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How to set up multi-factor authentication for Microsoft 365

MFA Setup - Microsoft 365


Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an authentication method that requires a user to present at least two factors that prove their identity.

Types of Authenticaton Factors:

  1. One factor is the familiar username and password, representing something you know.
  2. Something you have: A smartphone, keycard, or USB device, all serving as tangible proof of your identity.
  3. Something you are: Biometric data like fingerprints, iris scans, or facial recognition, confirming your unique identity.

By incorporating a secondary factor alongside your username and password, you create an additional layer of protection for your privacy.

Tip: Do you want to learn more about multi-factor authentication? Read our Beginners Guide to Multi-Factor Authentication

How to Enable MFA in Microsoft 365

By setting up MFA in Microsoft 365, you add an extra layer of security to your user account sign-in.

How it works in Microsft 365:

  1. Enter your username / password
  2. Approve the sign in request in the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device
  3. Your login reqest is then approved

Note:  This guide is designed to be followed by organisations that have MFA enabled as a mandatory requirement in Microsoft 365

1) Sign In to Microsoft 365

Open a web browser and sign in with your work account to Microsoft 365 you’ll then be prompted for more information.

multi-factor authentication for Microsoft 365

Once you see the prompt above click next to show the first time configuration screen.

Microsoft 365 MFA code

2) Install Microsoft Authenticator

The default authentication method used in Microsoft 365 is the free Microsoft Authenticator app available on Google Play and Apple App Store.

Download Links:

If you already have it installed on your mobile device, select Next and follow the prompts to add this account.

3) User Account Configuration

Open the Microsoft Authenticator App on your phone, Tap the + icon and select Work or School Account.

Using your mobile device you will now need to scan the QR code shown on the configuration screen on your computer in Microsoft Authenticator.

Tip: You may need to allow camera access on your mobile device for the barcode scanner to function correctly.

Your account will be now be added automatically to the authenticator app and will display a six-digit code.

Once activitaion status is shown as complete you’ll be able to click the Contact me button to send a request to Microsoft Authenticator for approval.


4) Finish Set Up

Once you approve the authenticator prompt on your mobile device you will have completed the setup for MFA on your account.

On your computer, follow any prompts that you might see such as adding a mobile number and you are good to go!

From now on, whenever you have a new sign in or add your Microsoft 365 work or school account to an app, you’ll open the Authenticator app on your phone and tap Approve.

You may also be prompted to enter a verification number shown on the mobile app to confirm.

Updated on November 3, 2023

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