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Set up your Microsoft 365 sign-in for multi-factor authentication

Once your admin enables your organization, and your account, for multi-factor authentication (MFA) you have to set up your user account to use it. This should only take a minute or so.

Tip:  Want to know more about multi-factor authentication? See What is: Multifactor authentication.

By setting up MFA, you add an extra layer of security to your Microsoft 365 account sign-in. For example, you first enter your password and, when prompted, you also type a dynamically generated verification code provided by an authenticator app or sent to your phone.

A dialog box telling you that more information is required to complete your sign-in

Choose Next .

The default authentication method is to use the free Microsoft Authenticator app. If you have it installed on your mobile device, select Next and follow the prompts to add this account. If you don't have it installed there is a link provided to download it. If you would rather use SMS messages sent to your phone instead, select I want to set up a different method . Microsoft 365 will ask for your mobile number, then send you an SMS message containing a 6-digit code to verify your device.  

Tip:  For a faster, and more secure, experience we recommend using an authenticator app rather than SMS verification.

Once you complete the instructions to specify your additional verification method, the next time you sign in to Microsoft 365, you'll be prompted to provide the additional verification information or action, such as typing the verification code provided by your authenticator app or sent to you by text message.  

Note:  Generally you'll only need the additional verification method the first time you sign into a new app or device, or after you've changed your password. You probably won't be asked for the additional verification code on a daily basis, unless your organization requires it.

If you have applications that don't support multi-factor verification, you must set up an app password. See manage app passwords for more information.

Sign in to Microsoft 365 with multi-factor authentication

Fix common problems with multi-factor authentication

Use Microsoft Authenticator with Microsoft 365

Change how you get multi-factor authentication codes

Admins: Set up multi-factor authentication for Microsoft 365 users


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Authentication options

In addition to your password, requires that you set up at least one secondary authentication method to keep your account secure. This is two-factor authentication (2FA). We use 2FA as an added layer of protection to secure your information.

Secondary authentication We encourage you to add two methods for authentication to your account. If you lose access to your primary authentication method (i.e. losing your phone), you’ll have a second option to use to get access to your account. is unable to grant you access to your account if you get locked out and/or lose your authentication method. If you get locked out, you’ll have to delete your account and create a new one.

Security Although you can choose from several authentication options, some authentication methods such as Security Keys, PIV/CAC cards and authentication applications are more secure against phishing and theft.

Face or touch unlock 

(The option to add this authentication method is temporarily unavailable)

Face or touch unlock uses either facial recognition or fingerprints to sign in to your account. This option is resistant to phishing. 

You can only use face or touch unlock on a device that supports this feature. You will not see this option in the list of authentication options if your device does not have this capability. We do not store your fingerprints or images. 

Since face or touch unlock is specific to the device and browser, you’ll need to use the same device and browser in the future to sign in using this authentication method. You are required to give your device a nickname to help you remember which device was used. 

We strongly recommend setting up a second authentication method in case you ever change or lose your device. If you lose or change your device and do not have an alternate authentication method selected, you’ll have to delete your account and start over.

Authentication application

Authentication applications are downloaded to your device and generate secure, six-digit codes you use to sign in to your accounts. While authentication applications are not protected if your device is lost or stolen, this method offers more security than phone calls or text messaging against phishing, hacking, or interception.

If you choose this secure option, follow these steps to download and install one of the supported applications and configure it to work with

Download and install an authentication app to your device. Some popular options include:

You will now be able to use the one-time passcodes generated by the application each time you sign in to

Security key

A security key is typically an external physical device, like a USB, that you plug into your computer. The key is linked to your accounts and will only grant access to those accounts once the key is plugged in and activated. Since a security key does not rely on your cell phone, it has the highest level of protection against phishing and built-in protections against hacking if it is lost or stolen. requires security keys that meet the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) standards . You can add as many security keys as you want to secure your account.

To use this secure option for authentication, plug the key into a USB port and assign the key a name to identify it with your account. The next step will ask you to activate your key. This is generally done by pressing a button on the key itself.

PIV or CAC for federal government employees and military

Physical PIV (personal identity verification) cards or CACs (common access cards) are secure options for federal government employees and military personnel. These cards, with encrypted chip technology, are resistant to phishing and difficult to hack if stolen.

Text message / Phone call

Text messages/SMS or phone calls are convenient but are extremely vulnerable to theft, hackers, and other attacks.

If you choose to use this less secure option, enter a phone number at which you can receive phone calls or text messages. If you only have a landline, you must receive your one-time code by phone call. cannot send one-time codes to extensions or voicemails.

We will send a unique one-time code to that phone number each time you sign in to your account. Each one-time code expires after ten minutes and can only be used once. If you don’t enter the one-time code within ten minutes, request a new code.

After you receive the code, type it into the “One-time code” field. Each time you sign in to you’ll have the option of getting a new one-time code by phone call or by text. You will receive a new one-time code each time you sign in to your account.

Remember you need a mobile device to receive a one-time code by text message. If you have a landline, select to receive the one-time code by phone call instead.

You can resend a one-time code by selecting using the “resend code” button

Backup codes (less secure)

Backup codes are an accessible option for users who do not have access to a phone. However, backup codes are the least secure option for two-factor authentication. Backup codes must be printed or written down which makes them more vulnerable to theft and phishing.

If you select this less secure option, will generate a set of ten codes. After you sign in with your username and password, you will be prompted for a code. Each code may be used only once. When the tenth code has been used you will be prompted to download a new list. Treat your recovery codes with the same level of care as you would your password.

No phone or other authentication method

If you do not have access to a phone, authentication application, security key, or any other authentication option, you can set up your account with only backup codes.

Warning: Setting up your account with backup codes as your only authentication method is not recommended. If you ever lose your backup codes, you will not be able to sign in to your account.

When you create your account, you will reach the “Secure your account” page. This is where you must choose your primary authentication method. If you do not have access to any of the other options, select “Backup codes” and click “Continue.”

