Sign in to your Microsoft account with Windows Hello or a security key

Applies to: Windows 10, version 1809

If you’re tired of having to remember or reset your password, try using Windows Hello or a security key to sign in to your Microsoft account instead. All you’ll need is a device running Windows 10 Version 1809 or later and the Microsoft Edge browser. (This functionality is not available yet on phones.)

What is Windows Hello?

Windows Hello is a more personal way to sign in, using your face, fingerprint, or a PIN. You can use Windows Hello to sign in to your device on the lock screen and sign in to your account on the web.

Learn more about Windows Hello

What is a security key?

A security key is a physical device that you can use instead of your user name and password to sign in. Since it’s used in addition to a fingerprint or PIN, even if someone has your security key, they won’t be able to sign in without the PIN or fingerprint that you create. Security keys are usually available for purchase from retailers that sell computer accessories.

How to sign in with Windows Hello

Follow these steps to set up Windows Hello and then sign in to your Microsoft account in Microsoft Edge:

  1. If you haven't already, you'll need to set up Windows Hello.
  2. In Microsoft Edge, select Use Windows Hello or security key instead and sign in with Windows Hello.

How to sign in with a security key

There are different types of security keys that you can use, like a USB key that you plug in to your device or an NFC key that you tap on an NFC reader. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the type of security key you have by reading the instruction manual from the manufacturer.

  1. Go to the Microsoft account page and sign in as you normally would.
  2. Select Security > More security options and under Windows Hello and security keys, select Set up a security key.
  3. Identify what type of key you have (USB or NFC) and select Next.
  4. You will be redirected to the setup experience where you will insert or tap your key.
  5. Create a PIN (or enter an existing PIN if you have already created one).
  6. Take the follow-up action by touching either the button or gold disk if your key has one (or read the instruction manual to figure out what else it might be).
  7. Name your security key so that you can distinguish it from other keys.
  8. Sign out and open Microsoft Edge, select Use Windows Hello or security key instead, and sign in by inserting or tapping your key.

Manage your keys

Follow these steps to delete keys that you have set up for your account:

  1. Go to the Microsoft account page and sign in as you normally would.
  2. Select Security > More security options and under Windows Hello and security keys, select Manage your sign-in methods.