Activate MFA for MS Office

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) helps to secure your Microsoft account by using an authentication method in addition to your password, to prevent hackers trying to access your account.

Once activated by your system administrator, it’s easy to setup.

What you’ll need

Before you begin, make sure you have:

  • A computer with an internet connection
  • A smart phone with an internet connection
  • An Apple App Store or Google Play account

1. Download the Authenticator app on your phone, but don’t open it yet

  • From your phone, open the Apple App Store or Google Play store and download the Microsoft Authenticator app
  • Keep it handy for the next step

2. Log into the Microsoft Portal

  • Open a web browser on your computer (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or Edge)
  • Log into the Microsoft portal – https://portal.office.com/
  • Enter your work email address and password to continue
  • You’ll be asked to provide more information
    • Click NEXT to continue

3. Select how you’d like to be contacted

  • The Additional security verification window appears asking How should we contact you?
  • Select Mobile app verification
    • This method doesn’t rely on your mobile phone number
    • It works even if you’re overseas
  • Select how you’d like to use the verification app
    • Receive notifications – this option is more convenient, as you only have to Approve a sign-in
    • Use verification code – this option is more secure, as you have to enter a supplied code
  • Click SETUP to continue

4. Configure the Microsoft Authenticator app

  • The Configure mobile app window appears
    • Open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone (you may need to allow the app to access the camera and send notifications)
    • You may have to agree to various terms before continuing
    • Select Scan QR code
    • Add your account
      • If you don’t have existing accounts then click on Scan QR code
      • If you have existing accounts, then click the + sign on the top-right of the app
    • Scan the QR code shown on the browser
    • Once the scan is done press Next
  • You’ll receive an approval request on the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone, as a test
  • Additional steps
    • You may be required to enter a security code from your account on the Authenticator app
    • You may need to add your mobile phone number as a fallback
    • If asked, save the presented app password
  • Click Finished
  • Once successful, you’ll be asked to confirm any login attempts to your Microsoft account

5. Re-enter passwords when asked

You’ll be asked to re-enter your password on your various devices, and as part of this MFA authentication will be required.