When Outlook Will Not Accept Your Password

Two-step verification needs a second “Application Password”

By Stephen Pate – Microsoft suggests you protect your account with two-step verification which can complicate your life.

When you login to your account on a mobile device, two-step verification will send you an email or sms message with a unique pin number. This ensures that someone is not trying to access your account without your authorization. You need to have both your password and your pin number to login.

In typical Microsoft inconsistency, not all programs support two-factor authentication. One of those is Office 365 Outlook which will refuse to accept your password on login from your desktop after you turn on two-step verification.

Log onto Exchange ActiveSync mail server (EAS): The username or password you entered isn’t working. Please try typing them again.”

I got this message and it drove me crazy trying my username and password over and over again, assuming I had gotten it wrong. In desperation, I changed my complicated password to something easy like “password”. It still would not work.

The fix, which I discovered from Marc Lafleur’s post, is typical of the complicated life with Microsoft but once you learn it, things start working again.

With two-step authentication, Outlook needs a system generated “App Password“

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

  • Go to the Sign in, and sign in with your Microsoft account.
  • Under App passwords, tap or click Create a new app password. A new app password is generated and appears on your screen.
  • Enter this app password where you would enter your normal password.”

For each new application, you will need to generate a new “app password.” For instance the app password on Outlook on an iPad or Android device requires a new password.

Creating a new app password

This is probably more complicated than most people will want. Microsoft could at least make the error messages in Outlook and their other programs more specific or at least allow you to cut and paste them to Google.

My wife refuses to use two-step authentication until Microsoft makes the implementation uniform across all their platforms.

Featured image – Digital Trends.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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