Office 365 Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Guide

What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an additional step in the login process that verifies your identity when you log into Office 365.

There are three methods for this:

  1. Using an Authenticator App on your mobile phone, available via Android or iOS App Store (AU preferred method)
  2. Receiving an SMS text message on your mobile phone with a code
  3. Receiving an audible phone call to a trusted number with instructions


MFA will be rolled out gradually, but ultimately it will be required.

After MFA is enabled for your account, you may occasionally receive a secondary authentication request when using desktop applications like Microsoft Outlook.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the Alfred University ITS Helpdesk at helpdesk@alfred.edu or 607-871-2222.

There are TWO options for using Microsoft's Authenticator App:

  • Option A – Receive a notification through the app that a login is being attempted; the user must confirm or deny the attempt
  • Option B – Open the authenticator app and enter a rotating, self-expiring code into the web page from the app
    1. Open a web browser and navigate to http://office365.com
    2. Click "Sign In"
    3. Use your full AU email address as your username
    4. Enter your full AU account password
    5. You will see a screen asking for more information. If you do not, your account is not enrolled in MFA at this time. To request MFA enrollment, please contact the ITS Helpdesk.multi-factor identification setup main menu
    6. Click "Next"
    7. On the next screen, click the dropdown menu (pictured)mfa security question menu
    8. In the dropdown menu, select "Mobile App"
      • Option A: Click the button marked "Receive Notifications for verification" and click "Set up"
      • Option B: Click the button marked "Use Verification Code" and click "Set up"
    9. Download the "Microsoft Authenticator" app (available for Android and iOS)microsoft authenticator app on Google Play
    10. Open the app and click the "+" symbol to create your account link
    11. Scan the QR code on the websiteExample of QR code
    12. Click "Next"
      • If you chose Option A, your phone should display this message at login:Approval for sign-in form
      • If you chose Option B, your computer will prompt you to enter a code from the app. Launch the authenticator app, and select your alfred.edu account. You will see a six–digit code that you will enter into your computer before the countdown expires (generating a new code).
    13. Proceed through any confirmation or validation you receive to ensure your authentication is set up properly
    14. Microsoft will ask for a backup phone number that can be used as an alternative MFA step in case you are unable to use the app (if you don't have your phone on you). We recommend using a phone number that is different from your mobile device.Additional security verification
    15. Click "Done"
  1. Open a web browser and navigate to http://office365.com
  2. Click "Sign In."
  3. Use your full AU email address as your username.
  4. Enter your full AU account password.
  5. You should see a screen asking for more information. If you do not, your account is not enrolled in MFA at this time. To request MFA enrollment, please contact the ITS Helpdesk.
  6. Click "Next."
  7. On the next screen, click the dropdown menu.
  8. Select "Authentication Phone."
  9. Select the country and enter your phone number in the space provided.
  10. Select "Send me a code by text message" and click "Next."
  11. You will receive a SMS text message from Microsoft with a code to enter into the website.
  12. On the website, enter the code and click "Next." Login will continue on your computer.
  13. Click "Done."
  1. Open a web browser and navigate to http://office365.com
  2. Click "Sign In."
  3. Use your full AU email address as your username.
  4. Enter your full AU account password.
  5. You should see a screen asking for more information. If you do not, your account is not enrolled in MFA at this time. To request MFA enrollment, please contact the ITS Helpdesk.
  6. Click "Next."
  7. On the next screen, click the dropdown menu.
  8. Select "Authentication Phone."
  9. Select the country and enter your phone number in the space provided.
  10. Select "Call Me" and click "Next."
  11. You will receive a phone call from Microsoft asking you to press the "#" key on your phone.
  12. Once the # key is pressed, login will continue on your computer.
  13. Click "Done."

Your email application may not support Multi-Factor Authentication, if it is an older app, or if it is from a third–party vendor, such as Apple Mail. If this is the case, you can use the "App Password" you receive at the end of your MFA setup to configure your email address with an unsupported appmfa7

This code is for one–application, one–device use only. Copy it and keep it safe – once this screen goes away, there is no possible way to retrieve it again. To use the code, open your email application and use it in place of your AU password. If you need more codes, they can be generated by logging into your Office 365 account and then going to https://account.activedirectory.windowsazure.com/AppPasswords.aspx

If you have any trouble with this, please contact the ITS Helpdesk.

Important: If you use an "App Password" and your device is lost or stolen, you should notify your cellular carrier, the authorities, and the Alfred University ITS Helpdesk as soon as possible so we can purge these passwords from your account. This process will block any attempts at unauthorized access to your account from any outside parties.

Reminder: Some users have reported incompatibility between MFA and email that is synched to their phones. After you enable MFA, you may need to download Outlook on your phone, or open Outlook using your phone's browser.

Microsoft Office 365

Alfred University uses Office 365 for its email service. Office 365 provides many benefits to our students, faculty, and staff. Office 365 is fully supported by Microsoft, ...