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How to Use the Microsoft Authenticator App

This article explains how you can use Microsoft Authenticator to create two-factor authentication (2FA), on iOS and Android devices.

How to set up Microsoft Authenticator

It can be used on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod running iOS 11 or above, or an Apple Watch running watchOS 4, or higher, as well as Android smartphones running at minimum 8.0 Oreo.

You will need an Android or iOS smartphone and a computer to set up the Authenticator. Also, you will need your username and password to log into your Microsoft account. You will need the username and password to your Microsoft account if you don’t already have one.

  1. Go to account.microsoft.com/account. Sign in if you already have a Microsoft Account. If not, click Sign in to your Microsoft account. Follow the on-screen instructions and sign in.

  2. Your profile page will be your landing page.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator.” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/rPh4N-a6S11TPhQ7mUuE75lQAsg=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticator1-d577953f24a0479f9d2ec47f870eba07.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/acOXMJadNTZU7gKXCFsOsYKANrI=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticator1-d577953f24a0479f9d2ec47f870eba07.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  3. Scroll down and click Updatein Security Block.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/SZ7KAA2zVARAwxGactdcpTQ2JwA=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticator2-4cfca66b07094b6ba3a2a906fdb7842b.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/KipKfXMAB45LN7PL1FfUtvGNTcA=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticator2-4cfca66b07094b6ba3a2a906fdb7842b.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  4. Click Exploreunder Additional security options. (You may need to sign in again.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/jGwmbcmsaQbdlaA1Z8FQJtEQcew=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticator3-ea44ac77ef5c4991b0645ad7ef07e5f0.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/C_5eXBNiu2G8PgZB7JtmvWnSjfw=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticator3-ea44ac77ef5c4991b0645ad7ef07e5f0.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  5. Next, click Download it Now.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/3i4tZx8NXeaDVfrIBshmmLbp1kQ=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticator4-b35f43e77f254979a7e17adc87783a05.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/CfsVrd-7mNybHeeutSAaX7qOFs8=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticator4-b35f43e77f254979a7e17adc87783a05.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  6. To download the app, click the Google Play and App Shop buttons. After the app has been installed on your device click Next.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator.” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/E_fsaGl6bymhEaZdVgdk6Bfq5pk=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticator6-d84b6016b0d54cca86b9896114f1ddf3.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/xiqW49sfqGTjtpp-ENCPNsixJYY=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticator6-d84b6016b0d54cca86b9896114f1ddf3.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  7. Open Microsoft Authenticator and tap SCAN. You may be asked to give Authenticator permission to take photos and record video. Tap Allow.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator.” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/CoXH0fcpoFB_uTGAm_KqQE4pI3U=/2000×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MSauthenticatorAppSetup1-fab3f7575abb4646b86a938ecfbc775d.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/-3AIjKyiAboAO5fcvEASB2AGSO4=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MSauthenticatorAppSetup1-fab3f7575abb4646b86a938ecfbc775d.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  8. After scanning the QR code, click Done on your computer .
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator.” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/m8KTwnbV_a40EQJLOrN4vrHubPk=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticatorstep9-b9c8ca1953374ab5ba4979d0a1a8a511.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/pYpGQ8T0NO5E2WsChHAGIe0cViY=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/MS_Authenticatorstep9-b9c8ca1953374ab5ba4979d0a1a8a511.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  9. Click GOT IT under the welcome message on your phone. The app will display your Microsoft account.

  10. To test your account, a notification is sent to Microsoft Authenticator on your mobile device.

  11. After you have approved the alert in Microsoft Authenticator, select Next.

    When you use a two-step verification process or password reset, the default method of verifying your identity is the Microsoft Authenticator app.

How to use Microsoft Authenticator to Sign in

After you have set it up, every time you sign in to a Microsoft account, a notification will be sent to your phone. Signing into an account that is not Microsoft will prompt you to enter a 6-digit code. These codes are generated continuously by the app. This is how you sign in to Microsoft Authenticator.

  1. Enter your username and password on your account page.

  2. You’ll receive a notification if you have Microsoft accounts. To approve, tap it.

  3. You will need to enter a code that the app generates for other accounts. Tap the down arrow at the top of the account to see the code. Next, tap Show code.

Install Microsoft Authenticator on a third-party account

You will need to create a code within the account settings in order to set up Microsoft Authenticator for a third party account such as Facebook or Google. It is simple to connect the Microsoft Authenticator app with your Facebook account.

  1. Sign in to Facebook.com

  2. Click the Down Arrow at the top of Facebook. Next, select Privacy & Settings.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator on Facebook” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/5c-ivW0NqruKgO_-VYpxZQfDTDA=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticator1-a9595cac3487441193622da07600af31.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/_AdqUxMgnuRoVXm_9dQfv_-XlNI=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticator1-a9595cac3487441193622da07600af31.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  3. Choose Settings.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator on Facebook” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/yFJ4qDwtsXreVIZc1uYlkJgTocI=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticator2-781fbcb19cff4a2cbddad977a8e211de.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/7kuhQiSDDlJdbGxp0kvcCPw5rfU=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticator2-781fbcb19cff4a2cbddad977a8e211de.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  4. Login and Security in the left panel.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator on Facebook” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/fYjqrH8M2Zm3UhPqxLxGoqQLoM8=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticator3-719e8c49cfe344d09354c43acf98af4b.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/sMt77_4-3RLXAPQ7CGWez7AfQBA=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticator3-719e8c49cfe344d09354c43acf98af4b.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  5. Next to Use 2-factor authentication, click Edit. Enter your password again if prompted.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator on Facebook” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/Eb1lrTollMJcT5PnEib_z_Quap4=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticator4-1a536e100c2546b0ba2ca59376a71efe.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/h-tf6mJZ4N4tuSE7UseMx4PJuWs=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticator4-1a536e100c2546b0ba2ca59376a71efe.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  6. Click Download an Authenticator App.
    img alt=”Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator on Facebook” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/UpFy1t2Fc2q9fgFVsEoT4TQWix4=/1920×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticator5-93718f0f26394f7fa312f3812ac6ff84.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/TYhmZizfzoZIP5eghlO8aUNCTiA=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticator5-93718f0f26394f7fa312f3812ac6ff84.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  7. Open the Microsoft Authenticator App.

  8. Tap the three dots menu.

  9. Tap Create an account.

  10. Tap Another account.
    img alt=”Adding Facebook Account to Microsoft Authenticator.” data-click-tracked=”true” data-expand=”300″ data-hi-res-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/rUpgD54AGXC6wP1hjkwNx16FVMk=/2000×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticatorApp1-411673d49f38491e93cee569cb18beff.jpg” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-src=”https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/wi-sq2Hc2PrkBgWMwCmVjcm-u6Y=/650×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/FacebookMSauthenticatorApp1-411673d49f38491e93cee569cb18beff.jpg” data-tracking-container=”true”/>

  11. Scanning the QR code generated by Facebook

  12. Tap Continue.

  13. Return to the app.

  14. Tap the 6-digit code that the app generated. Tap the Down Arrow next the account and then tap Show Code.

  15. Tap Done in the confirmation message.

What is Microsoft Authenticator?

The Microsoft Authenticator, like the Google Authenticator allows you to use two-factor authentication without receiving repeated text messages. The Authenticator will provide you with either a code, or a notification to confirm your authorization when you sign in to a Microsoft Account. It is also compatible with non-Microsoft accounts through its code generator.

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