On the “Add another method” page, select “I don’t have any of the above” and click “Continue.”

Download Microsoft Authenticator

Use simple, fast, and highly secure two-factor authentication across apps.

Get the app on your phone

Scan the QR code with your Android or IOS mobile device.

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Get started

Set up Microsoft Authenticator and add your accounts.

A mobile phone prompting the user to approve a sign in on the Accounts page in Authenticator.

Sign in to your accounts

Know your accounts are safer with two-step verification using one-time passcodes and push approvals in Microsoft Authenticator.

A mobile phone showing how to backup your accounts on Authenticator.

Back up and recover your accounts

Easily move personal accounts to a new device with encrypted cloud backup in Microsoft Authenticator.

Learn more about Microsoft Authenticator

Conveniently and securely sign in to all your online accounts using multifactor authentication, passwordless sign-in or password autofill with Microsoft Authenticator.

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Account lockout

To prevent repeated MFA attempts as part of an attack, the account lockout settings let you specify how many failed attempts to allow before the account becomes locked out for a period of time. The account lockout settings are applied only when a PIN code is entered for the MFA prompt.

The following settings are available:

To configure account lockout settings, complete these steps:

Sign in to the Azure portal as an administrator.

Go to Azure Active Directory > Security > Multifactor authentication > Account lockout .

Enter the values for your environment, and then select Save .

Screenshot that shows the account lockout settings in the Azure portal.

Block and unblock users

If a user's device is lost or stolen, you can block Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication attempts for the associated account. Any Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication attempts for blocked users are automatically denied. Users remain blocked for 90 days from the time that they're blocked. For a video that explains how to do this, see how to block and unblock users in your tenant .

Block a user

To block a user, complete the following steps.

Watch a short video that describes this process.

Unblock a user

To unblock a user, complete the following steps:

Report suspicious activity

A preview of Report Suspicious Activity , the updated MFA Fraud Alert feature, is now available. When an unknown and suspicious MFA prompt is received, users can report the fraud attempt by using Microsoft Authenticator or through their phone. These alerts are integrated with Identity Protection for more comprehensive coverage and capability.

Users who report an MFA prompt as suspicious are set to High User Risk . Administrators can use risk-based policies to limit access for these users, or enable self-service password reset (SSPR) for users to remediate problems on their own. If you previously used the Fraud Alert automatic blocking feature and don't have an Azure AD P2 license for risk-based policies, you can use risk detection events to identify and disable impacted users and automatically prevent their sign-in. For more information about using risk-based policies, see Risk-based access policies .

To enable Report Suspicious Activity from the Authentication Methods Settings:

View suspicious activity events

When a user reports a MFA prompt as suspicious, the event shows up in the Sign-ins report (as a sign-in that was rejected by the user), in the Audit logs, and in the Risk detections report.

To view the risk detections report, select Azure Active Directory > Security > Identity Protection > Risk detection . The risk event is part of the standard Risk Detections report, and will appear as Detection Type User Reported Suspicious Activity , Risk level High , Source End user reported .

To view fraud reports in the Sign-ins report, select Azure Active Directory > Sign-in logs > Authentication Details . The fraud report is part of the standard Azure AD Sign-ins report and appears in the Result Detail as MFA denied, Fraud Code Entered.

To view fraud reports in the Audit logs, select Azure Active Directory > Audit logs . The fraud report appears under Activity type Fraud reported - user is blocked for MFA or Fraud reported - no action taken based on the tenant-level settings for fraud report.

Manage suspicious activity events

Once a user has reported a prompt as suspicious, the risk should be investigated and remediated with Identity Protection .

Report suspicious activity and fraud alert

Report Suspicious Activity and the legacy Fraud Alert implementation can operate in parallel. You can keep your tenant-wide Fraud Alert functionality in place while you start to use Report Suspicious Activity with a targeted test group.

If Fraud Alert is enabled with Automatic Blocking, and Report Suspicious Activity is enabled, the user will be added to the blocklist and set as high-risk and in-scope for any other policies configured. These users will need to be removed from the blocklist and have their risk remediated to enable them to sign in with MFA.


You can configure Azure AD to send email notifications when users report fraud alerts. These notifications are typically sent to identity administrators, because the user's account credentials are likely compromised. The following example shows what a fraud alert notification email looks like:

Screenshot that shows a fraud alert notification email.

To configure fraud alert notifications:

OATH tokens

Azure AD supports the use of OATH TOTP SHA-1 tokens that refresh codes every 30 or 60 seconds. You can purchase these tokens from the vendor of your choice.

OATH TOTP hardware tokens typically come with a secret key, or seed, pre-programmed in the token. You need to input these keys into Azure AD as described in the following steps. Secret keys are limited to 128 characters, which might not be compatible with all tokens. The secret key can contain only the characters a-z or A-Z and digits 1-7 . It must be encoded in Base32.

Programmable OATH TOTP hardware tokens that can be reseeded can also be set up with Azure AD in the software token setup flow.

OATH hardware tokens are supported as part of a public preview. For more information about previews, see Supplemental Terms of Use for Microsoft Azure Previews .

Screenshot that shows the OATH tokens section.

After you acquire tokens, you need to upload them in a comma-separated values (CSV) file format. Include the UPN, serial number, secret key, time interval, manufacturer, and model, as shown in this example:

Be sure to include the header row in your CSV file.

An administrator can sign in to the Azure portal, go to Azure Active Directory > Security > Multifactor authentication > OATH tokens , and upload the CSV file.

Depending on the size of the CSV file, it might take a few minutes to process. Select Refresh to get the status. If there are any errors in the file, you can download a CSV file that lists them. The field names in the downloaded CSV file are different from those in the uploaded version.

After any errors are addressed, the administrator can activate each key by selecting Activate for the token and entering the OTP displayed in the token.

Users can have a combination of up to five OATH hardware tokens or authenticator applications, such as the Microsoft Authenticator app, configured for use at any time.

