You don’t need your password to sign in to your Microsoft account

More than 800 million people who use a Microsoft account can now securely log in without having to remember a watchword, the company has aforesaid.

Users can open the Edge browser and sign into programs so much as Outlook, Office, Skype and OneDrive via Windows hullo, which uses facial recognition, or a FIDO2-based security device.

These options are easier and more secure than manually typewriting in usernames and watchwords.

“Microsoft has been on a mission to eliminate watchwords and help people protect their information and accounts from threats,” Alex Simons, Corporate Vice-President of Program Management at Microsoft’s Identity Division, wrote in a blog post. “As a member of the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance and the World Wide Web pool, we’ve been working with others to develop open standards for the next generation of authentication. I’m happy to share that Microsoft is the first Fortune 500 company to support watchword-less authentication exploitation the WebAuthn and FIDO2specifications, and Microsoft Edge supports the widest array of authenticators compared to other major browsers.”

Unlike watchwords, FIDO2 protects a user’s information by generating a public and a private key when you register a applicable device. The private key is stored securely on the PC, piece the public key is held in Microsoft’s cloud. It can then be unbarred exploitation Windows hullo or a personal identification number – which ne'er leave the device – in a two-factor authentication process. When you try to log in, the Microsoft account system verifies the key.

To use the feature via Windows hullo, update to Windows 10 October 2018, open Edge, click “More Options” and “Use Windows hullo or a Security key”.

When exploitation a FIDO2 security key, update to the latest version of Windows, go to the Microsoft account page on Edge and sign in as usual. Select “Security” and “More Security Options”; under “Windows hullo and Security Keys” you will see instruction manual for setting up a security key. Next time you sign in, you can either click “More Options” and “Use a Security Key” or type in your username. You will then be asked to use a security key to sign in.

Man holding Surface Book
Users can now sign into programs so much as Outlook, Office, Skype and OneDrive via Windows hullo

Simons aforesaid Microsoft will go further to make PCs more secure.

“We have dozens of great property coming out as part of our efforts to reduce and even eliminate the use of watchwords,” he wrote. “We are presently building the same sign-in experience from a browser with security keys for work and school accounts in Azure Active Directory. Enterprise customers will be able to preview this early next year, where they will be able to allow their employees to set up their own security keys for their account to sign in to Windows 10 and the cloud.

“Furthermore, as more browsers and platforms start supporting the WebAuthn and FIDO2 standards, the watchword-less experience – available on Microsoft Edge and Windows today – will be hopelessly available everywhere.”

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