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.
Click on More security options.
Scroll down to Create new app password.
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.
Then use that password to sign into the app. The extra step is a pain but it’s certainly worth it.