You all know that I’m a huge proponent of turning on two-factor authentication to protect yourself against cyber-criminals. But when I turned it on for my Microsoft account, I discovered there’s a bit of a catch. A lot of Microsoft’s apps don’t have the capability of sending you a text or email with a verification code.  I had problems logging into my Xbox account and, amazingly, I couldn’t get into the Outlook email client.

How in the world Microsoft’s premium email client can’t manage their own two-factor authentication system is a bit beyond me but there is a fairly simple solution that just takes a couple of extra steps.

You’ll need to get a special app password from Microsoft instead of receiving a code by text or email. Here’s how to do it.  First, open a browser and head to the Microsoft Security Basics page at https://account.microsoft.com/security?refd=support.microsoft.com

You’ll need to log into your Microsoft account.

app-password-microsoft.jpg

Click on More security options.

app-password-microsoftmore-security.jpg

Scroll down to Create new app password.

create-new.jpg

Microsoft will generate an app password for you. You’ll need to create a new password for each app. Just click Done when you’re finished.

app-password-generated.jpg

Then use that password to sign into the app. The extra step is a pain but it’s certainly worth it.