Microsoft has eliminated the need for passwords to sign into accounts. The Redmond-based tech giant announced through a blog post that users can sign into their Microsoft accounts by using just their phones.

In times of increasing data thefts and phishing attacks, Microsoft says this is far more secure and seamless than even the standard two-step verification that currently exists for many logins on the web.

"We don't like passwords any more than you do! So we've been hard at work creating a modern way to sign in that doesn't require upper and lowercase letters, numbers, a special character, and your favourite emoji.... we're excited to announce our newest sign-in feature: phone sign-in for Microsoft accounts!" read the blog post.

How to use the feature

  • You will need to install the Microsoft Authenticator app available on iOS, Android and Windows phones
  • For those who already use the Microsoft Authenticator for your personal account, select the dropdown button and select "Enable phone sign-in"
  • In case you are adding a new account, the system will prompt you by default to set up the phone sign-in. While Android users may need to follow some steps, iOS users will have it set by default
  • Now try logging in to your Microsoft account on your desktop
  • You will receive a notification from Microsoft, which you just need to approve — no OTP or code of any kind is needed to authenticate the process
  • In case you feel you need an extra layer of protection, the app can also create a unique code that works as a second authentication factor

Those not too sure of using their phones for such an authorisation can always switch back to their password. The authentication allows access for all Microsoft linked accounts like Skype and OneDrive.

The company says it is significantly more secure than only a password, which can be forgotten, phished, or compromised. Losing your smartphone or it getting into the wrong hands may, however, be a different story altogether.