Important Change: Microsoft Authenticator app is now the primary method for Two-Factor Authentication

Published: 24 August 2023

Microsoft has updated its authentication process, making the Microsoft Authenticator app the preferred method of authentication. For individuals such as staff, faculty, and students who have opted for various methods of authentication, including Microsoft Authenticator, the system will now prioritize the use of the Microsoft Authenticator app by default. 

Compared to other methods, the Microsoft Authenticator app reduces the risk of unauthorized access and adds a stronger layer of protection for your personal and academic information. This app generates a unique verification code that is time-sensitive and tied to your mobile device.  

**Action required:** 

If you have not already done so, we highly recommend downloading the Microsoft Authenticator app and registering your mobile device.  

Follow these steps to set up the Microsoft Authenticator app: 

1. Download: Visit your device's app store (Google Play Store for Android or App Store for iOS) and search for "Microsoft Authenticator." Download and install the app.  

2. Setup: On your computer, go to Once logged into your McGill account, select Add Method and choose Authenticator app. A window will pop up asking to download the app, click Next as you’ve already done so.  

3. Open the app on your mobile device and follow the on-screen instructions to add your McGill University account. You will be guided through the setup process, which includes scanning a QR code that will be generated on your computer screen or by entering a verification code.  

4. Verification: Once set up, whenever you need access to McGill University’s systems or services that require Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), you will be prompted for a time-sensitive verification code on your computer screen that needs to be entered in the Microsoft Authenticator app. 

For full instructions, visit the Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Set up instructions. 

Users can also choose other secured alternatives, such as Google Authenticator app or an authenticator dongle (USB). However, it is important to highlight that solely relying on SMS authentication will leave you more susceptible to hacking attacks. 

For any inquiries or assistance, please contact the IT Service Desk  by live chat (login required) via the IT Support site or at our walk-in location at McLennan Library.


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