How to Set Up 2FA for Microsoft 365

What is MFA?

MFA, or Multi-Factor Authentication, adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two or more verification factors, such as passwords and biometrics to access an account or system.When used with Microsoft 365, it will make it considerably more difficult for hackers or scammers to gain access to user accounts.

What Do I Need To Do?

Once we (Systemagic) have enabled MFA on your Microsoft 365 accounts, you and your colleagues will need to provide extra information to finish the process.

Watch our video guide, or follow the instructions below for the next steps.

Setting Up MFA

When setting up MFA, we recommend using an incognito/private window – you can open this by right-clicking on your browser icon and selecting ‘new incognito/private’ window.

Next, head to or and sign in using your login credentials.

Once you’re signed in, you should be prompted to provide more information.

Authentication Methods

There are many ways to authenticate your MFA account. The two most popular methods are via SMS or the Microsoft Authenticator app.

We recommend using Microsoft Authenticator as ti doesn’t require good phone service, just a 4/5G or WiFi connection – it’s also the quickest method.

In this guide, we cover how to set up both options.

Microsoft Authenticator App

What’s Microsoft Authenticator?

Microsoft Authenticator is a smartphone app that generates MEA codes. It’s completely non-intrusive and doesn’t access any of your phone’s data.

Downloading Microsoft Authenticator

Before selecting ‘Microsoft Authenticator’ on your computer, make sure to download the Microsoft Authenticator app from your phone’s App Store or Google Play Store.

There are lots of authenticator apps on the App Store.

To ensure you download the right one, look out for the one titled ‘Microsoft Authenticator’.

We’ve highlighted the app below, so you know what to look out for!

Tip: Make sure that the author of the app is ‘Microsoft Corporation’.

Setting Up Microsoft Authenticator

Once you have the Microsoft Authenticator app downloaded on your phone, go ahead and open it up. If it’s your first time using it, you may be asked to set up an account right away – don’t worry this is normal.

If you already have some accounts in your Microsoft Authenticator App, click the ‘+’ icon in the top right corner to add an account.

Under ‘Account Type’, choose Work or School Account’ and then ‘Scan QR Code’.

Back To The Computer

Now you’ve downloaded the Microsoft Authenticator App, you can head back to your computer and click ‘Next’ on your screen (twice).

Next, you’ll be prompted to scan the QR code on the screen with your phone (remember, we just clicked ‘Scan QR Code’ on your phone.

If for some reason your camera is not currently active, click ‘Scan OR Code’ on your phone again.

Checking Your Account

Once you’ve scanned the OR code, your Microsoft account should appear in your list of accounts, just like the image below.

Back on the computer, tap ‘Next’, as we’re done with the OR code and want to test that it’s working.

Confirming Sign In

Back on your mobile, enter the number you see on your computer screen and tap ‘Yes’. In this case, we’d enter the number 45.

If the number is correct, your login will be approved. If it’s incorrect, your login will be denied.

Back on your computer, click ‘Next’.

You’ll now be asked to create an Application Password.

This will be used when linking your Outlook email software to your email account.

However, application passwords are no longer needed for this. So here, give it a name, like AppPassword, and click next.

Final Steps

As we don’t need this password, you can click done.

Signing In With Authenticator App

Now MFA is enabled, you’ll need to re-sign in to your Microsoft 365 applications (such as Teams, Outlook and Microsoft 365 Online).

As per usual, you’ll need to enter your email address and password.

You’ll then see a number appear on your screen and a push notification on your phone from Microsoft Authenticator.

Simply enter the number on the screen within the authenticator app, and click ‘Yes’.

You’re now authenticated and logged in!

To reduce the number of times you’ll need to do this, click ‘Yes’ on the ‘Stay Signed In?’ popup.

SMS (Text Message)

What is SMS Authentication?

Some users may not like having to use the Microsoft Authenticator app, which is fine. Once you have MFA set up, you can add alternative methods, such as getting a code via SMS (text message).

Setting Up MFA With SMS

To set up MFA with SMS, you’ll need to head to and sign in.

Once you’re in, head to the top right, click your user icon and then ‘View Account’ and then ‘Update Info’ under the Security Info tab.

Now, choose ‘Add Sign-In Method’.

And select ‘Phone’.

Now click the blue ‘Add’ button.

Here, make sure to select United Kingdom, then enter your mobile number, excluding the ‘0’ at the start.

Then either opt for a call or code. In this example we’ll pick code:

The system will now send your phone a code.

You should receive a message like this.

Type the code into the textbox on your computer and click ‘Next.

It should now be registered.

Signing In With SMS Code

When you next log into or your other Microsoft 365 applications (such as Teams or Outlook), you’ll be sent a text message with a code.

Enter the code you received to complete the log-in process.

Changing Default Method

If you want to change which method is your default method, back on the ‘Security Info’ screen, click on the smaller ‘Change’ button, instead of ‘Add Method’ button.

From here, you can change what your default verification method will be.

Personally, we would recommend using the Microsoft Authenticator app as you’re generally in a place that has WiFi,
than a place with good enough phone service to receive an SMS.

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