Make sure to only assign each token to a single user. In the future, support for the assignment of a single token to multiple users will stop to prevent a security risk.

Phone call settings

If users receive phone calls for MFA prompts, you can configure their experience, such as caller ID or the voice greeting they hear.

In the United States, if you haven't configured MFA caller ID, voice calls from Microsoft come from the following number. Uses with spam filters should exclude this number.

When Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication calls are placed through the public telephone network, sometimes the calls are routed through a carrier that doesn't support caller ID. Because of this, caller ID isn't guaranteed, even though Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication always sends it. This applies both to phone calls and text messages provided by Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication. If you need to validate that a text message is from Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication, see What SMS short codes are used for sending messages? .

To configure your own caller ID number, complete the following steps:

Custom voice messages

You can use your own recordings or greetings for Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication. These messages can be used in addition to the default Microsoft recordings or to replace them.

Before you begin, be aware of the following restrictions:

Custom message language behavior

When a custom voice message is played to the user, the language of the message depends on the following factors:

For example, if there's only one custom message, and it's in German:

Custom voice message defaults

You can use the following sample scripts to create your own custom messages. These phrases are the defaults if you don't configure your own custom messages.

Set up a custom message

To use your own custom messages, complete the following steps:

MFA service settings

Settings for app passwords, trusted IPs, verification options, and remembering multi-factor authentication on trusted devices are available in the service settings. This is a legacy portal. It isn't part of the regular Azure AD portal.

You can access service settings from the Azure portal by going to Azure Active Directory > Security > Multifactor authentication > Getting started > Configure > Additional cloud-based MFA settings . A window or tab opens with additional service settings options.

Trusted IPs

The trusted IPs feature of Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication bypasses multi-factor authentication prompts for users who sign in from a defined IP address range. You can set trusted IP ranges for your on-premises environments. When users are in one of these locations, there's no Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication prompt. The trusted IPs feature requires Azure AD Premium P1 edition.

The trusted IPs can include private IP ranges only when you use MFA Server. For cloud-based Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication, you can use only public IP address ranges.

IPv6 ranges are supported only in the Named locations (preview) interface.

If your organization uses the NPS extension to provide MFA to on-premises applications, the source IP address will always appear to be the NPS server that the authentication attempt flows through.

Trusted IP bypass works only from inside the company intranet. If you select the All Federated Users option and a user signs in from outside the company intranet, the user has to authenticate by using multi-factor authentication. The process is the same even if the user presents an AD FS claim.

User experience inside the corporate network

When the trusted IPs feature is disabled, multi-factor authentication is required for browser flows. App passwords are required for older rich-client applications.

When trusted IPs are used, multi-factor authentication isn't required for browser flows. App passwords aren't required for older rich-client applications if the user hasn't created an app password. After an app password is in use, the password is required.

User experience outside the corporate network

Regardless of whether trusted IPs are defined, multi-factor authentication is required for browser flows. App passwords are required for older rich-client applications.

Enable named locations by using Conditional Access

You can use Conditional Access rules to define named locations by using the following steps:

In the Azure portal, search for and select Azure Active Directory , and then go to Security > Conditional Access > Named locations .

Enable the trusted IPs feature by using Conditional Access

To enable trusted IPs by using Conditional Access policies, complete the following steps:

Select Configure MFA trusted IPs .

On the Service Settings page, under Trusted IPs , choose one of these options:

For requests from federated users originating from my intranet : To choose this option, select the checkbox. All federated users who sign in from the corporate network bypass multi-factor authentications by using a claim that's issued by AD FS. Ensure that AD FS has a rule to add the intranet claim to the appropriate traffic. If the rule doesn't exist, create the following rule in AD FS:

c:[Type== ""] => issue(claim = c);

For requests from a specific range of public IPs : To choose this option, enter the IP addresses in the text box, in CIDR notation.

Enable the trusted IPs feature by using service settings

If you don't want to use Conditional Access policies to enable trusted IPs, you can configure the service settings for Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication by using the following steps:

On the service settings page, under Trusted IPs , choose one or both of the following options:

For requests from federated users on my intranet : To choose this option, select the checkbox. All federated users who sign in from the corporate network bypass multi-factor authentication by using a claim that's issued by AD FS. Ensure that AD FS has a rule to add the intranet claim to the appropriate traffic. If the rule doesn't exist, create the following rule in AD FS:

For requests from a specified range of IP address subnets : To choose this option, enter the IP addresses in the text box, in CIDR notation.

Verification methods

You can choose the verification methods that are available for your users in the service settings portal. When your users enroll their accounts for Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication, they choose their preferred verification method from the options that you've enabled. Guidance for the user enrollment process is provided in Set up my account for multi-factor authentication .

The following verification methods are available:

For more information, see What authentication and verification methods are available in Azure AD? .

Enable and disable verification methods

To enable or disable verification methods, complete the following steps:

Remember multi-factor authentication

The remember multi-factor authentication feature lets users bypass subsequent verifications for a specified number of days, after they've successfully signed in to a device by using MFA. To enhance usability and minimize the number of times a user has to perform MFA on a given device, select a duration of 90 days or more.

If an account or device is compromised, remembering MFA for trusted devices can affect security. If a corporate account becomes compromised or a trusted device is lost or stolen, you should Revoke MFA Sessions .

The revoke action revokes the trusted status from all devices, and the user is required to perform multi-factor authentication again. You can also instruct your users to restore the original MFA status on their own devices as noted in Manage your settings for multi-factor authentication .

How the feature works

The remember multi-factor authentication feature sets a persistent cookie on the browser when a user selects the Don't ask again for X days option at sign-in. The user isn't prompted again for MFA from that browser until the cookie expires. If the user opens a different browser on the same device or clears the cookies, they're prompted again to verify.

The Don't ask again for X days option isn't shown on non-browser applications, regardless of whether the app supports modern authentication. These apps use refresh tokens that provide new access tokens every hour. When a refresh token is validated, Azure AD checks that the last multi-factor authentication occurred within the specified number of days.

