Passkeys are an advanced and more secure sign-in process that you can use with your Microsoft Account. This post will guide you on using passkeys with your Microsoft account, its benefits, and how they differ from passwords. Before getting into the details, we will clarify that passkeys are always better for you if you frequently forget your passwords or need quick sign-in.
What are Passkeys? How are they different from passwords?
Passkeys are an advanced and fully secured authentication process for the sign-in process, an alternative to password logins. As passkeys are unique for each application, there is no such possibility of security breaches or threat of phishing. Passkeys let users enter their email and confirm their ID via passkeys, which can be done by face recognition, fingerprint, and security key.
|How they are created
|Generated automatically by your device
|Created by user
|How they are stored
|Stored on your device or in your password manager
|Stored by the website or app
|How they are used to authenticate
|You authenticate using your device’s biometrics (e.g., fingerprint, facial recognition)
|You type in a password
|Phishing attacks resistant
|Susceptible to phishing attacks
|Brute-force attacks resistance
|It can be cracked with a brute-force attack
Passkeys are not Microsoft-specific, but you can also enable Passkeys for Google accounts.
How to Use Passkeys with Your Microsoft Account
To use the passkeys, you need first to create them and then later use the device to log in to your Microsoft account.
How to create a Microsoft account Passkey
If you want to create a passkey for your Microsoft account, follow the steps below.
- Launch the Chrome or Edge browser on your Windows 11 PC, go to the Microsoft account website, and sign in with the Microsoft account for which you want to create the passkey.
- Scroll down the account page and click on the Security option.
- Under the security page, click on the Additional security options.
- Click Add a new way to sign in or verify the link on the following menu.
- Now follow the onscreen instructions and use the Use Your Windows PC option to verify your account.
- The following prompt will open in the browser and show “Windows Hello a sign-in method used only on the device where you set it up. If you want to use Windows Hello to sign in to your account on this device, select Next.
- Click Next, and it will prompt you to enter your PIN or password to confirm.
Henceforth, you can use this device (Windows PC) to sign into your Microsoft account using the current device without a password, i.e., passkey.
How to use the Microsoft account Passkey
- Open a website or app that supports passkeys, which can be any Microsoft website such as Forums, Microsoft Accounts, etc.
- Click on Sign, and then select Sign-in options.
- Click on Sign in Windows Hello or security key.
- On Windows, you would get a prompt to select an existing account. Select if available, and sign in using the PIN.
- But if the account is not on the PC, you can choose the Use another device option.
- Once you tap on it, you can choose one of the following options:
- iPhone, iPad, or Android device: If you want to sign in with a passkey stored on a phone or tablet, use this option. For this, you need to scan a QR code with your phone, which must be in proximity to the Windows device.
- Linked device: If you want to sign in with a passkey stored on a device near the Windows device, then go for this option. This option is only supported for Android devices.
- Security key: Go for this option if you want to sign in with a passkey stored on a FIDO2 security key
- Complete the passkey unlock process on the selected device
Overall, it’s straightforward to use the passkeys with a Microsoft account. That said, the experience can be different on different devices. Windows offers deep integration with Microsoft Edge, which means you will directly get a Windows Hello prompt instead of asking to select a user account.
How to manage and view saved Passkeys on Windows 11
Using a passkey with a Microsoft account is straightforward. If you are a Windows 11 user and signing in to your PC with your Microsoft account, then Microsoft already created a passkey for your account. To check your passkeys, follow the steps below.
- Open Settings from the Start menu or press Windows key + I to launch it directly.
- Select Accounts from the left sidebar.
- Select Passkey settings under the Account settings section.
- From this screen, you can view the complete list of your passkeys.
- Select the three-dot menu from the right-hand side and the Delete Passkey option to delete any of them.
Can we use Passkeys in Mobile?
Yes, we can easily use passkeys on Mobile. We know there is no mobile platform for Microsoft, so we need a compatible browser and operating system to use passkeys on a mobile device.
If you are an Android user and want to use passkeys, your device must have Android 9 or higher and have Chrome or any compatible third-party password manager. If you are an iOS user, your device must have iOS 15 or higher and use the Safari browser.
What devices and browsers support Passkeys?
Passkeys are supported on various browsers and devices. Windows supports Chrome and Edge; Mac OS supports Chrome, Edge, Brave, and Firefox; iOS supports Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and Safari; Android supports Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and Samsung Internet.
Can I use a physical security key instead of a Passkey?
Yes, you can use a physical security key instead of a passkey because Microsoft supports security keys as an alternative sign-in method. You can set it up in Security > More security options > Add a new way to sign in or verify > Use a security key.