Microsoft has become the first major company to let users remove their account password, embracing what it calls a “passwordless future”. It means you’ll no longer need to enter a password when signing in to Microsoft 365 apps, Outlook, OneDrive or any other service that usually requires a Microsoft account.
A range of alternative sign-in methods are now available – Windows Hello, a security key, SMS/email verification code or the Microsoft Authenticator app. The latter is necessary if you want to ditch the password altogether.
Until now, Windows 10 requires every laptop or PC to be signed into a Microsoft account. However, choosing and remembering a secure password can be cumbersome and time-consuming.
It’s also a security risk. In an official blog post, Microsoft describes passwords as ‘a prime target for attacks’, with hackers often just one guess away from a wide range of private information. With many people still using the same password for several different accounts, this could have devastating impacts.
With that in mind, Microsoft now recommends removing your password to increase the security of your account and improve your sign-in experience.
How to remove your Microsoft account password
Here’s a step-by-step guide to removing the password from your Microsoft account:
- Download the Microsoft Authenticator app on any iOS or Android device
- Sign in with your email and password (for the last time)
- Choose one of the ways to verify your identity. As you’re linking your account to the app, an email is the easiest option here
- Copy and paste the code from your emails and click ‘Verify’. After a few seconds, your account will be added
- From any device, head to account.microsoft.com
- Enter your email and click ‘Next’
- Tap the same number shown on screen within the Microsoft Authenticator app and click ‘Approve’. You’ll need to confirm the screen lock on your mobile device
- From the Microsoft account home screen, choose ‘Security’ from the top of the screen
- Under ‘Advanced security options’, click ‘Get started’
- Scroll down to ‘Additional security’. Under ‘Passwordless account’, click ‘Turn on’
- Follow the steps outlined, including approval via the Microsoft Authenticator app
- That’s it! You’ll now see confirmation that your password has been removed
From now on, you'll be able to use an alternative sign-in method whenever you need to access your Microsoft account. Do be aware, the Microsoft Authenticator app is often used as a way to verify your identity, so it's worth keeping it handy.