Alumni Email - Add Multi-Factor Authentication to your Microsoft 365 Account

Adding Microsoft Authenticator (Required)Microsoft Authenticator

By setting up multi-factor authentication (MFA), you add an extra layer of security to your Microsoft 365 Alumni account sign-in. The use of the free Microsoft Authenticator app is the required default method of MFA for accounts.

  1. Sign in to Microsoft 365 ( with your Alumni email account with your password. After you choose Sign in, you'll be prompted to "Protect your account".
    • For the easiest experience, OU IT highly recommends signing into from a laptop/desktop computer, not your mobile device. 
    • For clarity, all steps below that take place in a browser (where you have signed into will be noted with "In the browser...". 
    • Steps that should be taken on your phone will say, "On your mobile device" or "in the app".
  2. In the browser, click "Next". 
    • If the option to "skip for now" is available, use that option if necessary. Please note: OU IT cannot increase the number of times you might be allowed to "skip for now".
  3. When prompted in the browser, download the free Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device. Do not do anything else within the app yet; simply download the app.
    • Ensure that you select the app named Microsoft Authenticator and not any other similarly-named apps. The official app by Microsoft Corporation is free, and the icon is pictured above.
    • The app is only available for download on a mobile device; it is not available for a desktop/laptop. 
    • A mobile device capable of downloading/running the Microsoft Authenticator app is required. Once set up, you will be able to add alternative authentication methods of text messages (SMS) or voice calls. 
    • The default required authentication method is to use the Microsoft Authenticator app. 
  4. In the browser, click "Next". You should then see the following instructions in the browser.

  1. If prompted on your mobile device, allow notifications.
  2. In the app, add your account.
    1. Click the "+" sign to add an account. 
    2. Select "work or school account"
    3. When prompted with options on how to "Add work or school account", select "Scan QR code".
  3. In the browser, click "Next". You should then see a QR code similar to the image below.


  1. Hold your phone up in front of your computer screen and center the QR code within the camera box to scan the QR code similar to the image below. 
    • You do not need to click anything when scanning the QR code; simply aim your phone's camera toward the QR code and it will scan it.
    • Alternatively, you may click "Can't scan image?" and will be presented with a code and URL. 
    • Please note, if you choose to enter the code and URL instead of scanning the QR code, both must be entered exactly as presented. The URL is quite long.

  1. After the QR code is scanned (or code/URL is manually typed in), the browser will present you with a short code (typically two digits) and the phone app will ask you to enter the code. Enter the code into the app and click "Yes". 


  1. Once the code is accepted, you will receive confirmation in the browser that you have successfully added the account to Microsoft Authenticataor. This might read "Success!" or "Notification approved".
  2. The next time you sign in to Microsoft 365, you'll be prompted to provide the additional verification information or action, such as typing the verification code provided by your Microsoft Authenticator app.

Once you have successfully set up Microsoft Authenticator, please add additional MFA methods using the instructions below.


Adding Additional MFA Methods (Highly Recommended)

Adding additional MFA methods to your account is highly recommended, but not required. Adding additional methods will enable you to use those methods when you can't or don't wish to use Microsoft Authenticator. Adding additional methods will also increase the chance that you can add/remove methods without assistance from OU IT in the case that you lose/replace your mobile device with the Microsoft Authenticator app installed.

  1. Sign in to Microsoft 365 ( with your Alumni email account with your password.
  2. In the upper right corner, click your Account icon (typically appears as your initials) and then select "View account".
  3. Locate the "Security Info" section and select "Update Info".
  4. If you are prompted to authenticate with MFA, do the required action.
  5. Review the listing of your sign-in methods. These are the methods you can use to sign into your account or reset your password.
    • If you see an email address listed, please note that the email address can only be used to reset a forgotten password; it cannot be used for MFA.
  6. Click the "+ Add sign-in method" option.
  7. Add a method for Multi-factor authentication. You may see the options for Phone, Office phone, Alternate Phone, Email, and Authenticator app. 
    • Phone (or Office/Alternate Phone) - you will be asked to input the number and verify it during set up by receiving a phone call and/or text message.
      • US or International numbers may be utilized.
    • Authenticator app -  you will be asked to set up the account within your chosen authenticator app (provided that you have already set up the required Microsoft Authenticator app). Follow the on-screen prompts to scan a QR code, add manually, etc.
      • Alternatives to the Microsoft Authenticator app may be added only after the Microsoft Authenticator app is set up. 
    • Email - this method may only be used for self-service password resets.  
      • This method cannot be used as an MFA method to access your account or add/remove other MFA methods. If you add an email, please also add a phone number.
      • More information on password resets can be found in the Alumni Email Password Reset article.



Article ID: 2973
Tue 4/18/23 11:17 AM
Thu 3/7/24 8:48 AM