Humans are bad at picking good passwords. When creating new sets of login credentials, many of us often take the lazy route and pick a password that is easy to remember and therefore easy to guess, making those logins prime targets for malicious actors. Microsoft’s solution to this issue is a novel one, as the company announced today that it’s giving users the option of ditching passwords altogether on their Microsoft accounts.
That’s a big move and one that will probably sound intimidating to those of us who have been using passwords since the early days of the internet. Microsoft has actually been signaling this shift for a couple of years at this point, and back in March, it rolled out passwordless login for its commercial users.
Now all Microsoft users can ditch the password, with the company giving them several replacement options. “Beginning today, you can now completely remove the password from your Microsoft account,” Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft corporate VP of security, compliance, and identity wrote today on the company’s website. “Use the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or a verification code sent to your phone or email to sign in to your favorite apps and services, such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Family Safety, and more.”
To remove the password from your Microsoft account, Microsoft says you should first download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app and link it to your Microsoft account. From there, log in to your Microsoft account, head into your settings, select “Advanced Security Options,” and then select “Passwordless Account.” All you need to do then is turn on the passwordless account feature and approve the notification that the Microsoft app sends you.
Microsoft says that this functionality will be rolling out to all Microsoft account holders in the coming weeks, so if you don’t see the option right away, it should appear shortly. It’ll be interesting to see if other companies follow suit now that Microsoft has taken steps to ditch passwords, so stay tuned for more.