Basic & Modern Authentication: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


This article contains frequently asked questions about Basic and Modern Authentication. Microsoft is phasing out Basic Authentication support starting on October 1, 2022. ET&S has been assisting users to transition away from Basic Authentication for several months and provides these instructions to help student and staff continue to have access to email and other services after Microsoft makes this change. This article is for students, staff, and faculty at USNH.




Q1What is the difference between Basic Authentication and Modern Authentication?

Q2 Who is impacted?

Q3 How can I tell if I’m using Basic Authentication or Modern Authentication?

Q4 What should I do?




A1 - What is the difference between Basic Authentication and Modern Authentication?

  • Basic Authentication sends a username and password within every request.  This increases the risk of an attacker being able to abuse your credentials.

Modern Authentication is not a single authentication method but multiple protocols that enhance the security of cloud-based resources. It uses tokens to gain access which contain additional information such as the device and location. The token has more specific information that specifies what the requester has access to with the feature to expire or be revoked.  It does not send the username and password repeatedly.  

This change reduces the risk of an attacker obtaining and abusing your credentials to get access to your email or other services.


A2 - Who is impacted?

  • Most USNH employees and students will not be impacted as Microsoft 365 already prefers Modern Authentication and most users have already switched. The Office 365 Outlook Web App will not be affected. 

You may be affected if you are using a third-party email application, such as Thunderbird or Eudora or if you are using an outdated application.  You might also be impacted if you use email applications on mobile devices (iPhones, iPads, Android, etc) and are not using the Outlook app.  Mobile devices not configured to use modern authentication may display password prompts when checking for e-mail. 

If you are using a Microsoft Outlook application for your laptop or desktop, we suggest using Microsoft 365 Outlook. Outlook 2016 and older versions might still use basic authentication and will fail to authenticate.

Outlook mobile apps for iOS and Android are fully compatible with the Microsoft’s secure login requirement and no action is needed.


A3 - How can I tell if I’m using Basic Authentication or Modern Authentication?

  • There is no simple way to tell in your email program.  If you are not certain, you can delete and re-add your mail profile.  When you do so, if you see prompts for a Microsoft login and then the USNH M365 login page, then you are connecting using a Modern Authentication protocol.

First this:

 Microsoft Sign in dialog box   

then this:  

 USNH M365 login prompt 

is good!


A4 - What should I do?

  • Desktop/laptop users:

If you use Outlook 2016 or older on your desktop or laptop computer or are using an email application other than Outlook, upgrade to or install Microsoft Office.  Then, set up your account in Outlook Desktop Application.


  • iPhone/iPad users:

If you have an iPhone or iPad, install the latest iOS update on your devices.  Apple released an update on July 20, 2022 that will change over some users who are using Basic Authentication automatically.  Be sure you upgrade all of your iOS devices, even those that you might only use occasionally.

We recommend you change to using the Microsoft Outlook mobile app instead of the built-in mail client on your mobile device. This provides the best compatibility with the Microsoft 365 service. Simply search for and install the Microsoft Outlook app from the Apple App store.  Proceed to setting up your campus email on an Apple (iOS) device within the Microsoft Outlook mobile app.

Apple added support for Modern Authentication in iOS 12 so if you would prefer to use Apple's Mail app, you can do so, but you will need to delete and recreate your mail profile through updating email and calendar settings on Apple iOS:

  • To remove the old profile in IOS/iPadOS: Tap on Settings > Mail > Accounts > tap on your old account > Delete Account.  This does not delete your email as it is all stored on the central M365 server.
  • To add a new profile in IOS/iPadOS: Tap on Settings > Mail > Accounts > Add Account > Microsoft Exchange > Enter your e-mail address then follow the prompts. Choose Sign In. Do not choose to configure manually.


  • Android users:

Each Android device has their own stock e-mail app. Many do not support modern authentication; therefore, the Microsoft Outlook app in the Google Play store is the recommended client for all Android devices.  Please refer to the instructions on how to add your USNH email account to your Android device in Outlook.

Microsoft also provides documentation on how to set up email in Android email apps that support Modern Authentication.


Further Readings

Install Microsoft Office

Set up Your Account in Outlook Desktop Application

Setting up Campus Email on an Apple (iOS) device

Outlook: Add your USNH Email Account to Your Android Device

Updating Email and Calendar Settings on Apple iOS

Set up Email in Android Email Apps 

Apple App store 

Google Play store 


Need additional help?

Visit the ET&S Help Desk Support page to locate your local campus contact information or to submit an online technology support request.  For password issues you must call or visit the Help Desk in person.  

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Article ID: 4233
Wed 10/13/21 2:10 PM
Thu 5/30/24 11:01 AM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office