The feature reduces the number of authentications on web apps, which normally prompt every time. The feature can increase the number of authentications for modern authentication clients that normally prompt every 180 days, if a lower duration is configured. It might also increase the number of authentications when combined with Conditional Access policies.

The remember multi-factor authentication feature isn't compatible with the keep me signed in feature of AD FS, when users perform multi-factor authentication for AD FS through MFA Server or a third-party multi-factor authentication solution.

If your users select keep me signed in on AD FS and also mark their device as trusted for MFA, the user isn't automatically verified after the remember multi-factor authentication number of days expires. Azure AD requests a fresh multi-factor authentication, but AD FS returns a token with the original MFA claim and date, rather than performing multi-factor authentication again. This reaction sets off a verification loop between Azure AD and AD FS.

The remember multi-factor authentication feature isn't compatible with B2B users and won't be visible for B2B users when they sign in to the invited tenants.

Enable remember multi-factor authentication

To enable and configure the option to allow users to remember their MFA status and bypass prompts, complete the following steps:

Mark a device as trusted

After you enable the remember multi-factor authentication feature, users can mark a device as trusted when they sign in by selecting Don't ask again .

To learn more, see What authentication and verification methods are available in Azure Active Directory?

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Additional resources

The Best Authenticator Apps for 2023

Mobile authenticator apps make logging in to online accounts and websites more secure with multi-factor authentication. These are the top MFA apps we've tested.

Michael Muchmore

PC hardware is nice, but it’s not much use without innovative software. I’ve been reviewing software for PCMag since 2008, and I still get a kick out of seeing what's new in video and photo editing software, and how operating systems change over time. I was privileged to byline the cover story of the last print issue of PC Magazine , the Windows 7 review, and I’ve witnessed every Microsoft win and misstep up to the latest Windows 11.

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Leaks and hacks from recent years make it clear that passwords alone don't provide enough security to protect your online banking, social media logins, or even accounts for websites where you shop. Multi-factor authentication (MFA, also known as two-factor authentication or 2FA) adds another layer of protection. The security coverage team at PCMag frequently exhorts readers to use MFA.

Authenticator apps, such as Authy, Google Authenticator, and Microsoft Authenticator, enable one of the more secure forms of it. Using one of these apps can even help protect you against stealthy attacks like stalkerware . Enabling MFA is also one of the steps our team recommends to protect yourself from the consequences of a data breach, and it's among the steps you should take if you discover your information has already been involved in a breach.

Our summaries of the best authenticator apps, listed alphabetically, will help you decide which one to use so you can start setting up your accounts to be more secure. If you're looking for the best free authenticator app, you're in luck. They're all free. Below our recommendations, you'll find more information on just how these apps work to keep you safe, as well as criteria you should consider when choosing one.

Recommended by Our Editors

This simple but fully functional app does everything you want in an authenticator. It lets you add online accounts either manually or with a QR code. Unlike Google Authenticator, it can create cloud backups of your registered accounts, either in iCloud for Apple devices or Google Drive for Androids, which is key if you lose your phone or get a new one. The backup is encrypted and only accessible from the 2FAS app. 2FAS doesn't need your phone number or even require you to create an online account, so it's not susceptible to SIM-swapping fraud. You can set a PIN to access the app, and on iPhone it can use FaceID or TouchID. You can add it as a home-screen widget, but there's no Apple Watch app.

Duo Mobile is geared toward corporate apps, especially now that it’s part of Cisco’s portfolio. The app offers enterprise features, such as multi-user deployment options and provisioning, and one-tap push authentication, in addition to one-time passcodes. You can back up Duo Mobile using Google Drive for Android, and using iCloud KeyChain on iPhone.

Google Authenticator

Google’s authenticator app is basic and offers no extra frills. Unlike Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator doesn’t add any special options for its own services. Google Authenticator lacks online backup for your account codes, but you can import them from an old phone to a new one if you have the former on hand. There's no Apple Watch app for Google Authenticator.

LastPass Authenticator (for iPhone)

LastPass Authenticator is separate from the LastPass password manager app, though it offers some synergy with the password manager. Installing LastPass Authenticator is a snap, and if you already have a LastPass account with MFA enabled, you can easily authorize LastPass by tapping a push notification. Also, once the app is set up with your LastPass account, it's easy to create a backup of your authenticator accounts in your LastPass vault, which alleviates some pain when you have to transfer your data to a new phone.

Microsoft Authenticator

Microsoft Authenticator includes secure password generation and lets you log in to Microsoft accounts with a button press. The app also lets schools and workplaces register users’ devices. If you use this app, be sure to turn on account recovery. That way, when you get a new phone, you’ll see an option to recover by signing into your Microsoft account and providing more verifications.

You can require unlocking your phone with PIN or biometric verification to see the codes. Password management options are in a separate tab along the bottom. You can sync with the Microsoft account you associated with the authenticator, and after that, you’ll see the logins you’ve saved and synced from the Edge browser . One problem (and it’s an Apple lock-in issue ) is that if you’ve backed up to iCloud, you can’t transfer your saved MFA accounts to an Android device, though that's the case for most authenticators that offer cloud backup.

Twilio Authy

One of Twilio Authy’s big advantages is encrypted cloud backup. However, it’s somewhat concerning that you can add the account to a new phone using “a PIN code sent via a call or an SMS,” according to Authy’s support pages (Opens in a new window) . There’s also an option to enter a private password or passphrase which Authy uses to encrypt login info for your accounts to the cloud. The password is only known to you, so if you forget it, Authy won’t be able to recover the account. It also means that authorities cannot force Authy to unlock your accounts.

Unlike the other apps listed here, Authy requires your phone number when you first set it up. We're not fans of this requirement, since we’d rather have the app consider our phones to be anonymous pieces of hardware; and some have suggested that requiring a phone number opens the app up to SIM-card-swap fraud . Authy’s Help Center offers a strategy to mitigate the vulnerability, but we'd prefer it just worked more like other authenticator apps. At least there's an Apple Watch app for those who want it.

