MFA: Setting up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for M365


This article walks you through the process for setting up Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) for your M365 account and any services covered by Single Sign On.



The purpose of this article is to walk you through the process for setting up Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) for your M365 account.

Setting up MFA for your M365 account is a straightforward process.  We have found that the FREE Microsoft Authenticator mobile app provides the smoothest user experience for those who are able to implement it.  However, there are several methods you may choose from.  We encourage you to review those options in the article titled Choosing a preferred method of Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) for M365 before you proceed with the registration process outlined below.

If you choose to use the FREE Microsoft Authenticator mobile app option, please install the app on your mobile device before you begin the set up steps below.  You will find step-by-step instructions in the article Installing the Microsoft Authenticator App

MS Authenticator iconIcon for the Microsoft Authenticator app provided by the Microsoft CorporationThis is a FREE app - do not pay for an app for this purpose.

Important: Be sure to set up your phone as a backup MFA method as well as the authenticator app, so that if either one does not work, the other method is still available to use.

Note:  For Password Recovery methods (as opposed to MFA verification), also see our article on MyAccount: Updating Security Info for password recovery and MFA verification .



Task: To set up Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) for your M365 account using the Microsoft Authenticator App

Note: These instructions assume you are using a computer.  If you do not have access to a computer at this time, follow the instructions here instead - MFA: Setting up Microsoft Authenticator App using Mobile Phone/Device only


Step 1On your computer, go to: 

Step 2 - Click on UPDATE INFO in the Security info tile

Security info box with "UPDATE INFO" link


Step 3 - Click Add sign-in method

Security info with list of MFA sign-in methods and link to "Add sign-in method"


Step 4 - Click the Choose a method drop down and select Authenticator app

"Add a method" dialog with drop-down box and option to select "Authenticator app"


Step 5 - If you do not have the FREE Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone, install it now.  

Step 6 - Click Next after the Microsoft Authenticator app is installed on your phone.

Pop up with links to get the Microsoft Authenticator app and a "Next" button to use after the app is installed on your phone.


Step 7 - On your phone, open the Microsoft Authenticator app.  Allow notifications if prompted.

Step 8 - In the app, click Add account or the Plus Sign +. Select Work or School account and the option to Scan QR Code.

in app Add Account options


Step 9 - If prompted, Allow the Microsoft Authenticator app to Access the Camera.

Allow the app to Access the Camera by clicking OK


Step 10 - Use the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone to scan the QR code that appears on the computer screen.  After you scan the code, click Next.

Image to scan the QR code


Step 11 - If prompted, Allow the Authenticator app to Send You Notifications.

Step 12 - On your phone, Approve the test notification from Microsoft Authenticator

Let's try it out


Step 13 - You're all set and can now use the Microsoft Authenticator app for multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Notification approved


Step 14 - We strongly recommend that you also set up one or more backup methods to use if your primary method is not available.  Follow on-screen prompts to add as many back up methods as you desire from the Choose a method drop down.  See detailed instructions here - MFA: Adding Backup Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Methods .

Example: Choose other method(s) for Microsoft MFA

 Choose a method drop down list

Possible methods include:

  • Call my authentication phone
  • Text a code to my authentication phone
  • Call my office phone
  • Notify me through a mobile app (as just set up above)
  • Use verification code from app or token - this includes modern YubiKeys

See this article which explains how each MFA method behaves as you use Microsoft resources such as Email, Teams, OneDrive, or SharePoint: Choosing a preferred method of Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) for M365 .



Users who have set up Multi factor Authentication for M365 will be prompted to MFA periodically when signing into Email, Teams, OneDrive sync, and other M365 tools on both their computers and their mobile devices. As other applications (such as Zoom, Kaltura, and Canvas) have moved into the Seamless Single Sign-On (SSO) environment, users may be prompted to MFA when logging into those applications as well.


Further reading

MFA: Installing the Microsoft Authenticator App

MFA: Adding Backup Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Methods

MFA: Setting up Microsoft Authenticator App using Mobile Phone/Device only

MFA: Using Authenticator App without Cell Service

MFA: Setting up Authenticator on a new phone

MFA: Changing phones or phone numbers

MFA: Multi-factor Authentication and USNH Systems

MFA: Choosing a preferred method of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for M365

MFA: YubiKey Facts & Purchasing Guide

MFA: Setting up YubiKey for Microsoft Authentication

MyAccount: Updating Security Info for password recovery and MFA verification

Seamless Single Sign-On (SSO) Project Information

Set up Security info from a sign-in page - Microsoft Support  URL -


Need additional help?

Visit the Technology 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




Article ID: 4431
Thu 6/9/22 2:29 PM
Fri 1/5/24 6:40 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office