Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a critical step to protecting your data. In this guide, you will set up MFA through a mobile app on your phone. After setting it up, whenever your account is signed into from a device that is not connected to your work domain, the sign-in screen will prompt you to confirm that it's actually you trying to sign in. You'll need to approve the prompt on your phone in order to complete the sign-in attempt.
If you run into any issues along the way, please see this MFA Troubleshooting Guide.
Note: If you have recently received a new phone, please contact the Help Desk to reset your MFA.
Setting up MFA
During this MFA registration process, you will need to jump back and forth between your computer and your mobile device.
Part 1: On your computer
First we want to initiate the process on your computer.
- Open a browser and navigate to https://myprofile.microsoft.com
- On the next web page, select the Security info tab on the left, then click + Add method. We highly recommend starting with the Authenticator app method since it’s the easiest, quickest, and most secure method.
- At this point, the web page will prompt you to download the app.
Part 2: On your mobile device
Then you'll need to install the authenticator app on your phone.
- From your mobile device’s app store, search for Microsoft Authenticator and install the app.
- Once installed, open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone:
- If it shows an option to Skip, you can tap Skip. You do not need to sign into an account or create a Microsoft account to use the app.
- If it asks to allow Camera permissions, please choose Allow.
- If it asks to allow Push notifications, please choose Allow.
Part 3: Back on your computer
- Switch back to your desktop web page and click Next.
- Click Next again at the prompt.
On your computer screen, you should see a QR code.
Part 4: Back on your mobile device
Now you'll need to use your phone to scan the QR code.
- If you see an option to Add account, simply tap that and continue to the next step.
- If you don't see an "Add account" option, please click the hamburger menu towards the top of the app (it should look like 3 vertical dots or lines), then tap + Add account.
- Tap Work or school account.
- If prompted, select Scan a QR code. This will activate the camera on your phone. Point the camera towards the QR code displayed on your computer screen. It should automatically scan the code.
- Your work account should then successfully be added to your Microsoft Authenticator app.
Part 5: Back on your computer
We're almost done! It just needs to verify that MFA is properly set up.
Wait just about 5-10 seconds, and then click Next. The system will then send a test push notification to your phone.
Part 6: Back on your mobile device
When you see the notification on your phone, promptly tap Approve.
Part 7: Back on your computer
The web browser on your computer will confirm that it was successful. Now you can click Next, then Done.
If you'd like the ability to reset your own password or unlock your own account in the future, please continue to the section below.
Additional setup for Self-Service Password Reset and Account Unlocking
In order to use the Self-Service Password Reset and Unlock Account feature, you'll need to add the Phone authentication method to your account.
Note: Due to your organization's security policy, you may not have the following multi-factor authentication option available. Any questions on that, please contact the help desk.
Steps to add Phone authentication method
- Click + Add method again, select Phone from the dropdown menu, then click Add.
- Enter your cell phone number when prompted, select Text me a code, then click Next. (If you prefer to receive a call, you can select that option instead.)
- You will receive a test text message with a code on your phone (if you selected to receive a call, you will get a call on your phone that will read the code out loud to you). Enter that code in your web browser, then click Next, and you’re done!
You’ve now successfully added two layers of security for your account!