April 16, 2024

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Microsoft removes 'annoying' password system

Microsoft removes ‘annoying’ password system

From now on, you can choose an alternative way to log in, for example a security key or a verification code. You no longer need a password for Outlook, OneDrive, or Family Safety.

Microsoft users no longer need a password. They can sign in using alternative methods such as the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or a verification code. For now, it’s only about private accounts, which will receive the “account without password” option in the coming months. This option appears both with existing accounts and when creating a new account.

To remove the password from your account, you must install the Microsoft Authenticator app and associate it with your account. You can then enable the option in Additional Security Options under Account Without Password. Next, you need to verify your account.

Not for old systems

If you choose an account without a password, you may “lose access” to some older apps, services, and devices, according to Microsoft. For example, it is no longer possible to sign in to Xbox 360, to Office software from 2010 or earlier, or to Windows 8.1, Windows 7 or earlier.

In these cases, Microsoft recommends that you use the application password. This is an automatically generated password that you can request from the security options. After once, the password will expire and you will have to request a new one. Microsoft stated that it is always possible to disable the “account without password” again.

Alternative sign-in options include Microsoft Authenticator and Windows Hello, which work with a PIN or fingerprint. According to Microsoft, it is less easy to hack than a password. Furthermore, passwords are often part of a data leak, which wouldn’t happen quickly with a PIN, for example.

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“Most users find passwords annoying,” said Vasu Jakal, Microsoft’s vice president of security, compliance, and identity. “According to a survey, a third of our users would rather cancel their account than have to reset their password.” 85 percent of users will log in without a password.

Since 2019, the password is no longer required for Windows 10. Meanwhile, the IT giant is working on options to delete passwords also on professional Azure Active Directory accounts. Google is also working on a passwordless system.