Nobody likes passwords. They’re inconvenient. They’re a prime target for attacks. Yet for years they’ve been the most important layer of security for everything in our digital lives—from email to bank accounts, shopping carts to video games.
We are expected to create complex and unique passwords, remember them, and change them frequently, but nobody likes doing that either.
To that end, and as it gears up to launch Windows 11 in just a few weeks, Microsoft has announced that all microsoft account users can now sign in to their accounts without a password by making use of Microsoft’s Passwordless Sign-in Options
This means you can now completely remove the password from your Microsoft account. 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.
Microsoft made passwordless accounts available for business users of its products in March.
And that system is now being made available to all Microsoft or Windows users.
If passwordless login is enabled, Microsoft account users will be able to use alternative sign-in methods like the Microsoft Authenticator App, physical security keys, and biometrics. And this is far more secure than using passwords, which can be guessed or stolen, according to Microsoft.
Windows users will still be able to use quick-login features such as a Pin code, though.
Some Microsoft apps will still need passwords, such as Office 2010, Xbox 360 consoles. Similarly, those using now-unsupported versions of Windows won’t be able to ditch their passwords just yet either, as the feature will only be supported on Windows 10 and Windows 11.
And if access to the Microsoft authenticator app is lost – for example, if the phone it is installed on is lost or stolen or a user forgets when upgrading – backup options can be used, including:
- Windows Hello facial recognition, which requires a compatible laptop or special camera
- a physical security key, which must be used on the device logging in
- Short Message Service (SMS) or email codes