Microsoft Authenticator is a security app for two-factor authentication. It competes directly with Google Authenticator, Authy, LastPass Authenticator and several others. You can access the app if you update your Microsoft account settings or enable two-factor authentication there. Alternatively, you may want to have only one TFA for your own security purposes. Regardless, let's talk about Microsoft Authenticator and how it works. You can click the button at any time to download the app. You can also find the iOS version by clicking here. The entire guide works for both the iOS and Android versions of the app.
What is Microsoft Authenticator?
Microsoft Authenticator is Microsoft's two-factor authentication app. It was originally launched in beta in June 2016. The app works like most others. You log in to an account and the account asks for a code. This app generates these types of codes. It is extremely useful for quick logins, cross-platform, and faster than email or text codes.
You can also use the app for signups without a password for your Microsoft account. The app also provides support for multiple accounts and support for non-Microsoft sites and services.
How Microsoft Authenticator Works
The app works like most other authentication apps. It generates a sequence of numbers on a rotating basis of about 30 seconds. In other words, a six-digit code is generated every 30 seconds. You simply log in to your app or service as usual. The site finally asks for the two-factor authentication code. Go to the Microsoft Authenticator app to get these codes.
For Microsoft accounts, this works slightly differently than for non-Microsoft accounts. In fact, you can only use the codes in this app to log in without a password for your Microsoft account. For all other account types (Facebook, Google, etc.), you'll need to log in with your username and password before you can add the code.
Microsoft supports all Web sites that use the TOTP (time-based one-time password) default. That way, the app can continually generate codes and you can use them as needed. This is different from the HOTP standard where a code is generated just once for you. Websites that use this method, such as For example, Twitter, and most likely your banking app, can not use Microsoft Authenticator.
Using Microsoft Authenticator:
App setup is rather simple. Let's go through the setup of your Microsoft account. Just download the app and open it to start the tutorial.
Microsoft Accounts setup:
- Log in to the Microsoft Authenticator app using your Microsoft account credentials. This should be your first call when you open the app for the first time. Simply select "Personal Account" or "Work or School Account" to sign in to your Microsoft account.
- After a successful login, you must authenticate the login with a code. You can have it sent by text, e-mail or any other means.
- That was & # 39; s! Once you enter the code, the app will be linked to your Microsoft account and you will use it for login without a password. The next time you log in, just enter your username and then the code generated by the app.
Setup for Non-Microsoft Accounts:
This varies from site to site, but the overall idea remains the same. It's a pretty easy process. You can prepare the Microsoft Authenticator app for the task by tapping the three-point menu button in the Microsoft Authenticator app and selecting Add Account. From there, select the "Other Account" option and follow the steps below.
- Return to the website to ask if you want two-factor authentication via text and email or with an application. Select the application option.
- You will see either a QR code on your screen or a six-digit code. Use the Microsoft Authenticator app to scan the QR code.
- Alternatively, you can enter a code instead of a QR code on the site. No problem! Go back to the app and touch the "Or enter code manually" option at the bottom of the page. First give your account a name to let you know which one it is and enter the code below it.
That's it really. The Microsoft account should only be set up once. In the meantime, you can add any online accounts by repeating the steps for all other non-Microsoft accounts.
From there, using the app is very easy. Simply log in to third-party websites with your email address or username and password and enter the six-digit code in the Microsoft Authenticator app when prompted. On Microsoft websites, all you have to do is add your username. You will then be asked by the app for a code. That's all this app does and that's all it has to do!