Microsoft is doing away with the password. The computing giant launched an update Tuesday to its OS and Android app that allows Microsoft account users to login using a login code instead of a password.
The new feature of the Microsoft Authenticator app is basically two-factor authentication without the first factor. Instead of typing in a password and getting prompted for a secondary code, which is sent to an associated device owned by the account holder via the app, users will be able to bypass typing in their password and just generate a code to login.
At first glance, this may seem like it’s a less secure login method than two-factor authentication, seeing as it cuts out the typical security method that most people are familiar with. But in actuality, it’s a step toward a more secure login process.
As we’ve learned from the massive database leaks in recent years, passwords are easy to steal. They can be compromised a number of ways, be it from a hack, a phishing attack or from sheer brute force.
The code generator prevents these types of attacks, as there is no password to steal or guess. The only person who has access to the code is the person who holds the associated device that generates the temporary login code, and compromising a mobile device that has proper protection—be it a fingerprint sensor of login PIN is considerably more difficult than stealing a password.
How To Login To A Microsoft Account Without A Password
First, you’ll want to download the Microsoft Authenticator app, available for iOS and Android devices. Once you have the app installed, open it up and login into your Microsoft account the traditional way. At this point, Microsoft will prompt you to enable phone login, which will simply send a login code to your device via the app every time you try to login to your Microsoft account.
If you already have the Microsoft Authenticator app setup for your Microsoft account, open the app and tap on your account to open a dropdown menu for user options. Choose “enable phone sign-in” from this menu.
If you already use the Microsoft Authenticator app but want to add a new account, the app will automatically prompt you to set up the feature upon adding the account.