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?

As the name implies, MFA means you use more than one type of authentication to unlock an online account or app. Usually, the first way is your password. MFA means you add another factor in addition to that password. Experts classify authentication factors in three groups:

something you know (a password, for example)

something you have (a physical object)

and something you are (a fingerprint or other biometric trait).

When you use an authenticator app, you bolster the password you know with the token, smartphone, or smartwatch that you have .

What's the Best Kind of Multi-Factor Authentication?

Using an authenticator app is one of the better types of MFA. The top option in safety, however, is to use a dedicated key-type MFA device (our favorite at the moment is the YubiKey 5C NFC ). These keys produce codes that are transmitted via NFC, Bluetooth, or when you plug them in directly into a USB port. Unlike smartphones, they have the advantage of being single-purpose and security-hardened devices. Why are they more secure? Though not a common threat, a malware-infested app running on your phone could intercept the authentication codes produced by a phone’s authenticator app. Security keys have no batteries, no moving parts, and are extremely durable—but they’re not as convenient to use as your phone. You can now use these devices to secure your Apple ID and your Google account .

There's another common way to do it that's not so good, however: authentication code by text message. Yes, you can implement MFA by having your bank send you a text message with a code that you enter into the site to gain access. But getting codes by phone turns out not to be not very secure at all. A vulnerability in SMS messaging is that crooks can reroute text messages (Opens in a new window) . An authenticator app on your smartphone generates codes that never travel through your mobile network, so there's less potential for exposure and compromise. Plus, if your text messages are visible on your lock screen, anyone with your phone can get the code.

How to Set Up an Authenticator App With Your Online Accounts

To set up MFA by app instead of text message, go to your banking site's security settings and look for the multi-factor or two-factor authentication section. Nearly every financial site offers it. Most sites list the simple SMS code option first, but go past that and look for authenticator app support.

Setting up MFA usually involves scanning a QR code on the site with your phone's authenticator app. Note that you can scan the code to more than one phone, if you want a backup. Financial sites usually give you account recovery codes as an additional backup. They're usually long strings of letters and numbers. Save those account recovery codes somewhere safe, such as in a password manager . These codes work in place of a MFA code on your phone, which means they let you still log in to the site if your phone is lost, stolen, or busted.

How Do Authenticator Apps Work?

Authenticator apps generate time-based, one-time passcodes (TOTP or OTP), which are usually six digits that refresh every 30 seconds. Once you set up MFA, every time you want to log in to a site, you open the app and copy the code into the secured login page. Voilà , you’re in. The time limit means that if a malefactor manages to get your one-time passcode, it won’t work for them after that 30 seconds.

The codes are generated by doing some math on a long code transmitted by that QR scan and the current time, using a standard HMAC-based one-time password (HOTP) algorithm, sanctioned by the Internet Engineering Task Force. Authenticator apps don’t have any access to your accounts, and after the initial code transfer, they don’t communicate with the site; they simply and dumbly generate codes. You don’t even need phone service for them to work.

Since the protocol used by these products is usually based on the same standard, you can mix and match brands, for example, using Microsoft Authenticator to get into your Google Account or vice versa.

What Should I Look for in an Authenticator App?

Backups of account info. Something to look for when choosing an authenticator app is whether it backs up the account info (encrypted) in case you no longer have the same phone where you originally set it up. Authy, Duo Mobile, LastPass Authenticator, and Microsoft Authenticator offer this, while Google Authenticator does not.

Watch apps. Authy and Microsoft Authenticator offer Apple Watch apps, which makes using an authenticator app even more convenient. Google Authenticator and LastPass don't have Apple Watch apps. With about 100 million (Opens in a new window) of these WatchOS devices in use, it's a convenience that quite a few folks can take advantage of.

No SMS codes. As mentioned, we prefer that authenticator apps do not use codes sent by SMS during setup to authenticate you or your device. Most authenticator apps don't. Twilio is the only app on this list that does it, and as mentioned, there's a workaround.

What's the Safest Third-Party Authenticator App?

The safety of these apps stems from the underlying principles and protocols rather than any implementation by the individual software makers. That said, all those listed here are extremely safe, with a minor point off for Authy; as mentioned in the summary above, it's the only one that requires your phone number and that can be set up using SMS verification—which these apps are supposed to be an improvement over. Safest of all are hardware security keys, like the YubiKey mentioned above.

Be sure not to install an unknown, unrecommended authenticator app that may look good: Malicious impersonators have shown up on app stores. Stick with the recommended ones here from well-known companies.

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Microsoft Authenticator

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About this app

Data safety.

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Developer contact, similar apps.

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Using multi-factor authentication (MFA) in AWS

For increased security, we recommend that you configure multi-factor authentication (MFA) to help protect your AWS resources. You can enable MFA for the AWS account root user and IAM users. When you enable MFA for the root user, it affects only the root user credentials. IAM users in the account are distinct identities with their own credentials, and each identity has its own MFA configuration. You can register up to eight MFA devices of any combination of the currently supported MFA types with your AWS account root user and IAM users. For more information about supported MFA types see What is MFA? . With multiple MFA devices, only one MFA device is needed to sign into the AWS Management Console or create a session through the AWS CLI as that user.

We recommend that you require your human users to use temporary credentials when accessing AWS. Have you considered using AWS IAM Identity Center (successor to AWS Single Sign-On)? You can use IAM Identity Center to centrally manage access to multiple AWS accounts and provide users with MFA-protected, single sign-on access to all their assigned accounts from one place. With IAM Identity Center, you can create and manage user identities in IAM Identity Center or easily connect to your existing SAML 2.0 compatible identity provider. For more information, see What is IAM Identity Center? in the AWS IAM Identity Center (successor to AWS Single Sign-On) User Guide .

What is MFA?

