App passwords and two-step verification

If you need an app password and already know how to use one, visit your security info page online to get an app password. To learn more about app passwords and how they work, keep reading.

After you've turned on two-step verification, some apps (like the mail apps on some phones) or devices (like an Xbox or Windows Phone, for example) will show an incorrect password error, because they can't prompt you to enter a security code when you try to sign in.

If you've turned on two-step verification, and you see an incorrect password error with an app or device, you'll need to get and enter a unique app password to sign in. Once you've signed in with your app password, you're all set to use that app or device. You'll need to create and sign in with a new app password for each app or device that can't prompt you for a security code.

The steps for generating a new app password are always the same:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account.

  2. Under Password and security info, tap or click Edit security info.

    If you're prompted for a security code here, enter it and tap or click Submit.

  3. Under App passwords, tap or click Create a new app password.

    A new app password is generated and appears on your screen.

The way you enter an app password can be slightly different, however, depending on the app or device you're trying to sign in to. Several of the most common ones are listed here. Tap or click the ones that apply to you.

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I have an Xbox 360 console

When you turn on two-step verification, the next time you download your Xbox profile or sign in to the Xbox console, you'll be prompted to enter your Microsoft account password. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  2. Enter the app password instead of the password for your Microsoft account.

    If you don't want to reenter an app password each time you sign in to this console, select the Remember me check box.

  3. Select Sign In.

I sync my Outlook.com email with the Outlook desktop app

If you've turned on two-step verification for your Microsoft account, and you're syncing your Outlook.com email with the Outlook desktop app, follow these steps:

  1. In the Outlook desktop app, click File.

  2. Under Info, click Account Settings.

  3. Double-click the Microsoft account you turned on two-step verification for.

  4. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  5. In the dialog box shown by the Outlook desktop app, enter the app password in the Password box.

  6. If you don't want to reenter an app password each time you use the Outlook desktop app, select the Remember password check box, and then click OK.

If you're already using the Outlook desktop app, and you want to add a Microsoft account with two-step verification turned on to it, follow these steps:

  1. In the Outlook desktop app, click File.

  2. Under Info, click Add Account.

  3. Enter your name in the Your Name box. In the Email Address box, enter the email address for your Microsoft account.

  4. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  5. In the Password and Retype Password boxes, enter the app password instead of your Microsoft account password, and then click Next.

I have a Windows Phone

  1. On your phone, open Settings.

  2. Tap email+accounts.

  3. Tap your Microsoft account.

  4. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  5. Replace the password on your phone with the app password.

  6. Tap the Done icon.

I sync my Outlook.com email on an iPhone

  1. On your phone, tap Settings, and then tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

  2. Tap your Microsoft account.

  3. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  4. Replace the password on your phone with the app password.

  5. Tap Done.

I sync my Outlook.com email on an Android phone

If you use the Outlook.com email app on your Android phone, you're all set—you don't need an app password. If you use the default mail app on your phone, follow these steps.

  1. Open the mail app on your phone.

  2. Tap Menu, and then tap Settings.

  3. Tap your Microsoft account.

  4. Tap Incoming settings (under Server settings).

  5. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  6. Replace the password on your phone with the app password.

  7. Tap Done.

I sync my Outlook.com email on a BlackBerry phone

  1. On your phone, go to Setup, and then choose Email accounts.

  2. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  3. On your phone, replace the password for your Microsoft account with the app password.

  4. Tap Done.

I use Microsoft Office 2010

If you want to save Office 2010 files to the web, you'll need to sign in with an app password. The steps are slightly different, depending on which Office app you're using.

Using OneNote

To sync a OneNote notebook online, follow these steps:

  1. In OneNote, click File.

  2. Under Info, click Settings, and then click Sync.

    A sign-in dialog box appears, prompting you to enter your Windows Live ID and password.

  3. In the Email address box, enter the email address for your Microsoft account.

  4. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  5. Enter the app password in the Password box.

  6. If you don't want to reenter an app password each time you sign in, select the Sign me in automatically check box, and then click OK.

Using Word, Excel, or PowerPoint

To save a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file to the web, follow these steps:

  1. Click File, click Save & Send, and then click Save to Web.

  2. Click Sign In.

  3. In the Email address box, enter the email address for your Microsoft account.

  4. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  5. Enter the app password in the Password box.

  6. If you don't want to reenter an app password each time you sign in, select the Sign me in automatically check box, and then click OK.

I use Microsoft Office for Mac 2011

You can sign in to OneNote with your Microsoft account password. If you're using other Office apps, you'll see slightly different messages.

Using Outlook

If Outlook prompts you to reenter your password:

  1. Click Yes.

  2. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  3. Enter the app password instead of the password for your Microsoft account.

Using Word, Excel, or PowerPoint

If Word, Excel, or PowerPoint prompts you to enter your Windows Live ID and password:

  1. Enter your Microsoft account email address in the Windows Live ID box.

  2. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  3. Enter the app password instead of the password for your Microsoft account.

    If you don't want to reenter an app password each time you sign in to an Office app, select the Save password in my Mac OS keychain check box.

  4. Click Sign In.

I use the Zune desktop app

  1. Open the Zune desktop app, and then click Sign in.

    A sign-in dialog box appears, prompting you to enter your Windows Live ID and password.

  2. In the Email address box, enter the email address for your Microsoft account.

  3. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  4. Enter the app password in the Password box of the sign-in dialog box.

  5. If you don't want to reenter an app password each time you sign in, select the Remember my ID and password check box, and then click Sign in.

I use Windows Essentials apps

If you use Windows Essentials 2012 apps like Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, and Windows Live Mail 2012, follow these instructions to sign in. (You'll need to do this for each Windows Essentials app you use.)

  1. Open the app, select the Home tab, and click the Sign in icon.

    A sign-in dialog box appears, prompting you to enter your Microsoft account and password.

  2. In the Email address box, enter the email address for your Microsoft account.

  3. Visit your security info page online to get an app password.

  4. Enter the app password in the Password box of the sign-in dialog box.

  5. If you don't want to reenter an app password each time you sign in, select the Remember my ID and password check box, and then click Sign in.