Sign in to your accounts using the Microsoft Authenticator app (2024)

The Microsoft Authenticator app helps you sign in to your accounts if you use two-factor verification. Two-factor verification helps you to access your accounts more securely, especially while viewing sensitive information. Because passwords can be forgotten, stolen, or compromised, two-factor verification is an additional security step that helps protect your account by making it harder for other people to break in.

You can use the Microsoft Authenticator app in multiple ways, including:

  • Providing a prompt for a second verification method after you sign in with your username and password.

  • Providing sign-in without requiring a password, using your username and your mobile device with your fingerprint, face, or PIN.

Important:This phone sign-in method only works with your work or school and personal Microsoft accounts. Your non-Microsoft accounts require you to use the standard two-factor verification process.

Prerequisites

Before you can use the Microsoft Authenticator app, you must:

  1. Download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app. If you haven't done this yet, seeDownload and install the app.

  2. Add your work/school, personal, and third-party accounts to the Microsoft Authenticator app. For the detailed steps, seeAdd your work or school account,Add your personal accounts, andAdd your non-Microsoft accounts.

Turn on phone sign-in for work or school accounts

Phone sign-in is a type of two-step verification. You must still verify your identity by providing a thing you know and a thing you have, but phone sign-in lets you skip entering your account password and performs all of your identity verification on your mobile device.

Before you can turn on phone sign-in, you must turn on two-factor verification. For more information about how to turn on two-factor verification for an account, seeAdd your work or school accountandAdd your personal accounts.

Phone sign-in is available only on iOS and on Android devices running Android 6.0 or above. If you have trouble turning on phone sign-in on Android, see Common questions about the Microsoft Authenticator app.

Turn on phone sign-in

  • Open the Microsoft Authenticator app, go to your work or school account, and turn on phone sign-in.

  • When you tap the account tile, you see a full screen view of the account. If you seePhone sign-in enabledthat means you are fully set up to sign in without your password. If you seeEnable phone sign-in, tap it to turn on phone sign-in.

  • If you’ve already been using the app for two-factor verification, you can tap the account tile to see a full screen view of the account. Then tapEnable phone sign-into turn on phone sign-in.

  • If you can't find your work or school accounton theAccountsscreen of the app, it means that you haven't added it to the app yet. Add your work or school account by following the steps in theAdd your work or school account help.

Note:Microsoft doesn't support a combination of device registration and certificate-based authentication in Authenticator on iOS. Instead, the user must register the device manually through Authenticator settings before signing in.

First time phone sign-in

After you turn on phone sign-in, use the following steps to use the Authenticator app forpasswordless phone sign-in:

  1. Enteryour username at the sign-in page.

  2. Selects Next.

  3. If necessary, selectsOther ways to sign in.

  4. SelectsApprove a request on my Microsoft Authenticator app.

You are then presented with a number. The Authenticator app prompts you to authenticate by typing the appropriate number, instead of by entering a password.

After you have used passwordless phone sign-in once, the app then offers youthis method as the default. You are always able to choose another method.

Turn on phone sign-in for personal Microsoft accounts

You can turn on phone sign-in for your personal Microsoft account, such as the account you use to sign in to Outlook.com, Xbox, or Skype.

Note:To help protect your account, the Microsoft Authenticator app requires a PIN or biometric lock on your device. If you keep your phone unlocked, the app requires you to set up a security lock before turning on phone sign-in.

Turn on phone sign-in

Open the Microsoft Authenticator app, go to your work or school account, and turn on phone sign-in.

  • When you tap on the account tile, you see a full screen view of the account. If you seePhone sign-in enabledthat means you are fully set up to sign in without your password. If you seeEnable phone sign-in, tap it to turn on phone sign-in.

  • If you’re already using the app for two-factor verification, you can tap the account tile to see a full screen view of the account. Then tapEnable phone sign-into turn on phone sign-in.

  • If you can't find your accounton theAccountsscreen of the app, it means that you haven't added it to the app yet. Add your personal Microsoft account by following the steps in theAdd your personal accountsarticle.

Sign in to your account using phone sign-in

  1. Go to your personal Microsoft account sign-in page, and then instead of typing your password, select theUse the Microsoft Authenticator app insteadlink.

  2. Microsoft sends a notification to your phone.

  3. Approve the notification.

Sign in using two-factor verification for your account

The standard two-factor verification method requires you to enter your username and password into the device you're signing in to, and then choose whether the Microsoft Authenticator app receives a notification or if you want to copy the verification code from the Authenticator app. On an Android device, the verification codes can be found on theAccountsscreen. On an iOS device, these verification codes can be found in theAccountsscreen or the full screen view of an account depending on the type of account. You turn on two-factor verification for your account when you add the account to the Microsoft Authenticator app.

Note:If you don't see your work or school account or your personal account on theAccountsscreen of the Microsoft Authenticator app, it means that you haven't added the account to the Microsoft Authenticator app. To add your account, seeAdd your work or school accountorAdd your personal accounts.

For the steps necessary to sign in to your work or school or your personal account, using the various methods of two-factor verification, seeSign in using two-step verification or security info.

Frequently asked questions

Question

Solution

How is signing in with my phone more secure than typing a password?

Your data is used only to protect your key locally. It’s never sent to, or stored in, the cloud.

After you set up the Microsoft Authenticator app, it creates a key on your phone to unlock your account that’s protected by your phone’s PIN or biometric lock. This key is then used to prove your identity while signing in.

Does phone sign-in replace two-step verification? Should I turn it off?

Phone sign-in is a type of two step verification where the two steps both happen on the mobile device. You should keep two step verification turned on to help provide additional security for your account.

If I keep two-step verification turned on for my account, do I have to approve two notifications?

No. Signing in to your Microsoft account using your phone also counts as two-step verification, so there is no second approval required.

