Passwords suck. They slow you down, are hard to remember, and can still be compromised. Who needs them right? Not anyone with a consumer Microsoft account. Today the tech giant announced that passwords will no longer be required for logging into a Microsoft account.
You can access your account through a handful of alternatives that include: The Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, or SMS / Email codes. You will be able to use Outlook, OneDrive, Microsoft Family Safety, and your Xbox Series X / S, all without the use of a password.
The new feature is being rolled out ahead of the release of Windows 11 in early October which, despite some of its strengths, still makes it difficult to use a third-party web browser.
Before you can really ditch your password, you’ll have to install the Authenticator app and link it to your account. In order to switch off your password follow these steps — Visit the advanced security options for your account, select Passwordless Account, and then follow the ensuing prompts. Afterward, you can sign into your account by approving a notification from the Authenticator app.
No more 12345678 — Every year, passwords like “12345678” top the lists of most common passwords, and we’re warned by information security experts not to use them. Many of us now rely on password managers instead, but still have to remember a master password... and make it a good one. Even with two-factor authentication though, passwords remain vulnerable and pose cybersecurity threats for the people and organizations that use them. It doesn’t help that keeping track of all of them is simply a drag.
That’s why Microsoft is trying to move towards a passwordless future, or at least it’s one of the reasons. The company plans on starting the process to eliminate the need to use passwords for Azure AD accounts. Hopefully, other services follow suit and begin to find ways for password alternatives.