Two-factor verification and your work or school account

You've gotten an email from someone in IT or your boss saying that the organization has added additional security verification to your account. So what does that mean? It means your organization is taking extra steps to make sure you are who you say you are when you sign in. This extra verification, also known as two-factor verification, is done through a combination of your user name, your password, and a mobile device or phone.

Two-factor verification is more secure than just a password because it relies on two forms of authentication: something you know, and something you have with you. The something you know is your password. The something you have with you is a phone or device that you commonly have with you. Two-factor verification can help to stop malicious hackers from pretending to be you, because even if they have your password, odds are that they don't have your device, too.

Important

This content is intended for users. If you're an administrator, you can find more information about how to set up and manage your Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) environment in the Azure Active Directory Documentation.

This content is also only intended for use with your work or school account, the account provided to you by your organization (for example, alain@contoso.com). If you're having problems with two-factor verification and your personal Microsoft account, the account you set up for yourself (for example, danielle@outlook.com), see Turning two-factor verification on or off for your Microsoft account.

Who decides if you use this feature?

Depending on your account type, your organization might decide that you must use two-factor verification, or you might be able to decide for yourself.

  • Work or school account. If you're using a work or school account (for example, alain@contoso.com), it's up to your organization whether you must use two-factor verification, along with the specific verification methods. Because your organization has decided you must use this feature, there is no way for you to individually turn it off.

  • Personal Microsoft account. You can choose to set up two-factor verification for your personal Microsoft accounts (for example, alain@outlook.com). If you're having problems with two-factor verification and your personal Microsoft account, see Turning two-factor verification on or off for your Microsoft account. Because you choose whether to use this feature, you can turn it on and off whenever you want.

For detailed information and instructions about setting up, using, and maintaining two-factor verification, see the following articles:

Article Description
Set up two-factor verification for my work or school account Describes how to set up two-factor verification for the first time.
Changing your security verification method settings Describes how to change your settings such as phone number or preferred enrollment method.
How to sign in using your security verification method Describes how to sign in using your specified verification method.
Get help with two-factor verification Describes how to troubleshoot common problems with two-factor verification.
Manage your app passwords Describes how to create and use app passwords.