What if I lose my phone or don’t have it with me? How do I access my account?

You can always select the Use a passwordinstead link on a sign-in page to switch back to using your password. If you use two-step verification, you’ll still need to use a second method to verify your identity.Microsoft strongly recommends thatyou have more than one up-to-dateverification method associated with your account.You can manage your verification methods for personal accounts from yourSecurity settingspage.

For work or school accounts, you can go to your organization’sAdditional security verificationpage or theKeep your account securepage if your administrator has turned on security info. For more information about security info, seeSecurity info (preview) overview. If you can't manage your verification methods, you have to contact your administrator.

How do I stop using this feature and go back to using my password?

For personal accounts, select theUse a password insteadlink during sign in. Your most recent choice is remembered and offered by default the next time you sign in. If you ever want to go back to using phone sign-in, select theUse an app insteadlink during sign in.

For work or school accounts, you must either unregister the device from theSettingspage of the Microsoft Authenticator app, or disable the device from theDevices & activityarea of your profile. For more information about disabling your device from your profile, seeUpdate your profile and account info from the My Apps portal.

Why can’t I use more than one work or school account for phone sign-in?

A phone must be registered to a single work or school account. If you want to turn on phone sign-in for a different work or school account, you must unregister your account from this device through theSettingspage.

Can I sign in to my computer using my phone?

For your computer, we recommend signing in using Windows Hello on Windows 10. Windows Hello lets you use your face, fingerprint, or PIN to sign in.

Next steps

If you're having trouble getting your verification code for your personal Microsoft account, see theTroubleshooting verification code issuessection of thearticle.

Sign in to your accounts using the Microsoft Authenticator app (2024)

FAQs

How do I log into my Microsoft account with the Authenticator app? ›

Go to your personal Microsoft account sign-in page, and then instead of typing your password, select the Use the Microsoft Authenticator app instead link. Microsoft sends a notification to your phone. Approve the notification.

Why i can t login to Microsoft with Authenticator app? ›

Make sure you're running the latest version of the Authenticator app. Tap Settings and make sure App updates is turned on. Make sure the device requires a PIN or biometric to unlock (lock screen). Try to re-enable faceID or fingerprint in the device settings and restart the device 3.

Where do I find my verification code for Microsoft Authenticator? ›

The Accounts screen of the app shows you your account name and a verification code.

How do I get the QR code for the Authenticator app? ›

Step-by-step guide to generating a QR code for Microsoft Authenticator
  1. Install the app from either the App Store or Google Play Store. Once installed, open it.
  2. Tap “Add Account” and choose either “Work or school account” or “Personal account”.
  3. Position your device's camera over the QR code displayed.

How do I recover my Microsoft Authenticator account? ›

On your mobile device, open the Authenticator app, and select Begin recovery. Important: Select the Begin recovery link before signing in. Sign in to your recovery account using the personal Microsoft account you used during the backup process. Your account credentials are recovered to the new device.

How do I verify my identity on Microsoft Authenticator app? ›

The authenticator app asks for a verification code as a test. From the Microsoft Authenticator app, scroll down to your work or school account, copy and paste the 6-digit code from the app into the Step 2: Enter the verification code from the mobile app box on your computer, and then select Verify.

How do I get my 6 digit code from Authenticator? ›

If you select “Scan a barcode,” your phone's camera will activate. Hold your phone close to the screen to allow the camera to capture the QR code. 4. When the QR code or manual code has processed, Google Authenticator will generate a six-digit verification code and display it.

Why am I not getting a code on Microsoft Authenticator? ›

Make sure notifications work

Check if push notifications are turned on for the device. On an Android device, tap Settings > Notifications > App settings and make sure Authenticator is turned on. If you get an expired notification, make sure the device's Date & time are correct.

How do I set up Microsoft Authenticator on my new phone? ›

To set up Microsoft Authenticator on a new phone, follow these steps:
  1. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your old phone.
  2. Tap on the three-dotted icon located at the top right and go to Settings.
  3. Toggle-on Cloud backup for Android or iCloud backup for iPhone.
  4. Install Microsoft Authenticator on your new phone.

Where to find code and URL for Microsoft Authenticator? ›

If you are using the same device to read the instructions and activate the Microsoft Authenticator app: On the instruction page, select Can't scan image (right under the QR code). A code and URL will be displayed.

How do I activate the Microsoft Authenticator app? ›

How to set up the Microsoft Authenticator app
  1. Download & install the Microsoft Authenticator app to your mobile device.
  2. Sign in to your account security dashboard.
  3. Select Add a new way to sign in or verify and choose Use an app.
  4. If you've already installed the app, select Next to display a QR code appear on the screen.

How do I reset the Authenticator app? ›

Resetting Microsoft Authenticator
  1. Open Microsoft Authenticator on your device.
  2. In the “Settings” menu, usually found at the top right corner of the screen, scroll down and select “Accounts”.
  3. Choose the account you want to reset by tapping it.
  4. Then tap “Remove account” or a similar option.
  5. Follow the prompts to confirm.

How to login into Microsoft account without Authenticator app? ›

Steps to bypass Microsoft Authenticator
  1. Go to your Microsoft account's Security settings.
  2. Select the two-factor authentication option.
  3. Choose the method you used for two-factor, like a phone number or email.
  4. Click to turn off two-factor authentication.
  5. Confirm and follow any extra prompts.

How to use Microsoft Authenticator on a new phone? ›

How to move Microsoft Authenticator to a new phone
  1. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your old phone.
  2. Tap on the three-dotted icon located at the top right and go to Settings.
  3. Toggle-on Cloud backup for Android or iCloud backup for iPhone.
  4. Install Microsoft Authenticator on your new phone.
  5. Add a recovery account.

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