Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (2024)

You can set up an authenticator app to send a notification to your mobile device or to send you a verification code as your security verification method. You aren't required to use the Microsoft Authenticator app, and you can select a different app during the set up process. However, this article uses the Microsoft Authenticator app.

Important:Before you can add your account, you must download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app. If you haven't done that yet, follow the steps in theDownload and install the apparticle.

Note:If the Mobile app option is grayed out, it's possible that your organization doesn't allow you to use an authentication app for verification. In this case, you'll need to select another method or contact your administrator for more help.

Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app to send notifications

  1. On theAdditional security verification page, selectMobile appfrom theStep 1: How should we contact youarea.

  2. SelectReceive notifications for verificationfrom theHow do you want to use the mobile apparea, and then selectSet up.

    Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (1)

    TheConfigure mobile apppage appears.

    Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (2)
  3. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app, selectAdd accountfrom theCustomize and controlicon in the upper-right, and then selectWork or school account.

    Note:If you 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). 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 as described inManually add an account to the app.

  4. Use your device's camera to scan the QR code from theConfigure mobile appscreen on your computer, and then chooseNext.

  5. Return to your computer and theAdditional security verificationpage, make sure you get the message that says your configuration was successful, and then selectNext.The authenticator app will send a notification to your mobile device as a test.

    Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (3)
  6. On your mobile device, selectApprove.

  7. On your computer, add your mobile device phone number to theStep 3: In case you lose access to the mobile apparea, and then selectNext. Microsoft recommends adding your mobile device phone number to act as a backup if you're unable to access or use the mobile app for any reason.

  8. From theStep 4: Keep using your existing applicationsarea, copy the provided app password and paste it somewhere safe.

    Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (4)

    Note:For information about how to use the app password with your older apps, seeManage app passwords. You only need to use app passwords if you're continuing to use older apps that don't support two-factor verification.

  9. SelectDone.

Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app to use verification codes

  1. On theAdditional security verificationpage, selectMobile appfrom Step 1: How should we contact you?.

  2. SelectUse verification codefrom theHow do you want to use the mobile apparea, and then selectSet up.

    Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (5)

    TheConfigure mobile apppage appears.

    Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (6)
  3. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app, selectAdd accountfrom theCustomize and controlicon in the upper-right, and then selectWork or school account.

    Note:If you 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). 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 as described inManually add an account to the app.

  4. Use your device's camera to scan the QR code from theConfigure mobile appscreen on your computer, and then chooseNext.

  5. Return to your computer and theAdditional security verificationpage, make sure you get the message that says your configuration was successful, and then selectNext.The authenticator app asks for a verification code as a test.

    Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (7)
  6. From the Microsoft Authenticator app, scroll down to your work or school account, copy and paste the 6-digit code from the app into theStep 2: Enter the verification code from the mobile appbox on your computer, and then selectVerify.

    Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (8)
  7. On your computer, add your mobile device phone number to theStep 3: In case you lose access to the mobile apparea, and then selectNext. Microsoft recommends adding your mobile device phone number to act as a backup if you're unable to access or use the mobile app for any reason.

  8. From theStep 4: Keep using your existing applicationsarea, copy the provided app password and paste it somewhere safe.

    Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (9)

    Note:For information about how to use the app password with your older apps, seeManage app passwords. You only need to use app passwords if you're continuing to use older apps that don't support two-factor verification.

  9. SelectDone.

Set up an authenticator app as a two-step verification method (2024)

FAQs

How do I set up an authenticator app for my two-step verification? ›

Set up Authenticator
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to your Google Account.
  2. At the top, tap Security. If at first you don't get the Security tab, swipe through all tabs until you find it. ...
  3. Under "You can add more sign-in options," tap Authenticator. ...
  4. Tap Set up authenticator.
  5. Follow the on-screen steps.

What authenticator app should I use for FAFSA? ›

Some popular options are Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, Authy, LastPass, and Duo Mobile. Once you've installed an authenticator app, log in to your StudentAid.gov account. Select “Two-Step Verification” in Settings, then select “Set Up an Authenticator App” and complete the process.

