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The purpose of this article is to walk through a typical sign-in experience. For help with signing in, or to troubleshoot problems, see Having trouble with Two-factor Authentication.

What will your sign-in experience be?

Your sign-in experience differs depending on what you choose to use as your second factor: a phone call, an authentication app, or texts.

Sign in with a phone call

The following information describes the two-step verification experience with a call to your mobile or office phone.

  1. Sign in to an application or service such as Microsoft 365 using your username and password.

  2. Microsoft calls you.

  3. Answer the phone and press the # key.

Sign in with a text message

The following information describes the two-step verification experience with a text message to your mobile phone:

  1. Sign in to an application or service such as Microsoft 365 using your username and password.

  2. Microsoft sends you a text message that contains a verification code.

  3. Enter the code in the box provided on the sign-in page.

Sign in with the Microsoft Authenticator app

The following information describes the experience of using the Microsoft Authenticator app for two-step verifications. There are two different ways to use the app. You can receive push notifications on your device, or you can open the app to get a verification code.

To sign in with a notification from the Microsoft Authenticator app

  1. Sign in to an application or service such as Microsoft 365 using your username and password.

  2. Microsoft sends a notification to the Microsoft Authenticator app on your device.

    Microsoft sends notification

  3. Open the notification on your phone and select the Verify key. If your company requires a PIN, enter it here. You should now be signed in.

To sign in using a verification code with the Microsoft Authenticator app

If you use the Microsoft Authenticator app to get verification codes, then when you open the app you see a number under your account name. This number changes every 30 seconds so that you don't use the same number twice. When you're asked for a verification code, open the app and use whatever number is currently displayed.

  1. Sign in to an application or service such as Microsoft 365 using your username and password.

  2. Microsoft prompts you for a verification code.

    Enter verification code

  3. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone and enter the code in the box where you are signing in.

Signing in with an alternate method

Sometimes you don't have the phone or device that you set up as your preferred verification method. This situation is why we recommend that you set up backup methods for your account. The following section shows you how to sign in with an alternate method when your primary method may not be available.

  1. Sign in to an application or service such as Microsoft 365 using your username and password.

  2. Select Use a different verification option. You see different verification options based on how many you have set up.

  3. Choose an alternate method and sign in.

    Use alternate method

Next steps

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