Multi-factor Authentication for Office 365 – Step by Step User Setup Guide

Users will learn what steps they need to take when Multi-factor authentication is turned on for their Office 365 login.

Data Privacy Day 2019

    Setting up multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your Office 365 account. MFA makes it more difficult for someone else to sign in with just a stolen password. If this is a work account, your administrator would have to enable multi-factor authentication for you. For a personal account, you can turn MFA on in your security settings.

    This set-up process is meant to be intuitive, but even the best of us can get stuck on something wholly unknown to us. Here is what the steps in this process will look like.

    Setup Steps

    • Start by going to office.com. Sign in to Office 365 with your password like you normally do. After you choose Sign in, you will see this prompt:
    This prompt will pop up to let you know you have to set up MFA.
    • Choose Next
    • Then, select your authentication method. The default is authentication phone, which is typically a cellphone that can receive texts and calls. Enter your country/region and phone number. Then select if you prefer to be called or texted with the authentication number and hit Next.
    This prompt also has a link to a video if you have further questions on how to set this part up.
    • You will receive a text or a call with a verification code (depending on your selection in the previous step).
    The actual look of the text will vary based on your phone and SMS app.
    • Enter the code in the box and hit Verify.
    • Most modern applications will allow multi-factor verification using this method. However, some older apps will require a specific new password. In the next step, you’ll get an app password that you can use with older versions of Outlook, and other apps.
    • Hit the “copy” icon to copy the password to your clipboard and enter into Outlook if needed. If you ever need this password in the future you can find it after signing into office.com and going to security settings.
    This is referred to as your App Password
    • Once you complete the instructions to specify how you want to receive your verification code, the next time you sign in to Office 365, you’ll be prompted to enter the code that is sent to you by text message, phone call, etc. and hit Verify.
    Use “Sign in another way” to have this number called instead of texted or vice versa.

    These next steps are optional but recommended

    • We recommend setting up more than one verification method. To do so, go to office.com and go to your account settings.
    Where to find your account settings
    • Go to “Security & privacy” and then “Additional security verification”.
    This settings section will allow you to update or change your MFA
    • Select “Update your phone numbers used for account security” as indicated by the red arrow below.

    If you need your app password in the future, the blue arrow points to where you can generate/retrieve this.
    • On this page you can edit your default authentication method, add an alternate phone number (for example your office number that can be called if you lose or forget your cell phone), and/or set up the authentication app on your cell phone. Microsoft authenticator has a few more steps which you can find at this link: MS authenticator

    Will I be prompted again?

    Yes. In the future whenever you sign in to your Microsoft account you will sign in with your password and a code sent to your phone. As previously mentioned, you can decide the best method of receiving this code, via text, phone call, Microsoft Authenticator app or all of the above. Usually, you would remain signed in on computers you use regularly so you will mostly use this when signing in from a new location or device.

    Valiant Technology is the award-winning managed service provider to innovative industries in New York.

    Continue reading

    Subscribe to Valiant's Monthly Email Digest

    Valiant's monthly email digest is filled with original content written by our staff, tech news, and business insights.

    Get in touch

    Have a question or want to learn more about our services? Submit this form and you'll hear from a Valiant team member within 24 hours.

    Note: If you are a Valiant client with a support request, please email or call (646) 775-2771.


    Schedule a Meeting

    Our sales team is here to answer questions and explore the benefits of Valiant Managed service for your business.