Fix common problems with multi-factor authentication

I lost my mobile phone and now I can’t sign in

Contact your administrator (usually the person who gave you the Microsoft 365 account) to see if there is a different verification method you can use, such as your office phone or a smart card, until you replace your mobile phone.

I'm having problems with the office phone verification method

To use this verification method, your office phone must be entered in your account settings. Click here and verify or enter the correct number.

Your phone number must have the country or region code prefixed in the following format: +NNNN NNNNNNNNNN. For example: +1 4445554444 (United States), +86 4445554444 (China), +299 4445554444 (Greenland), and +1809 445554444 (Dominican Republic).

If the correct values are not displayed, you cannot continue. Contact your admin to provide this information.

I'm not getting the verification code sent to my mobile phone

Check the notification settings on your mobile phone and enable them so that your phone calls, messaging app, or your authentication app, such as Microsoft Authenticator, sends alerts. Push notifications aren't required, but they help you complete the verification method in a timely way.

I'm not getting prompted to sign in with a second verification

There are several reasons why this might happen.

You don’t have the correct software on your device   

To enable a second verification, you need the following software installed on your device:

Check to see if Windows Update is running and that you have installed the latest updates. If you are protected by a firewall in your organization, then you might need to contact your administrator to obtain the required software.

Your device is not enabled   

To use a multi-factor authentication (MFA) and a second verification method, your administrator not only needs to set up Microsoft 365, but also your desktop or laptop by updating the system registry. There are several ways for your administrator to automatically update your device for you, but it’s possible that something got in the way.

First, close and restart all Office applications, or restart your device. Then, sign in to Microsoft 365 using your work or school account. Next, examine the bottom of the sign in dialog box:

  • Your device is enabled correctly, if it looks like this:

    Device is enabled
  • Your device is not enabled correctly, if it looks like this:

    Device is disabled

    If your device is not enabled correctly, contact your administrator.

Your administrator did not enable you to use MFA   

It’s possible your administrator has enabled some users but not others, including you, to use MFA. Contact your administrator if you want to use MFA.

I'm having problems signing in on my mobile phone when traveling

You may find it more difficult using a mobile phone to use MFA when you are in flight or you are in an international location. Using the mobile phone may incur roaming charges or may not even be available.

If your administrator has enabled it, consider using the Microsoft Authenticator app. If you are in flight, you can use Microsoft Authenticator in airplane mode with Wi-Fi enabled and Wi-Fi is accessible on the flight. You can also use Microsoft Authenticator in an international location where you can make a Wi-Fi connection.

I cannot turn MFA on or off

If you sign in with a work or school account, your admin may control your two-step verification settings. Learn more about how to set up MFA for Microsoft 365.

Related Topics

Use Microsoft Authenticator with Microsoft 365
Sign in to Microsoft 365 with multi-factor authentication
Change how you get multi-factor authentication verification codes
Set up multi-factor authentication for Microsoft
Create an app password for Microsoft 365

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