator app on your mobile device, selectEdit accounts, and then delete your work or school account from the authenticator app.

  4. Your account is completely removed from the authenticator app for two-factor verification and password reset requests.

Change your default security info method

If you want the authenticator app to be the default method used when you sign-in to your work or school account using two-factor verification or for password reset requests, you can set it from the Securityinfopage.

Note:If your default sign-in method is a text or call to your phone number, then the SMS code or voice call is sent automatically during multifactor authentication. As of June 2021, some apps will ask users to chooseTextorCallfirst. This option prevents sending too many security codes for different apps. If your default sign-in method is the Microsoft Authenticator app (which Microsoft recommends), then the app notification is sent automatically.

To change your default security info method

  1. On theSecurity infopage, select Changenext to theDefault sign-in methodinformation.

    Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (9)
  2. ChooseMicrosoft Authenticator - notificationfrom the list of available methods. If you're not using the Microsoft Authenticator app, select theAuthenticator app or hardware tokenoption.

    Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (10)
  3. SelectConfirm. The default method used for sign-in changes to the Microsoft Authenticator app.

Additional security info methods

You have additional options for how your organization contacts you to verify your identity, based on what's you're trying to do. The options include:

  • Mobile device text:Enter your mobile device number and get a text a code you'll use for two-step verification or password reset. For step-by-step instructions about how to verify your identity with a text message (SMS), seeSet up security info to use text messaging (SMS).

  • Mobile device or work phone call: Enter your mobile device number and get a phone call for two-step verification or password reset. For step-by-step instructions about how to verify your identity with a phone number, seeSet up security info to use phone calls.

  • Security key:Register your Microsoft-compatible security key and use it along with a PIN for two-step verification or password reset. For step-by-step instructions about how to verify your identity with a security key, seeSet up security info to use a security key.

  • Email address:Enter your work or school email address to get an email for password reset. This option isn't available for two-step verification. For step-by-step instructions about how to set up your email, seeSet up security info to use email.

  • Security questions:Answer some security questions created by your administrator for your organization. This option is only available for password reset and not for two-step verification. For step-by-step instructions about how to set up your security questions, see theSet up security info to use security questionsarticle.

Note:If some of these options are missing, it's most likely because your organization doesn't allow those methods. If this is the case, you'll need to choose an available method or contact your administrator for more help.

Next steps

Sign-in using the Microsoft Authenticator app, following steps in theSign in using two-step verification or security infoarticle.

Reset your password if you've lost or forgotten it, from thePassword reset portalor follow the steps in theReset your work or school passwordarticle.

Get troubleshooting tips and help for sign-in problems in theCan't sign in to your Microsoft accountarticle.

Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method (2024)
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