I have just spent this morning converting all of the Microsoft Accounts my family has to use the newly activated two-factor authentication (TFA) from Microsoft.

This optional feature is a great security step for your Microsoft Account and while your main Microsoft Accounts password will continue to work in most applications there may be the need to use an App Password to access the account on devices and in programs that do not yet support TFA.

Microsoft has made it easy to establish multiple App Passwords for each of your Microsoft Accounts and if you would like to see instructions on how to do that please check out this post from Pureinfotech.

So far the experience has been very straight forward getting all of our accounts sorted out and set up between our desktops, portable devices and Windows Phones. However, with the mostly smooth transition to TFA there are a few bumps along the way so here are a few of the things I experienced in this conversion to TFA.

  • When you are setting up your Microsoft Account for TFA make sure your device (desktop, laptop, etc.) is already a Trusted Device – if it is of course. Once that is done it prevents you from having to go through the receipt and re-entry of a security code to turn on TFA.
  • Your Hotmail.com, Outlook.com, Live.com accounts on Windows Phone need an App Password to work. Once you add that App Password on the phone you will also need to change it on your desktop email program such as Outlook.  Same thing goes for the Mail App on Windows 8 RT.  After that point it works just fine and without any issues.
  • So far I have discovered two apps one app on Windows Phone that do does not work with the App Password.  One is the SkyDrive App and the other It is a fairly recent addition to the library – the Dev Center App.  The key factor for both of these is they use it uses your Microsoft Account to sign in. They It obviously just needs an update to allow the App Password to work or make them it TFA compatible.

Update: The SkyDrive App does work with TFA.  What happened was the SkyDrive App was signed out when I changed the Microsoft Account password on the phone to the App Password.  I thought that meant the app was looking for the App Password to work correctly but that was not the case. When I signed in with my Microsoft Account credentials, including the original account password, I was prompted to go through the authentication process and now have the app back up to full speed on my Windows Phone.  Thanks to @kb7sqi for the nudge towards the fix.

I am sure there may be other apps in the Windows Phone Store and even possibly in the Windows Store that use your Microsoft Account for logging in that may not be working.  Lets do some crowd sourcing on this and list other apps that have been discovered to not work with TFA and the App Password.

Looking forward to your inputs.