This week Microsoft announced the next step in their efforts to eliminate passwords within the companies ecosystem.
With updates to Windows made available this week, you can now use Windows Hello biometrics or a compatible FIDO2 device such as the Yubikey I have previously reviewed. These changes will now allow you to use these other factors of authentication (biometrics and unique physical devices) to access services within the Microsoft ecosystem like OneDrive, Microsoft Store purchases, Office 365, Skype, Xbox, and many others including your Microsoft Account itself.
In Microsoft’s own words, their goal is to eradicate all the spots where you would normally be asked for a username and password.
A couple of caveats:
- You must be on the recently re-released Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
- This feature requires Microsoft Edge to be used as your browser to these sites to trigger the proper passwordless access.
- A compatible security key or Windows Hello hardware (facial or fingerprint) must be available to use this feature.
- A security key can be used across multiple devices for passwordless access however, using Windows Hello is device specific.
Below you will find a gallery that contains screenshots of the process for setting up Windows Hello for this passwordless access to Microsoft services. As you will see in the images, the setup process for ether Windows Hello or a security key all run along the same sequence of steps. Access to each is available at https://account.microsoft.com under Security.
If you have any questions or observations, please let us know in the comments below.
Gallery: Setting up Windows Hello Passwordless Login for Microsoft Account