Something unusual about my sign-in

Microsoft keeps an eye on your account to help prevent anybody that's not you from signing in to it. When we see a sign-in attempt from a strange place or device, we add a second layer of protection and then send you email and SMS alerts. This could happen if you sign in to your account while traveling, or you install a new app that signs in with your account. But it can also be someone else trying to sign in to your account without your permission.

We let you know about the unusual sign-in attempt two ways:

  • A message when you try to sign in that says, “Help us protect your account. We’ve detecting something unusual about this sign-in.” You can still sign in by receiving a security code, but somebody else trying to use your account shouldn't be able to.
  • An email about “Unusual sign-in activity.” If you're worried that this is spam, check the sender. A legitimate email will come from the Microsoft account team at

If you signed in from a new location or installed a new app

To unlock your account, follow the instructions on the sign-in screen by selecting where we can send you a security code. Once you receive the code, enter it at the prompt and you’ll be back into your account.

If you can't get a security code

If you’re traveling and can’t access the email or phone that you have associated with your account, there are some things you can try:

  • If you brought a device you normally sign-in to with you and have set as a trusted device, you can sign in from that device and get back into your account.
  • If you left your phone at home, try contacting someone who has access to the phone and ask them to tell you the security code that is sent to the device.
If those tips didn't help, you will still be able to get back in to your account once you sign in from a trusted device or your usual location.

If you don't know why you got this message

You should review your recent sign-in activity to see where any unusual sign-in activity is occurring. If you find account activity that you know you didn't do, you can flag it on the recent activity page and we'll help you secure your account.



Article ID: 13967 - Last Review: 22 Jun 2016 - Revision: 15