How-To

How To Enable Microsoft Two Factor Authentication

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Setting up Two-Factor Authentication for Outlook.com, OneDrive, OneNote and other Microsoft accounts is quick and easy and adds a lot of security to your data. Here’s how to set it up.

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, two-factor authentication will protect all your Microsoft accounts include Outlook.com, OneDrive, OneNote, Office Online etc. With this in mind, we feel it’s critical that all readers get this enabled on your Microsoft account as quickly as possible.

Set Up Microsoft Two-Step Verification for all Microsoft Services

Step 1 – Log in to your account at https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage. Click Set Up Two-Step Verification link. Then work through the onscreen instructions.

Security Info

One frustrating thing I found was it doesn’t allow you to set up two-step verification on linked accounts.

Unlink Aaccount

So if you have a linked account, you need to unlink them first – how annoying this might be when switching between accounts, I‘m not sure yet.

Unlink Accounts

Step 2 – If you don’t have any accounts linked or after unlinking them, just continue through the onscreen instructions. You’ll have a code emailed, phoned, or texted to you to verify it’s you.

Successfully Set up

Now moving forward when you need to sign in to your account, you’ll get an extra verification code sent to you. A nice feature is the ability to not have it ask for your extra code every single time. Very handy on a system you use regularly.

Sign in With Code

How to Pair Authenticator App with MS Account

Step 3 – Just like with Google Two-Factor Authentication, you can use an authenticator app too. The Google Authenticator app can be installed on Android, iOS, and BlackBerry. Windows Phone 8 has its own Microsoft Authenticator app.

pair Auth

Step 4 – Log in to your Microsoft account again, and click the Set Up link under Authenticator App. Then scan the QR Code on the page and you’re all set (mine out for security).

You don’t have to set up an Authenticator app, but it sure makes it faster to get into your account, versus waiting for a text or call.

Scan Code

For More about Two-Step Verification / Two-Step Authentication, and the companies that are employing it, check out these articles:


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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