MFA adds extra security because it requires users to provide unique authentication from an AWS supported MFA mechanism in addition to their regular sign-in credentials when they access AWS websites or services:

FIDO security key – FIDO Certified hardware security keys are provided by third-party providers. The FIDO Alliance maintains a list of all FIDOCertified products that are compatible with FIDO specifications. FIDO authentication standards are based on public key cryptography, which enables strong, phishing-resistant authentication that is more secure than passwords. FIDO security keys support multiple root accounts and IAM users using a single security key. For more information about enabling FIDO security keys, see Enabling a FIDO security key (console) .

Virtual MFA devices – A virtual authenticator application that runs on a phone or other device and emulates a physical device. Virtual authenticator apps implement the time-based one-time password (TOTP) algorithm and support multiple tokens on a single device. The user must type a valid code from the device on a second webpage during sign-in. Each virtual MFA device assigned to a user must be unique. A user can't type a code from another user's virtual MFA device to authenticate. Because they can run on unsecured mobile devices, virtual MFA might not provide the same level of security as FIDO security keys. We do recommend that you use a virtual MFA device while waiting for hardware purchase approval or while you wait for your hardware to arrive. For a list of a few supported apps that you can use as virtual MFA devices, see Multi-Factor Authentication . For instructions on setting up a virtual MFA device with AWS, see Enabling a virtual multi-factor authentication (MFA) device (console) .

Hardware TOTP token – A hardware device that generates a six-digit numeric code based on the time-based one-time password (TOTP) algorithm. The user must type a valid code from the device on a second webpage during sign-in. Each MFA device assigned to a user must be unique. A user cannot type a code from another user's device to be authenticated. For information on supported hardware MFA devices, see Multi-Factor Authentication . For instructions on setting up a hardware TOTP token with AWS, see Enabling a hardware TOTP token (console) .

SMS text message-based MFA – AWS ended support for enabling SMS multi-factor authentication (MFA). We recommend that customers who have IAM users that use SMS text message-based MFA switch to one of the following alternative methods: FIDO security key , virtual (software-based) MFA device , or hardware MFA device . You can identify the users in your account with an assigned SMS MFA device. To do so, go to the IAM console, choose Users from the navigation pane, and look for users with SMS in the MFA column of the table.


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What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and How Does it Work?

What is multi-factor authentication (mfa).

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is an authentication method that requires the user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource such as an application, online account, or a VPN. MFA is a core component of a strong identity and access management (IAM) policy. Rather than just asking for a username and password, MFA requires one or more additional verification factors, which decreases the likelihood of a successful cyber attack.

Why is MFA Important?

The main benefit of MFA is it will enhance your organization's security by requiring your users to identify themselves by more than a username and password. While important, usernames and passwords are vulnerable to brute force attacks and can be stolen by third parties. Enforcing the use of an MFA factor like a thumbprint or physical hardware key means increased confidence that your organization will stay safe from cyber criminals.

How Does MFA work?

MFA works by requiring additional verification information (factors). One of the most common MFA factors that users encounter are one-time passwords (OTP) . OTPs are those 4-8 digit codes that you often receive via email, SMS or some sort of mobile app. With OTPs a new code is generated periodically or each time an authentication request is submitted. The code is generated based upon a seed value that is assigned to the user when they first register and some other factor which could simply be a counter that is incremented or a time value.

How to Use AI-Powered MFA for Remote Work

Three main types of mfa authentication methods.

Most MFA authentication methodology is based on one of three types of additional information:

MFA Examples

Examples of Multi-Factor Authentication include using a combination of these elements to authenticate:

Other Types of Multi-Factor Authentication

As MFA integrates machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), authentication methods become more sophisticated, including:


Location-based MFA usually looks at a user’s IP address and, if possible, their geo location. This information can be used to simply block a user’s access if their location information does not match what is specified on a whitelist or it might be used as an additional form of authentication in addition to other factors such as a password or OTP to confirm that user’s identity.

Adaptive Authentication or Risk-based Authentication

Another subset of MFA is Adaptive Authentication also referred to as Risk-based Authentication. Adaptive Authentication analyzes additional factors by considering context and behavior when authenticating and often uses these values to assign a level of risk associated with the login attempt. For example:

The risk level is calculated based upon how these questions are answered and can be used to determine whether or not a user will be prompted for an additional authentication factor or whether or not they will even be allowed to log in. Thus another term used to describe this type of authentication is risk-based authentication.

With Adaptive Authentication in place, a user logging in from a cafe late at night, an activity they do not normally do, might be required to enter a code texted to the user’s phone in addition to providing their username and password. Whereas, when they log in from the office every day at 9 am they are simply prompted to provide their username and password.

Cyber criminals spend their lives trying to steal your information and an effective and enforced MFA strategy is your first line of defense against them. An effective data security plan will save your organization time and money in the future.

What's the Difference between MFA and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

MFA is often used interchangeably with two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is basically a subset of MFA since 2FA restricts the number of factors that are required to only two factors, while MFA can be two or more.

What is MFA in Cloud Computing

With the advent of Cloud Computing, MFA has become even more necessary. As companies move their systems to the cloud they can no longer rely upon a user being physically on the same network as a system as a security factor. Additional security needs to be put into place to ensure that those accessing the systems are not bad actors. As users are accessing these systems anytime and from anyplace MFA can help ensure that they are who they say they are by prompting for additional authentication factors that are more difficult for hackers to imitate or use brute force methods to crack.

MFA for Office 365

Many cloud based systems provide their own MFA offerings like AWS or Microsoft’s Office 365 product. Office 365 by default uses Azure Active Directory (AD) as its authentication system. And there are a few limitations. For example, you only have four basic options when it comes to what type of additional authentication factor they can use: Microsoft Authenticator, SMS, Voice and Oauth Token. You also might have to spend more on licensing depending on the types of options you want available and whether or not you want to control exactly which users will need to use MFA.

