Microsoft’s planning to kill off passwords – here’s how

Microsoft has had enough of passwords, and has taken steps to help users skip the keystrokes when logging in to its services.

The company announced, via a blog post, that it has updated its Authenticator app to allow users to sign in to any Microsoft service by simply tapping a notification on their phone.

The app is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone and the new feature aims to make signing in even easier than using two-factor authentication.

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Microsoft’s Alex Simons writes in the post: “Here in the identity division at Microsoft, we don’t like passwords any more than you do! So we’ve been hard at work creating a modern way to sign in that doesn’t require upper and lowercase letters, numbers, a special character, and your favorite emoji.

“…With phone sign-in, we’re shifting the security burden from your memory to your device. Just add your account to the Android or iOS Microsoft Authenticator app, then enter your username as usual when signing in somewhere new.”

Once you’ve added your account, if you go to sign in to any service that requires a Microsoft account on any platform, instead of entering your password, you can just tap ‘Approve’ on the notification that pops up on your phone.

Authenticator

Microsoft says this new method of logging in is “significantly more secure” than using a standard password as it prevents phishing attacks.

If you want to start using the service, here’s how to get it working:

  • If you already use the Microsoft Authenticator for your personal account, select the dropdown button on your account tile, and choose Enable phone sign-in.
  • If you are adding a new account on an Android phone, Microsoft will automatically prompt you to set it up.
  • If you are adding a new account on an iPhone, Microsoft says it will automatically set it up for you by default.
  • The next time you try to sign in to your Microsoft account from anywhere, the company will send you a notification to approve the sign-in.

The company is asking users to provide feedback on the new feature via the Microsoft Authenticator forum, so if you do encounter any issues, make sure to let Microsoft know.

Let us know what you think of the new service in the comments.