What are the acceptable methods for 2-step verification? ›

Alongside the traditional password, users can enter a one-time security code that they receive via text or voice call or that they generate on the Google Authenticator app, which runs on Android and on Apple's mobile operating system iOS.

Why is 2-step verification bad? ›

2FA can be vulnerable to several attacks from hackers because a user can accidentally approve access to a request issued by a hacker without acknowledging it. This is because the user may not receive push notifications by the app notifying them of what is being approved.

Where can I find the QR code for the authenticator app? ›

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

Is two-step authentication the same as two-step verification? ›

Two-factor authentication (2FA), sometimes referred to as two-step verification or dual-factor authentication, is a security process in which users provide two different authentication factors to verify themselves. 2FA is implemented to better protect both a user's credentials and the resources the user can access.

How do I set up authenticator app for college? ›

Sign in with your credentials
  1. Open the Authenticator app and select to the + button and tap Add work or school account. ...
  2. Enter your work or school account credentials. ...
  3. At this point, you could be asked to scan a QR code provided by your organization to set up an on-premises multi-factor authentication account in the app.

Why is 2FA no longer safe? ›

Even if the user doesn't respond to a push login request or doesn't enter a One-Time Password (OTP) when prompted, a hacker still knows they have a working password now; how, because the delay for the denied message takes longer... Most of us know where this is going; the hacker is persistent in their login attempts.

Which authenticator app is the safest? ›

The following are five of the best authenticator apps.
  1. Google Authenticator. Price: Free. Link: for iPhone, for Android. ...
  2. Microsoft Authenticator. Price: Free. Link: for iPhone, for Android. ...
  3. Authy. Price: Free. Link: for iPhone, for Android. ...
  4. LastPass. Price: Free, can upgrade to the paid version. ...
  5. Duo Mobile. Price: Free.

What is an example of a 2-step verification? ›

One of the most common examples of 2FA requires a username/password verification and an SMS text verification. In this example, when the user creates an account for a service they must provide a unique username, a password, and their mobile phone number.

Which 2 are most often used for 2 factor authentication? ›

The first factor is a password and the second commonly includes a text with a code sent to your smartphone, or biometrics using your fingerprint, face, or retina. While 2FA does improve security, it is not foolproof.

Which two step authentication method is the most secure? ›

The most effective two-factor authentication (2FA) methods are app-based and hardware-based. App-Based (e.g., Google Authenticator, Authy): They're more secure than SMS-based 2FA since they're less vulnerable to SIM-swapping attacks.

Can my account be hacked after two-step verification? ›

Another way how 2-step verification can be hacked is via credential stuffing, where attackers try to breach a system using lists of compromised usernames and passwords. Bots are often used to automate the process and maximise the chances of getting a successful hit.

What is the safest 2-step verification? ›

Security Keys

This is the most secure form of 2-step verification, and it protects against phishing threats. Depending on which security key you are using such as hardware, Titan, or your phone's built-in security key, users can set up their account so that devices detect the security key associated with your account.

Why can't I use my Authenticator app? ›

Make sure you're using the latest version of Authenticator - Microsoft does not support any app versions more than 12 months old. Tap Settings and make sure App updates is turned on. Get the latest. Tap Settings and select Turn off battery optimization for better sync performance.

How do I get my 6 digit Authenticator code? ›

Google Authenticator app generates a six-digit code for you to enter when you log in. The code changes about every minute. Once you have set up the connection with ACF's site, every time that you log out of your ACF account you will need to use Google Authenticator to regain access when you login again.

How to find setup key for Google Authenticator? ›

While setting up an authenticator app for 2FA you can view the setup key which we automatically generate as a QR code, but which can also be read in plain text by clicking on View setup key. It is sometimes also referred to as a "backup code" or "secret seed code".

How do I get my authentication code? ›

Get a code from Settings on your trusted device
  1. Go to Settings > [your name].
  2. Tap Sign-In & Security > Two Factor Authentication.
  3. Tap Get Verification Code.
Apr 19, 2024

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