Instead of a password, you can use the Authenticator app, emails or SMS codes, or Windows Hello.
For years, companies have tried to do away with passwords, and now Microsoft is taking the plunge. Anyone with a Microsoft account can now sign in without a password. This is a win for security, but it’s also a win for you, as all of the methods are simpler than typing in complex passwords.
You can use the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, shortcodes sent via email or SMS, or a physical security key instead of typing in your password (or pasting it from your password manager). It works on any Microsoft service, from Xbox to Outlook, OneDrive, and everything in between.
This is how to use it.
Microsoft services can now be accessed without a password – here’s how
Install the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device before you begin. It requires your Microsoft account to be added, so download it and follow the prompts
- Log in to your Microsoft account settings
- Select Additional security options under Security
- Click on Security, then Additional security options
- Verify your account by following the prompts
- In order to get back into your account in case your Microsoft Authenticator is lost or stolen, you’ll need to enter a recovery email here
- Accept the request sent to your Microsoft Authenticator app
When you have to sign in to your Microsoft account, such as when you are signing in to Windows, you can use the Authenticator app instead of a password. The Additional security options page you used earlier also allows you to set up Windows Hello or a physical security key.
According to Microsoft, these other passwordless methods are more secure than using a password, especially since there are still some terrible passwords being used today.
It’s also safer, since keyloggers or other hackers can’t steal credentials from the authenticator app or your webcam. If you can’t use a passwordless method like this, then use two-factor authentication on every account you can, use unique passwords for each account, and store them in a password manager.
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