MFA - Setting up Microsoft Authenticator app

Using the Microsoft Authenticator App

As a reminder, all staff, faculty, and registered students have been migrated, to manage or set up sign-in methods visit your MFA Security Info portal at  

Watch this short video on how to manage your sign-in and use the mobile app.

The Microsoft Authenticator app is the preferred method of verifying your account using Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) it the most secure and users find it quick and convenient to use. After signing in to most SVSU services, a unique number will display on the screen of the device you are using, this number will need to be entered into the Microsoft Authenticator app to validate your login. 

The remaining of this article contains instructions for setting up the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app

  • New Phone Users - Should you get a new phone, you will need to install the Microsoft Authenticator app and add your SVSU account. Follow the instructions in this article. You will need to remove the old phone as a sign-in method after adding your new phone.
  • Setting up other sign-in methods - Please refer to the Related Articles section (right of this page) with instructions on how to set up and manage other MFA methods and get answers on our main MFA help page.
Article Sections

Accessing Your Account - Security Info Portal

To begin securing your account and using two step verification, you will need your computer and your phone. Follow the steps below:

On a computer - Add the Microsoft Authenticator app

  1. Visit your Account Portal at and login with your and your password.
  2. After you have signed into your Account,  click  Add sign-in method

    MFA - Security Info - Add sign in method
  3. In the Add a Method pop-up window, from the list of available options, select Authenticator app.

  4. If you have not installed the Microsoft Authenticatorapp on your mobile device, you will need to do that (view instructions below), click Next
  5. Now, you will see a QR Code that you will need to scan with your mobile device. 

Microsoft Authenticator app - icon Install the Microsoft Authenticator app on your Mobile Device

  1. Before installing the Microsoft Authenticator app on your device, please consider the strength of your cellular network and Wi-Fi signals.  If you are on campus, its helpful to be connected to the SVSU Secure.
  2. On your device search for the Microsoft Authenticator app, or you can scan the provided QR codes from Microsoft Support or open the download links below specific to your device Android (Google) or iOS (Apple). 

Android (Google Play)

iOS (App Store)

To install the Microsoft Authenticator app for your Android device, scan the QR code below or open the download page from your mobile device.

Android QR code to open app store

To install the Microsoft Authenticator app for your iOS device, scan the QR code below or open the download page from your mobile device.

iOS QR code to open the App Store

Set up Microsoft Authenticator app

After you have installed the Microsoft Authenticator app, follow the steps below to set it up on your Account.

  1. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your device.
  2. Select Skip. this takes you to the main screen.
    Select Skip.
  3. If you have already set up your preferred method, you will need to authenticate with your previously chosen method. Important: If you get a message that says “Login failed…” please contact the Support Center, 989.964.4225, so we can check your account status.
  4. On the Authenticator main screen, tap the symbol to add your account.
  5. Tap Work or School Account.
    Add Account - Select Work or school account.
  6. When prompted, select OK to allow access to the camera.
    Select OK.
  7. Now on your computer screen, aim your device camera to scan the QR code. Click Next

    MFA - scanning QR Code to set up the Microsoft Authenticator app
  8. On your mobile device when the scan is complete, the screen will change and you will see that your Saginaw Valley State University account has been added.  If you were to tap your account you will see a six-digit code, which refreshes every thirty seconds. This means your account is active.
  9. On your computer screen, you are asked to verify your sign-in. You will see a number generated, at the same time a notification is sent to the Microsoft Authenticator app.

    MFA - verify number generated on screen
  10. Tap the notification on your mobile device to open the Authenticator app, then enter the number you see on your computer screen, then tap, Yes.
    MFA - Authenticator app verify number displayed on computer screen
  11. On your computer sreen, you will see that your sign in to your account has been approved, click Next to return to the main screen.
  12. You are done setting up the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device.
  13. You are returned to the main Security info page, notice the Microsoft Authenticator is added to the list, "My Sign-Ins."

    MFA - Security Info Portal - Displays the Microsoft Authenticator app is set up as a sign-in method
  14. You have completed adding the Microsoft Authenticator to your account. Proceed below for instructions on how to set the mobile app as your default sign-in method.

Making the Microsoft Authenticator App a Default Sign-In Method

The default sign-in method is what Microsoft 365 will use when you sign into a software or system that has Multi-Factor Authentication enabled. We do recommend to use the Microsoft Authenticator app as your default sign-in method, it is the most secure and most find it convenient.

  1. If you are already logged into My Sign-Ins via your Security Portal, proceed to step 2, if not you will need to log into and sign in with your email and password.
  2. Once logged in, click the Change link.

  3. Select App based authentication - notification from the list of options.

    MFA - Change default method - App based authentication - notification
  4. Click the Confirm button.
  5. You will see a green notification box appear (upper-right of your screen). You have now changed your default sign in method using the Microsoft Authenticator app.
    MFA - My Sign Ins - Security Portal - Default method confirmed.

Important Notes on Sign-in Authentication

  • ​​​​The authentication for your sign-in will be valid for that system within that browser session for eight hours (for most systems).  Unless you close the entire browser session, close the authenticated browser tabs or log out of any authenticated browser tabs.
  • If you restart your computer, use a different browser, use a private browser window, log in to a different computer, or if eight hours have passed, you will need to authenticate again.
Forget your Phone? You can choose another authentication method by clicking the "Use a different verification option." link. You will see a list of sign-in methods to choose from, click another method to verify your account.

Note: If you do not have another sign-in method set up on your account, you will need to call the SVSU IT Support Center to get into your account call us at 989.964.4225, or visit us in the Zahnow Library, 1st floor. 

Authenticating Your Account with the Mobile App

From now on, when trying to access an SVSU service, a message will appear on the computer screen saying, “For security reasons, we require additional information to verify your account. Open your Microsoft Authenticator app and tap the number you see below to sign in.”  

  1. Input the number shown on your screen into the Microsoft Authenticator app.
  2. Tap, Yes.
  3. Your screen loads and you are logging into the SVSU service.

Important Note: If time expires, you can try again or Use a different verification option to authenticate your account.

MFA - Mobile app authentication - Screen prompt

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Article ID: 112312
Tue 7/21/20 3:35 PM
Wed 7/10/24 1:08 PM

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