In order to secure accounts you can and sometimes must setup 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) which will ask for a one time passcode coming from an app like Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator installed on your mobile device of choice when you want to login somewhere.
A big problem with many 2FA apps that people are not aware of
The biggest problem with these 2 specific apps was that there was no way to backup all your 2FA accounts that you had set up which meant that whenever you had lost your phone you no longer had access to those accounts that you had setup 2FA for. It was for this reason that I always made a screenshot of the QR code you have to scan to setup 2FA to back it up myself. This way, if I would lose my phone or needed to set everything up again I could simply scan all the 2FA codes again. I took security and recovery into my own hands like this but I always wondered why Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator would simply not implement a backup and recovery feature of their own…
I’m aware that there are services like Authy that you can use for 2FA and that solve this problem by storing the accounts online and manage backup and recovery but I was never a fan because I would have to trust Authy in that they would manage their service well.
I’m now glad to announce that Microsoft finally took it upon themselves to make the 2FA world A LOT easier for everyone using this app.
Since yesterday Microsoft Authenticator implemented a backup and recovery feature into their own 2FA app!
After updating the app to the latest version, it will now ask you which Microsoft account you want to use to sync all your 2FA accounts with. Simply enter your own Microsoft account and you’re done. According to Microsoft, whenever you want or need to move to a new device, the app will keep the accounts:
Finally 2FA got easy and secure.
I’m glad a renowned party like Microsoft stepped up to improve 2FA. Almost all guides that explain how to setup 2FA point to Google Authenticator, but know that you can use other apps as well. And know that Microsoft Authenticator now has a HUGE advantage. Can’t get any simpler.
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