Set Up the Microsoft Authenticator App


How do I set up Microsoft Authenticator to authenticate my account? (to use with Self-Service Password Reset and Multi-Factor Authentication)



Applies to:

  • Microsoft Authenticator
  • Faculty, Staff, Students, and Alumni
  • Office 365 account - Self-Service Password Reset / Multi-Factor Authentication


  • You must be able to log into your account in order to add or remove security information.



Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is enabled by default for all faculty, staff and student accounts at this time.

The Microsoft Authenticator App is a soft token for MFA. MFA is required for using Office 365 connected systems (like OAKS and employee email) when off campus. More information about MFA can be found in the Microsoft article, "How it works: Azure Multi-Factor Authentication".

The security methods added for MFA are also used for Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR). Using this combined registration, users can register once and get the benefits of both MFA and SSPR. With this app, users no longer need a "Hard Token" device nor a cellular or wireless Internet connection to authenticate as an authorized user.  

To perform the setup, however, you will need access online to a computer as well as the device you wish to install the app. 

(Video instructions - 90sec:

Installation Instructions

On your phone

  1. Install the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device (Using the App store, Google Play, Microsoft Store, etc., depending on your device).
  2. Upon opening the app you will be prompted with "Let's add your first account!" Click the (+) to add an account.
  3. Choose Work or school account for the account type.
  4. The app will launch a QR code reader. You will need to allow access to the device's camera if prompted. You will scan the QR code that displays on the computer after you log into your account.

On your computer

  1. Navigate to: This opens up the knowledge base article, "Self Service Password Reset".
  2. Scroll down to "Register for Self Service Password Reset (SSPR)" and select, "Click Here to Register Your Account"
    1. You may need to sign in using your email address and password and be prompted to authenticate before being able to access security information.
  3. Once you are logged in and looking at the Security Info page on your computer, click the +Add method option.
  4. In the "Add a method" window, choose the Authenticator app as the method, and then click the Add button.
  5. Once selected you will be prompted with a message saying "Start by getting the app". After you have the app installed on your mobile device (will already be installed if you followed the section on App Instructions previously), click Next
  6. From here make sure you've selected "Work or school account" within the Microsoft Authenticator on your mobile device, and the camera is waiting to scan the QR code (from steps in the App Instructions, above). 
  7. Now on your computer screen you will have a QR code displayed. Scan the QR code with your mobile device. Try to hold the mobile device steady, and center the QR image in the middle of the square on your mobile device camera. 
    • Unable to scan QR code: If you are unable to scan the QR code with your camera, there is an option to use a URL and a code. To use the URL and code method, click the "can't scan image" link on your computer, and it will display the URL and code you can enter in your Authenticator App on your mobile device.
  8. Once you scanned the QR code, click Next on your computer. This will prompt Microsoft to send a notification to the app. Click Approve.
    1. NOTE: Due to timing, sometimes the Approve request does not display automatically when you open Authenticator.  If not, click on the options (three bars) and choose Check for Notifications to get it to pop-up. 
  9. Now you and use the Microsoft Authenticator.


Set the Authenticator app as your default setting

Once installed, IT recommends that you set the Microsoft Authenticator app as your default sign-in method.

  1. Navigate to the Security Info page (If you are not already logged in, you will need to sign in using your email address and password and be prompted to authenticate before being able to access security information).
  2. Select Change after Default sign-in method: . 
  3. Choose Microsoft Authenticator - notification and Confirm.



Do you still need help?  Create a support ticket and someone will contact you Multi-Factor Authentication Issue




Article ID: 68012
Fri 11/30/18 3:45 PM
Thu 9/1/22 4:46 PM

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