How-To

How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on Your Microsoft Account

enable-two-factor-authentication-security-hero

Last week we told you the news that Microsoft is rolling out its enhanced Two-Step Verification aka – two-factor authentication for all Microsoft services. Once enabled, 2FA protects all your Microsoft accounts including Outlook.com, OneDrive, Microsoft 365, Office Online, Xbox, etc. The extra layer of security will be added everywhere you use your Microsoft account to log in.

Set Up Microsoft Two-Step Verification

First, log in to your Microsoft Account at https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage. Scroll down the page and click on the Set up two-step verification link.

Set up 2fa

On the next page, Microsoft will explain a bit more about 2FA. You’ll need up-to-date security info, an authenticator app, and that you’ll get recovery codes. Click Next.

2fa msft

Next, you will be offered to get the Microsoft Authenticator app. If you want to use it click the Get Now button. But if you want to use a different authenticator app like Google Authenticator or Authy, you can. Just click the “set up a different Authenticator app” link.

authenticator app

After you have your authenticator app installed on your phone and ready, scan the QR code on the following page. Then type in the six-digit code the authenticator app generates and click Next.

scan authenticator qr code

Now two-step verification is turned on. Make sure to write down or print the recovery code it shows on the screen. This will allow you to get into your account in the event you lose your phone or the authenticator app isn’t working. Click Next.

verification code backup

The next page will be about Windows Phone. Since that device never caught on and is no longer supported anyway, you can just skip this screen by clicking Next.

win phone

Now you will get a message about app passwords for certain apps. These apps and devices that are old and some no longer supported — click Finish.

old devices

Feature Verification

You will then be brought to the Microsoft Security page. Review some of your personal information and change it if it’s out-of-date. You will also see that two-step verification is now turned on and enabled. You will also receive an email from Microsoft confirming you turned on 2FA.

msft security page

Log in Using 2FA

That’s all there is to it. The next time you log into your Microsoft account you will first need to enter your email and password. Then, as the extra step, you’ll be asked to enter the six-digit code generated by your authenticator app for your account and click Verify.

You can also check the box to not have it ask for a code again. However, you don’t want to check that box if it’s a shared computer.

It’s important that you add the extra layer of security that 2FA provides on all of your online accounts. Not every service offers it, but for those that do, use it. For more, check out our 2FA Guide for instructions on enabling 2FA on other online accounts.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ShockerSH

    Honestly, enabling two factor authentication is not an option anymore. It’s kinda like a flu shot in that you’re not protecting your data when you enable 2 factor, you’re also protecting those around you including those who’ve not yet turned on two factor.

    IMO, it’s just irresponsible for ppl to not turn on two factor in 2013.

    You’re not in Kansas anymore nancy…..

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