No password? No problem – Microsoft moves to remove consumer passwords

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Umbrellar Connect

When it comes to protecting your digital identity, passwords are hardly the best method of authentication. They’re easy to forget, they’re easy to lose, and oftentimes you can even find them floating around on the internet if you’re not careful.

Today, Microsoft announced that consumers can now completely remove passwords from their Microsoft account and choose alternative authentication methods. This option has been available since March 2021 for commercial users, but now Microsoft is making a passwordless future possible for all users.

How is Microsoft making this happen?

The new feature will be rolled out over the coming weeks, you will be able to use the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or a verification code sent to your phone or email to sign in to your favourite apps and services, such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Family Safety, and more.

The problem with passwords

Simply put, passwords are insecure. Most people have access to dozens of accounts that need passwords, but creating good ones is hard. There are only so many letters or numbers you can remember, and forgetting them can be catastrophic—especially when it comes to financial services, social media platforms and other crucial parts of your digital life. Yes, there are password managers out there—but they don’t eliminate all of the hassles.

There are two major problems with using passwords: they can be easily stolen and used by others, and they make sign-in a frustrating experience. When it comes to choosing an authentication method for your applications or services, think of our most valuable resource: time.

Go passwordless with Microsoft today

First, ensure you have the Microsoft Authenticator app installed and linked to your personal Microsoft account.

Next, visit your Microsoft account, sign in, and choose Advanced Security Options. Under Additional Security Options, you’ll see Passwordless Account. Select Turn on.

Microsoft Authenticator screen showing the option to go passwordless.

Finally, follow the on-screen prompts, and then approve the notification from your Authenticator app. Once you’ve approved, you’re free from your password!

Microsoft Authenticator screen showing password has been successfully removed.

If you decide you prefer using a password, you can always add it back to your account. But I hope you’ll give passwordless a try—I don’t think you’ll want to go back.

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Umbrellar Connect

Umbrellar Connect is the leading multi-media hub for New Zealand's tech innovations. We keep you informed on the need-to-know impact stories, the trends shaping our world, and the tech enabling us to go further.


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