MFA Guides

What is Multi-factor authentication?

The University is implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) users across the University. This means you will be asked to verify your account using a second factor, such as a code from an app on your phone, text message, or a phone call.

MFA is being rolled out to all SSO accounts from January 2021 by surname.

How does MFA work?

You can verify your account using any of the following methods:

  1. Using the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile phone
  2. Receiving an SMS on your mobile phone
  3. Requesting a phone call on a landline or mobile phone
  4. Authy Desktop Authenticator app
  5. Using a Hardware Token

When will my SSO Account be Migrated?

Project MFA Timetable

After Migration (office365 account on portable devices)

After your account has been migrated and set up your Two factor Authentication, you need to remove your current email account on your personal devices .i.e Phone/ipad and re add your email account. Please see (Configuring office 365 account after migration below)

MacOS users authenticating with Hardware Token Key

To use the Hardware Token Yubikey as a method of authentication for your microsoft account, it is advised that you either use Google Chrome or Firefox, Safari is not comptable with authenticating your account using a Hardware Token Key.

Hardware Token YubiKey is not supported on Chrome OS

Initial MFA Set up for Two Factor Authentication

MS Authenticator App initial setup

Hardware Token Yubikey initial Setup via Firefox for Windows/Mac

Hardware Token initial set up via Google Chrome for Windows/Mac

Adding a phone number for Two factor Authentication

Managing your MFA sign in Methods

Change your default Method of signing in using a different authentication option and how to remove a method

Reseting your Hardware Token Yubikey PIN using the Desktop management application for Windows/Mac

Updating your phone number or change how you authenticate either via Text message or by a phone call

Configuring office 365 after MFA Migration

Setting up office 365 email using iOS device

Setting up Office365 email using Samsung built-in Mail App

Setting up Office365 email using Gmail App

Setting up office365 email using MacOS device

Alternative App to Microsoft authentication App called Authy

Setting up the Authy for Desktop as an alternative to Microsoft authentication app

Authenticating using Authy app on multiple devices

Setting up Authy app on your hand held device


If you have any concerns or need help with your Two Factor Authentication setup, please contact