The Microsoft Authenticator app helps you prove your identity without you needing to remember a password. Instead of a password, you sign-in with your username and then you use your mobile device with your fingerprint, face, or PIN to confirm that you are in fact, you. This two-factor verification method is considered more secure than just a password, especially while viewing sensitive info.
- If you still want to use your password, that’s okay too. The Microsoft Authenticator app can also act as the second part of the two-part verification method, by only sending you an approval notification when you need to provide extra proof of your identity, or by automatically creating a new verification code every 30 seconds, so you have a new one whenever you need to sign in.
- For more information about the app, how to sign-in, and how to backup and recover your data, you can also read the Get started with the Microsoft Authenticator app, Sign in with your phone, not your password, and Backup and recover account credentials with the Microsoft Authenticator app articles.
The Microsoft Authenticator app can also be used if you configure your account to prompt you for a second verification method after you sign in with your username and password. Two-step verification is an additional security step that helps protect your account by making it harder for other people to break in.
- For a work or school account, you don't usually get to choose this feature for yourself. Instead, a security administrator opts in on your behalf and then notifies you to register verification methods for your account. If this scenario applies to you, learn more in What does Azure Multi-Factor Authentication mean for me.
- For a personal account, you need to set up two-step verification for yourself. If you have a Microsoft account, those steps are available in About two-step verification.