Whether it’s Windows Hello or support for biometric keys, Microsoft has always been on a journey toward a password-less future. Now, you’ll finally be able to break free from one of your passwords for good.
Just announced is the new ability to remove your Microsoft Account password in favor of newer and often more secure authentication methods. First tested in March with commercial users, Microsoft is now pushing the use of Windows Hello, a security key or a verification code sent to your phone for any sign-ins that involve using Microsoft Accounts. That includes apps and services like Outlook, OneDrive, Family Safety, and more.
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To get started with removing your Microsoft Account password, you need to ensure that you have the Microsoft Authenticator app installed and tied to your personal Microsoft Account. You can then visit the Microsoft Account security page, and select Additional Security > Passwordless Account > Turn On.
To finish, follow the on-screen prompts and approve the notification from your Authenticator app. Now, each time you log in to a Microsft Service, you’ll be prompted to approve it via Authenticator, instead of entering your password.
Fixing teh password problem is something that Microsoft takes to heart. A recent YouGov survey commissioned by the company found that 30% of people stopped using an account or service rather than deal with a password reset. That same survey showed that nearly a third of respondents’ inability to remember a password is their number one password problem.
Microsoft also finds that passwords can make you an easy target for hacking and waste your time time. It also says they aren’t user-friendly and could take up too much brain space. Finally, it adds that there are 579 total password attacks every second, or up to 18 billion per year.
“We are expected to create complex and unique passwords, remember them, and change them frequently, but nobody likes doing that either. For the past couple of years, we’ve been saying that the future is password-less, and today I am excited to announce the next step in that vision,” said Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president for Microsoft Security, Compliance, Identity, and Management.
Microsoft is also holding a “Your Passwordless Future Starts Now” event on October 13. The event will reveal more about how organizations and individuals can drop passwords for more secure methods.