Microsoft has announced to give support for FIDO2, which is an open authentication standard hosted by the FIDO Alliance; it does so to help the tech industry go passwordless. What does that mean? It means you don’t need to use password to unlock your Microsoft account anymore, you are able to unlock it more easily.

Unlock Your Microsoft Account with Security Key

Can’t remember the exact password? Don’t worry, now, you are able to unlock Microsoft account with new methods, for instance, with a security key and through the company’s facial recognition software Windows Hello.

unlock Microsoft account

How to Unlock Microsoft Account

Steps to unlock with FIDO2 security key:

  1. Make sure you have upgraded your system to Windows 10 October 2018.
  2. Open Microsoft Edge and go to the Microsoft account page to log in as usual.
  3. Select Security and click on more security options at the bottom.
  4. Scroll down to find Windows Hello and security keys to see instructions for signing in to your account with Windows Hello or security keys (physical devices like a USB security key). You should buy a security key from one of the partners, such as Yubico and Feitian Technologies which gives support for FIDO2 standard.
  5. You are able to click on More Options & select Use a security key or type in your username; then, you’ll be asked to log in with a security key.

unlock with security key

Steps to unlock with Windows Hello:

  1. The first step is the same – you need to confirm that you’re using Windows 10 October 2018.
  2. You need to set up Windows Hello (please skip this step if you have already done such work).
  3. Open Microsoft Edge, click on More Options and select Use Windows Hello or a security key; otherwise, you may type in your username to sign in with Windows Hello.

unlock with Windows Hello

About the New Unlock Methods

Security Key

Currently, a hardware-based security key can be used to sign in your Microsoft account quickly and easily.

At the end of November, 2018, Microsoft enabled the feature of unlocking Microsoft account with security keys. This is actually realized by FIDO2, an authentication standard for the web and it greatly expands the FIDO ecosystem. Now, you will be able to unlock the following Microsoft accounts with the help of a compatible security key from providers (such as Yubico).

  • Outlook
  • Office
  • Xbox Live

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You must know one thing that security key support is realized through the Microsoft’s Edge browser. So the problem is Microsoft Edge is not as popular as expected; it is struggled to gain popularity. In order to log in Microsoft account with security key, you have no choice but to go into the security menu of Microsoft Edge in order to register your key.

Windows Hello

Actually, Windows Hello is a more personal way to access your Windows 10 devices with just a look or a touch. Unlocking Microsoft account with Windows Hello helps you enjoy the enterprise-grade security.

The following devices give support to Windows Hello:

  • Surface Pro 4
  • Surface Book
  • Most PCs

Besides, there will be more devices available in the future that you can access through facial recognition (and fingerprint). In addition, you are also allowed to unlock the Microsoft account on PC (or other devices) by making use of the Windows Hello companion devices (including Windows 10 phones and Microsoft Band).

As a result, both methods help to get rid of the troublesome password typing process and get rid of the embarrassing password forget events.

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