Microsoft is mostly known for its various productivity apps and the operating system, Windows. They also have an extensive range of apps for cybersecurity, one of which is the Microsoft Authenticator app. It helps you securely sign in to your online accounts via two-factor authentication.
Once your accounts have been added, they are automatically backed up in an encrypted cloud by Microsoft. In this guide, we’ll show you how to download the Microsoft Authenticator app via aka.ms/authapp, how to use the app, and setting it up on your phone.
Read this guide to learn more.
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How to Use the Microsoft Authenticator App
The Microsoft Authenticator app has various features that can help you use your accounts more securely, therefore avoiding threats like compromised and stolen passwords. It also acts as a backup in case you forgot your password, especially for accounts that you didn’t use for a long time.
Your Microsoft account can be used to access Windows, Xbox Live, Hotmail, Azure as well as many businesses. So it is important to keep your account secure.
These are four main ways how you can use the Microsoft Authenticator app:
- Two-factor Authentication – In this method, one of the factors is your account’s password. Once you sign in with your username and password, you will need to further approve the sign-in via notification or a unique verification code.
- Code Generation – You can use this app as a code generator when signing in to an app that supports code generation.
- Phone Sign-in – Another version of two-factor authentication where you can sign in without a password. It uses your phone’s verification methods like fingerprint, PIN, and face recognition.
- One-Time Passwords (OTP) – Aside from two-factor verification, the Microsoft Authenticator app also supports time-based, one-time passwords (TOTP) standards.
If you’re a part of a work or school organization, you might be required to use the Microsoft Authenticator app to gain access to your organization’s documents and other confidential data. A complete setup of this app is required to use as a trusted verification method. To know more, go to this link.
How to Download and Install the Microsoft Authenticator App
The Microsoft Authenticator app works on either Android or Apple, as long as your phone has a working mobile number—which will be verified later via SMS (Short Message Service) or via phone call.
To download the Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone, follow these steps:
On your Smartphone (Direct Link to Google Play or App Store):
- Go to aka.ms/authapp to visit the app’s download page.
- Depending on your phone’s OS, click the corresponding download button (Get the app button).
Note: Both the links and the QR codes will lead to either the Google Play Store (left option) or App Store (right option) Microsoft Authenticator app download page.
- Once you’re redirected, select the Install button (Google Play) or Get App button (App Store).
To set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone, follow these steps:
- After it’s installed, set up your account by opening your computer’s browser and going to the account security dashboard of your Microsoft account. You can log in to it by clicking here.
- Choose the Add a new way to sign in or verify option and click Use an app.
- Click Next. A QR code will be displayed on your computer screen.
- Then, in the Authenticator app, select More options (three dots icon) and click + Add account.
- Select the account type and choose Scan a QR Code.
- Scan the QR code on your computer screen and click Finish. You have now completely set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone.
To further set up the Microsoft Authenticator app for two-step verification, you can either choose between SMS messaging or phone call:
- Two-step verification via SMS – your mobile number will receive a code that you will use for two-step verification or password reset.
- Two-step verification via phone call – your mobile number will receive a phone call from the app for a two-step verification or password reset.
Backup and Restore Setup
The Microsoft Authenticator app is also capable of backing up your account credentials and other app settings to cloud storage. However, it is important to have access to a personal Microsoft account (this will act as your recovery account) and an iCloud account (for iOS users).
To enable cloud backup, do the following:
- Open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone.
- Go to Settings > Backup and turn on Cloud backup (Android) or iCloud backup (iOS).
- The app will now start to save all linked account credentials to the cloud storage.
If you want to recover your information or manage to have a new device, follow these steps:
- Open the Authenticator app and choose Begin Recovery.
- Sign in to the Microsoft account that you used during the backup process.
- Once logged in, you can now access all account credentials that were backed up on your account’s cloud storage.
If you forget your MS Account Password (which is different to your Auth App) you can recover it using https //www.microsoft.com/link code to sign in
Important account credentials can be easily compromised nowadays. Intruders can use various techniques to gain access to your accounts’ usernames and passwords, which can lead to stolen personal information, payment credentials, doxxing, and many more.
Therefore, this guide can be a great help if you’re planning to set up your Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone. It’s a secure way of saving your login credentials and signing into apps using two-factor authentication. Also, you can safely back up and recover these credentials using the backup and restore feature.