MFA - Initial Multi-Factor Authentication Setup

This process will only work if there are no current MFA methods listed on this account. To remove and readd these methods, visit MFA - Change Preferred or Add and Delete Verification Methods
Important Note: If the confirmation notification is not approved when the authentication app is being set up for the first time, the app will become non-usable after awhile. This will result in you being unable to access your account. If this happens, you will need to remove your authenticator app from your account and begin again.

1. Download the Microsoft Authenticator app from your smartphone's app store. If prompted, allow notifications.

Android Requirements: Android Version 6.0 or above. 
Microsoft Authenticator on the Google Play Store

iPhone Requirements: iOS 15 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. watchOS is no longer supported.
Microsoft Authenticator on the Apple App Store

2. Next, visit Microsoft’s MFA setup page, preferably:

3. Sign in with your CWU account (e.g. You may also be asked to sign in to the CWU sign in page.

Important Note: This message will only show up if there are no current MFA methods listed on this account. If the website asks to authenticate your account after signing in, please visit this article: MFA - Change Preferred or Add and Delete Verification Methods

4. Once signed in, you will be prompted to provide more information. Click Next.

5. If you've already downloaded the authenticator app, click the Next button on your computer.

Important Note: The authenticator app will not work if notifications are not enabled. If you accidentally press the "Don't allow" button, navigate to the authenticator app within your phone's settings, and enable notifications there.

5. Open the Authenticator app. If prompted, allow notifications. Then select "Add Work or School Account" and select "Scan QR code." You may need to allow the Microsoft Authenticator app to access your camera. If these options do not show up, press the plus icon at the top right of the app.

With the scan option ready, you can now begin the process of retrieving the QR code. Click next on your computer.

6. Hold your phone up to your computer screen and scan the QR code displayed on your computer. The account will be added to your Microsoft Authenticator app temporarily. Select Next on the computer to make this into a permanent method.

7. You should see a message on your computer saying Let’s try it out and you should get an approval notification on your smartphone. Enter the number that appears on your computer screen into the notification on your phone. 

Your computer will display a message saying Notification approved. From here, you are free to press done, and review your sign in methods.

8. After configuring the Authenticator app, you can aditionally enable these optional MFA features.

You can configure a phone number to also be used for MFA and self-service password resets. Once again, on Microsoft’s MFA setup page click Add sign-in method, select Phone, then click Add.

  1. Enter a phone number that can be called by Microsoft for MFA and to verify your identity should you ever forget your password. This can be a cell phone, home phone, or office phone. Click Next after you enter a phone number.
  2. Microsoft will now call you to verify the phone number. Answer the call and press the # key on your phone. You should see a confirmation on your computer screen.

You can also configure an email address and security questions for self-service password reset. We recommend adding one or both of these methods to make password resets easier in the future.

  1. To add an email address, click the + symbol beside Add Method, select Email, and click Add. Enter a personal email address, or one other than your CWU email.
  2. To add security questions, click the + symbol beside Add Method, select Security Questions, and set your questions and answers.

6. You have now successfully configured MFA to work with the Microsoft Authenticator app and a voice phone, and you have configured self-service password reset. The next time you login to an MFA protected system, you will be sent an MFA request immediately after entering your password and clicking the Sign In button. MFA will prompt you to authenticate once every 8 days for most CWU systems on each device you sign in with. You may be prompted more frequently if you use VPN, if you use more than one computer, or if you frequently clear your browser cache. Additionally, any open login or unsaved sessions you have will be logged out and unsaved at 7am the following morning. (Is this true?) Make sure your sessions are saved so you do not lose anything.

If you currently use an Apple iPhone to read your work email with Apple Mail:
Before setting up MFA for the first time, please be sure to remove your mailbox and re-add after setting up MFA. While in Settings, navigate to Passwords & Accounts or Mail settings, select your CWU email account and select "Delete Account" at the bottom to remove the account.

After setting up your MFA, linked below are instructions on how to add your CWU email account back. 
Adding Your CWU Email Account to iPhone

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Article ID: 123476
Wed 12/30/20 10:55 AM
Mon 4/15/24 1:45 PM

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