Identity as a Service (IDaaS) solutions like OneLogin offer many more MFA authentication methods when it comes to authentication factors and they integrate more easily with applications outside of the Microsoft ecosystem.

Related Resources

Ai-powered multi-factor authentication (mfa) for remote work, what type of attacks does mfa prevent, mfa solution checklist, the evolution of multi-factor authentication.

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Get verification codes with Google Authenticator

If you set up 2-Step Verification, you can use the Google Authenticator app to receive codes. You can still receive codes without internet connection or mobile service. Learn more about 2-Step Verification .

App requirements

To use Google Authenticator on your Android device, you need:

Download Authenticator


Set up Authenticator

Get codes on new phone

To transfer Authenticator codes to a new phone, you need:


After you scan your QR codes, you get confirmation that your Authenticator accounts transferred.

Tip: If your camera can’t scan the QR code, there may be too much information. Try to export again with fewer accounts.

Common issues

If your code is incorrect, confirm:

If your code is still incorrect, sync your Android device:


Use Authenticator on multiple accounts or devices

Authenticator can issue codes for multiple accounts from the same mobile device. Each Google Account must have a different secret key.

To set up extra accounts:

To get verification codes on more than one device:

Important: Before you remove an account from Authenticator, make sure you have a backup. Learn more about backup codes .

Need more help?

Try these next steps:.

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Get step-by-step visual guides on the tools and practices that will help you protect your personal information with Google's Online Security Guidebook.

Multi-Factor Authentication for Salesforce

A simple, effective way to increase protection against unauthorized account access

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As cyberattacks grow more common, passwords no longer provide sufficient safeguards against unauthorized account access. Multi-factor authentication (or MFA) adds an extra layer of protection against threats like phishing attacks, increasing security for your business and your customers. That’s why, effective February 1, 2022, Salesforce requires customers to use MFA when accessing Salesforce prod ucts. Use the MFA Requirement Checker to see if your implementation satisfies this requirement.

About the MFA Requirement

Be ready for mfa auto-enablement and enforcement.

<h3 style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #032d60;">MFA Enforcement Roadmap</span></h3>

MFA Enforcement Roadmap

Keep track of when Salesforce will automatically enable and enforce MFA for your Salesforce products.

View Roadmap >

<h3 style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #032d60;">Notifications by Product</span></h3>

Notifications by Product

Review the MFA auto-enablement and enforcement email notifications that we've sent to customers.

View Notifications >

<h3 style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #032d60;">Everything You Need to Know</span></h3>

Everything You Need to Know

For products built on the Salesforce Platform -- Learn how we'll enable and enforce MFA in your org and how your users will be affected.

View Article >

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How MFA Works

MFA requires a user to validate their identity with two or more forms of evidence — or factors — when they log in. One factor is something the user knows, such as their username and password combination. Other factors are verification methods that the user has in their possession. While there’s a risk that a password may be compromised, it’s highly unlikely that a bad actor can also gain access to a strong verification method like a security key or authentication app.

Watch Video >

Salesforce MFA for Direct Logins

Salesforce offers simple, innovative MFA solutions that provide a balance between strong security and user convenience. Salesforce products support several types of strong verification methods to satisfy your business and user requirements.

Learn More >

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MFA for Single Sign-On (SSO)

Do your users regularly access multiple apps during the course of their day? Your best option is to combine MFA and SSO, so you can deliver enhanced security along with a convenient, simplified login experience. 

If you've already integrated your Salesforce products with an SSO solution, ensure that MFA is enabled for all your Salesforce users. You can use your SSO provider’s MFA service. Or, for products that are built on the Salesforce Platform, you can use the free MFA functionality provided in Salesforce instead of enabling MFA at the SSO level. 

Shiseido Secures Customer Data with Multi-Factor Authentication

See how Shiseido, an innovative, global beauty brand, implemented MFA for Salesforce to help protect their critical systems and customer data. You'll learn about the importance and benefits of MFA and understand how Salesforce partners with our customers to make it easy to implement MFA.

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Learn More About MFA

Your one-stop shop for salesforce mfa.

Meet the Multi-Factor Authentication Assistant for products built on the Salesforce Platform. It’s your hub for all the recommended steps, tools, and resources to roll out MFA to your users. From evaluating requirements to launching MFA and driving adoption, the Assistant has you covered.

mfa app code

MFA Guidance for Salesforce Partners

Looking for guidance on how you and your customers can satisfy the MFA requirement? In addition to the resources on this site, check out the MFA Requirement page in the Partner Community. It's your central place for all partner-related MFA resources, including training courses, discussion groups, partner FAQs, and more. A partner community login is required.

Go to the MFA Partner Community Page >

Report a Security Concern

As a leading software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service provider, Salesforce is committed to setting the standard in safeguarding our environment and customers’ data. Partner with us by reporting any security concerns.

authenticator app 4+

Authy & mfa authenticator, ontworpen voor ipad, schermafbeeldingen, beschrijving.

Authenticator-app helpt bij het beveiligen van al uw online accounts. Gebruik de Authenticator-app om 2FA- en MFA-codes te scannen, genereren en op te slaan voor populaire services, waaronder Facebook, Microsoft, Instagram, Google, Amazon, Authy, Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator, Salesforce Authenticator, Bewaar of genereer veilige two-factor en multi-factor (2FA & MFA) authenticatietokens - Scan QR-codes of voer codes handmatig in - Versleutelde back-up naar iCloud - Herstel eenvoudig codes wanneer u van apparaat wisselt of deze kwijtraakt - Synchroniseer veilig codes op al uw Apple-apparaten - Werkt op iPhone, iPad, Mac - Werkt offline. Geen internetverbinding vereist. Functies: - Veilig en privé Alle gegevens die zijn opgeslagen in Authenticator zijn altijd versleuteld, zelfs als ze zijn opgeslagen in iCloud, om ervoor te zorgen dat u de enige bent die toegang heeft tot uw gegevens. - Versleutelde back-up: In Authenticator kunt u altijd een veilige versleutelde back-up maken, voor het geval u uw apparaat kwijtraakt of naar een nieuw overschakelt. Gebruiksvoorwaarden en privacybeleid


De ontwikkelaar, Mustafa Uz , heeft aangegeven dat volgens de toepassing van het privacybeleid van de app gegevens kunnen worden beheerd zoals hieronder staat beschreven. Ga voor meer informatie naar het privacybeleid van de ontwikkelaar .

