Hate passwords? Now you can get rid of them entirely on Microsoft accounts.

microsoft

Credit: Dreamstime

Microsoft is now offering you the choice to get rid of passwords entirely from your Microsoft account, moving to a passwordless future where your phone and face will log you in instead. 

Microsoft said Wednesday that the company plans to offer you the option to eliminate passwords entirely, beginning today and rolling out through the coming weeks. Your Microsoft account, together with apps that require you to sign in (such as Outlook, OneDrive, and others) won’t require you to verify yourself using a password.

So how will your account be secured? In place of a password, Microsoft will use its Microsoft Authenticator app for your phone, Windows Hello, and codes sent to your email or phone in place of a traditional password. We’ve seen Microsoft offer to sign into your account without a password since 2017, but today is the first day that Microsoft is also inviting you to ditch passwords entirely.

Most people hate passwords, even if the way to pick a perfect password is relatively easy. The problem is simply remembering them all across various sites and services. While more and more browsers are storing passwords within them, the hassle of picking and storing passwords has created a cottage industry of password managers, both free password managers and paid options. According to Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president of Microsoft Security, Compliance, Identity and Management, 30 percent of people Microsoft surveyed stopped using an account or service rather than deal with a password reset.

Microsoft isn’t trying to reduce the security of your account. Instead, it’s relying on other security factors to step in. Experts recommend using multi-factor authentication to secure your account, a technical term for using more than one way to identify you as you. Traditionally, those factors have included something only you know (like a password), who you are (just like a friend can recognise your face) and something that you own, as an identifier. Passwords have simply been the easiest traditional way to identify yourself to Windows or a website.

In recent years, however, technical innovations like Windows Hello have stepped in to identify you, either by your face or fingerprint. Even better, facial or fingerprint recognition is now common on most smartphones. The thinking here is that your smartphone is already secured, so a secure code issued by Microsoft’s Authenticator app will be seen by you and you alone. 

How to go passwordless on your Microsoft account

Here’s how to go passwordless with your Microsoft account. First, you’ll need to download the Microsoft Authenticator app (either for Android or iOS) and link it your own personal account. (You’ll probably need to enter your existing password here to install the app, unfortunately, perhaps for the last time.) Authenticator can either generate one-time codes that you can enter to confirm your identity, or alternatively can simply vouch for who you say you are.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft Authenticator can be used to verify your identity both for your Microsoft account as well as third-party services, too.

Next, you’ll need to visit account.microsoft.com, your online Microsoft account dashboard. Microsoft has made it the default “homepage” for your Microsoft account, and subsections branch off to the excellent “Find My Devices” page, any Microsoft subscriptions you might own, and so on. The fourth tab down on the account.microsoft.com page is labeled “Security,” and it’s here you’ll be able to enable the passwordless option.

Under “Additional Security,” you’ll see an option for “Passwordless Account.” Select the “turn on” option. It’s here, Microsoft says, that you’ll simply need to follow the on-screen prompts, including a confirmation from the Authenticator app, to turn off passwords entirely.

Microsoft

Microsoft provides an option to turn off passwords entirely. Here’s what it looks like.

According to Microsoft, ridding yourself of passwords isn’t a permanent decision. You’ll have the option to add a password back to your account if you so wish. What Microsoft is betting, however, is that you’ll make getting rid of passwords a permanent decision.

Latest breaking 24h news around the world Latest breaking 24h news around the world - Page 2 Latest breaking 24h news around the world - Page 3


LATEST NEWS

NEWS RELATED

How the Apple TV+ adaptation of 'Foundation' differs from its source

Showrunner and writer David Goyer shares how “Foundation” had to change for its Apple TV+ version, from modernization to adaptation to changing social standards. Gizmodo talked with David Goyer, the showrunner, writer, and executive producer of Apple TV+ show “Foundation.” He shared his approach to bringing Issac Asimov’s science-fiction epic…

Read more: How the Apple TV+ adaptation of 'Foundation' differs from its source

Apple releases redesigned Safari 15 with Tab Groups, better performance

On Monday, Apple released Safari 15, bringing new macOS Monterey features and design changes to current versions of Apple’s Mac operating systems. The Safari 15 update can be installed on Macs running macOS Big Sur or macOS Catalina. It introduces faster performance, improved security, and several new features that will…

Read more: Apple releases redesigned Safari 15 with Tab Groups, better performance

How to use Live Text on iOS 15

Live Text on iOS 15 lets you take text out of photos you took years ago — or that you haven’t taken yet at all. Here’s what it’s capable of, plus what you can do when it doesn’t quite work as it should. You would think that the new Live…

Read more: How to use Live Text on iOS 15

Final day: Save $160 on this 13" MacBook Pro with M1 chip, 512GB SSD

In celebration of last week’s Apple Event, B&H Photo is discounting Apple’s current 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 512GB SSD to $1,339, plus free expedited shipping. M1 MacBook Pro savings The exclusive $160 discount is valid on the M1 13-inch MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD…

Read more: Final day: Save $160 on this 13" MacBook Pro with M1 chip, 512GB SSD

What you need to run watchOS 8

Not all Apple Watches can run Apple’s latest watchOS 8, find out which ones are compatible with the latest operating system release. Apple has released a new Apple Watch every year since it was originally announced and only the first three generations have lost compatibility so far. The original Apple…

Read more: What you need to run watchOS 8

What you need to run iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

After a long beta test period, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 have launched. Here’s which iPhones and iPads can run the new operating system updates. Apple seldom removes compatibility for older models due to the longevity of its custom Apple Silicon. For the 2021 operating system releases, these devices are…

Read more: What you need to run iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

First iPhone 13 Pro Max unboxing pops up online

A YouTuber in Dubai unboxed the iPhone 13 Pro Max, showing off the updated packaging and new gold color. Apple’s embargoes for the iPhone 13 haven’t lifted, but that doesn’t prevent some from sharing videos early. A YouTuber in Dubai, known as SalimBaba Technical, posted a three-minute video. The video…

Read more: First iPhone 13 Pro Max unboxing pops up online

Apple releases watchOS 8 update for Apple Watch

Apple has released watchOS 8 to the public, with Apple Watch owners now able to take advantage of new features such as the new Mindfulness app, new message composition, and expanded Fitness options. Announced during Apple’s WWDC event in June, watchOS 8 is now available to the general public. Users…

Read more: Apple releases watchOS 8 update for Apple Watch

Apple's tvOS 15 is now available for Apple TV

iOS 15 now available with improved device intelligence and social features

Apple releases iPadOS 15 with Quick Note, Focus Mode

iOS 15 review - A solid update with excellent new features

Best Deals Sept. 20 - $490 AirPods Max, $100 off thermal label printer, more!

iPhone growth slowdown through 2023 a 'critical concern' for Apple, Ming-Chi Kuo says

'iPhone 15' will get in-screen Touch ID, 'iPhone Fold' arrives in 2024 says Ming-Chi Kuo

Blowout MacBook Pro deals: Intel models now $300 to $500 off

OTHER NEWS