Office365, Apps and Multi-Factor Authentication

Premise

I had just enabled the multi-factor authentication option for my Office365 account. I chose authentication by Microsoft Authenticator app. Once the setup was completed, I was able to successfully access my Office365 account/apps online i.e., in a web browser. However, on my laptop, I was unable to sign into any of my office apps (Outlook, Skype for Business, etc.).

Solution

This problem occurred due to the enabling of the multi-factor authentication option. The office apps, currently, don’t have a mechanism to verify multi-factor authentication. So your regular password won’t work here! 😐

Instead, you have to generate a fixed app password, exclusively, for each of your apps. You cannot use the same password across multiple apps!

Following are the steps to generate an app password for any given office app:-

  • Sign in to Office365.
  • Select Settings/Office 365 Settings.
  • Select Security & privacy > Additional security verification > Update my phone numbers used for account security.

    Office365 Security & privacy

  • Select app passwords. It may look like its disabled, but no, it’s clickable and is perfectly enabled! 😦

    app passwords

  • Select create. You will be prompted for a unique name. Since I intend to use this password in my outlook app, I named it Outlook.

    password name

  • Once you hit next, your app password will be displayed.

    copy password

  • Use the password for logging into any one of your app.

Footnote

  • This looks terrible directly from the onset! It is generally advisable to enable multi-factor authentication for additional security. However, for now, I won’t recommend the same for your Microsoft’s work or school accounts. 😕

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