Er worden geen gegevens verzameld

De ontwikkelaar verzamelt geen gegevens van deze app.

Toepassing van het privacybeleid kan variëren op basis van bijvoorbeeld de functies die je gebruikt of je leeftijd. Lees meer

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  1. Microsoft Authenticator App: Multi-Platform Password Manager

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  2. Microsoft's Authenticator App Now Doubles as a Password Manager

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  3. MFA by User (Multi-Factor Authentication)

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  4. How to Setup MFA for Office 365 Users

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  5. Add Microsoft Authenticator MFA to AWS Accounts

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  6. How to set up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

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  1. Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as your verification method

    Scan the provided code with the Microsoft Authenticator app QR code reader, which appeared on your mobile device after you created your work or school account in Step 6. The authenticator app should successfully add your work or school account without requiring any additional information from you.

  2. Set up your Microsoft 365 sign-in for multi-factor authentication

    By setting up MFA, you add an extra layer of security to your Microsoft 365 account sign-in. For example, you first enter your password and, when prompted, you also type a dynamically generated verification code provided by an authenticator app or sent to your phone.

  3. Microsoft Authenticator authentication method

    The Authenticator app can be used as a software token to generate an OATH verification code. After entering your username and password, you enter the code provided by the Authenticator app into the sign-in interface. The verification code provides a second form of authentication.

  4. Authentication options

    Chrome extensions: Authenticator. Open a new browser and sign in to your account at Select "Enable" next to "Authentication app" and follow the instructions to scan or enter a code associating your authentication app with your account. You will now be able to use the one-time passcodes generated by ...

  5. Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

    Multifactor authentication in Azure AD Use strong multifactor authentication (MFA) in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to help protect your organization against breaches due to lost or stolen credentials. See plans and pricing Try Azure AD Strengthen security and reduce costs with Microsoft Entra

  6. Microsoft Mobile Phone Authenticator App

    Download Microsoft Authenticator Use simple, fast, and highly secure two-factor authentication across apps. Install the app Get the app on your phone Scan the QR code with your Android or IOS mobile device. Google Play Get the app App Store Get the app Learn how to use Microsoft Authenticator Get started

  7. Configure Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication settings

    Verification code from mobile app or hardware token: The Microsoft Authenticator app generates a new OATH verification code every 30 seconds. The user enters the verification code into the sign-in interface. ... The remember multi-factor authentication feature isn't compatible with the keep me signed in feature of AD FS, ...

  8. Setting up code generator multi-factor authentication (MFA)

    Set up code generator MFA. Select Code Generator Application when prompted to choose an MFA method. Select Text message or Email and enter your phone number or email address. sends you a link to enroll in the code generator. Alternatively, you can select Enroll with barcode / secret key, then scan the code or enter the secret key.

  9. The Best Authenticator Apps for 2023

    To set up MFA by app instead of text message, go to your banking site's security settings and look for the multi-factor or two-factor authentication section. Nearly every financial site offers...

  10. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for IAM

    AWS multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) best practice that requires a second authentication factor in addition to user name and password sign-in credentials. You can enable MFA at the AWS account level and for root and IAM users you have created in your account.

  11. Microsoft Authenticator App Overview & Setup The Microsoft

    The Microsoft Authenticator app verification code is the primary solution for MFA at Colonial Life. Download the Microsoft Authenticator App today on your smart phone from the Google Play or iOS App Store and follow the steps below to configure the app. iPhone/iOS App Store: Android/Google Play: Download the Microsoft Authenticator App

  12. Microsoft Authenticator

    Make Microsoft Authenticator the default autofill provider and start autofilling passwords on apps and sites you visit on your mobile. Your passwords are protected with multi-factor...

  13. PDF Authenticator App Installation and MFA Setup Instructions

    12. The Microsoft Authenticator app should automatically enable your mobile device camera to scan the QR code displayed on your computer screen. Scan the code, and then click "next" on your computer. 13. Use your mobile device to scan the QR Code displayed on your screen like so. 14. Your computer will now quickly check the activation status.

  14. Using multi-factor authentication (MFA) in AWS

    Virtual MFA devices - A virtual authenticator application that runs on a phone or other device and emulates a physical device. Virtual authenticator apps implement the time-based one-time password (TOTP) algorithm and support multiple tokens on a single device. The user must type a valid code from the device on a second webpage during sign-in.

  15. What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

    One of the most common MFA factors that users encounter are one-time passwords (OTP). OTPs are those 4-8 digit codes that you often receive via email, SMS or some sort of mobile app. With OTPs a new code is generated periodically or each time an authentication request is submitted.

  16. Get verification codes with Google Authenticator

    You entered the code before it expired. The time on your device is correct for your local time zone. If your code is still incorrect, sync your Android device: On your Android device, open the Google Authenticator app . In the top right, select More Time correction for codes Sync now. On the next screen, the app confirms the time is synced.

  17. Salesforce Multi-Factor Authentication

    Multi-factor authentication (or MFA) adds an extra layer of protection against threats like phishing attacks, increasing security for your business and your customers. That's why, effective February 1, ... Authenticate with apps that generate temporary codes based on the OATH time-based one-time password (TOTP) algorithm.

  18. ‎authenticator app in de App Store

    ‎Authenticator-app helpt bij het beveiligen van al uw online accounts. Gebruik de Authenticator-app om 2FA- en MFA-codes te scannen, genereren en op te slaan voor populaire services, waaronder Facebook, Microsoft, Instagram, Google, Amazon, Authy, Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator, Salesf…