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Microsoft 365 MFA Setup Guide

28th April 2023 | Modified: 17th September 2023

Categories: How-to guide

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Table of Contents

What is Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)?

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) provides an additional level of security to your systems and helps combat cyber attacks. When you login to a service such as RDS or Microsoft 365 not only do you enter your username and password but also via the MFA app prompt you confirm it’s you.

Once enabled, when you log into your Microsoft 365 account or a Microsoft 365 app for the first time (such as Outlook, Teams or Office applications) with your email address and password, you will be prompted to approve the login using your mobile device.

This prevents unauthorised access to your account. Should your password become compromised your account will still be protected. Be sure to only approve logins that you know are yours.

Registering for MFA

Registering in advance will ensure you are ready to go when MFA is enabled and that you will have relatively uninterrupted access once it is enabled. The date and time when CNC will enable MFA should have already been communicated to you.

To setup Multi Factor Authentication you will require your computer/laptop and your mobile phone.

Installing the Microsoft Authenticator app

The first step is to download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device.

Go to the App Store on your Apple device, or the Google Play Store on your android device and search for Microsoft Authenticator and select Install and wait for this to install

Generating a QR code

Please start the MFA setup process on your PC/Mac by going to

First, enter your email address and password to sign in.
(If you are already signed in you may not be prompted for this.)

Next you will be prompted to provide more information, Click Next.

You’ll be asked for confirm that you have downloaded the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device. Make sure you installed this as per the previous section, and click Next

The following screen will be displayed. Click Next

You’ll see a QR code that you now need to scan with your phone (see next section)

Scan the QR code through the mobile app

Open the Authenticator app on your mobile.

Note –  If your phone prompts you to enable access to the camera, or enable notifications,
please click allow.

Click Add Account.
If you can’t find the option to add an account, click the button with the three dots (Android) or the + button (Apple) in the top right corner, then select Add Account.

Select Work or school account when prompted.

Choose Scan a QR code and using your mobile device camera, scan the QR code from your PC/Mac.

Click Next on your PC/Mac.
You’ll then receive a notification on your mobile device that you will need to Approve

Once you’ve approved this, press Next again on your PC/Mac, then press Done

Mobile Number Verification

The last step is to add your mobile phone number to set up text messaging as a backup authentication method.

Click Add sign-in method here, then select Phone and press Add

Then select Phone and press Add

Enter your mobile number, and click Next

You’ll receive a text message to that number with a code that you’ll need to enter on your PC/Mac to verify your phone number. Enter the code and click Next

Now click Done

You have now enrolled your Microsoft Authenticator mobile app for multi factor authentication

Logging in once MFA is Enabled

Please note, these steps will only apply once MFA is enabled.

When logging into Outlook, Teams, or Office applications on your computer, you will receive an numerical authentication prompt.  


On the authenticator app tap in the number that appears on your computer screen and tap Yes to confirm.


  • Make sure you have either 3G/4G/5G connection on your mobile phone or that you’re connected to WiFi to be able to receive notifications.
  • Make sure you haven’t blocked the notifications of the Microsoft Authenticator app (this is usually in your device Settings under ‘Notification Settings’


If you’re still having problems, or if you’ve lost your phone and can no longer login to Microsoft 365, please contact the CNC ServiceDesk for further assistance.

In conclusion

Now you’ve set up MFA for your Microsoft account and prevented over 99.9% of attacks that come from compromised accounts.


If you have any other services that you want to protect but you haven’t enabled MFA consider doing so as soon as possible to protect your important information and access.

Microsoft 365 MFA Setup Guide

By Paul Stephenson

Paul has spent his career working in IT and telecoms across a variety of business sectors. He has a passion for training and imparting knowledge to people guiding them to use their systems in the most effective way.

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