Microsoft MFA (How To) Set Text Message (SMS) as Primary Authentication Method from a Sign in Prompt

This article provides instructions for setting a text message (SMS) as a primary authentication method.

With Microsoft MFA, users have the option to enroll a phone number that can receive text/SMS messages as an authentication method. Please note, messaging and data rates apply.

To enroll a phone number that can receive text/SMS messages as the primary authentication method with Microsoft MFA from a sign in prompt:

1. Sign in with your UWM email address and password.

Sign in, enter password


2. You will be notified that More information is required. Click Next.

 More information required


3. On the next page, you will be prompted to Keep your account secure, and will see a prompt to get the Microsoft Authenticator app. At the bottom of this prompt there is the option to set up a different method. Click the link titled I want to set up a different method.

Keep your account secure prompt


4. This will bring up the option to Choose a different method. From the drop-down menu select the Phone option and click Confirm.

Choose a different method drop-down menu Choose a different method confirm


5. Select your country code from the drop-down menu The default option is United States (+1).

Enter phone number


6. In the text box titled Enter phone number, enter your 10-digit phone number including the area code.

7. Select the Text me a code option and click Next.

8. You will receive a text/SMS message containing a 6-digit authentication code. Enter the code in the text box and click Next.

Enter text code


9. After you verify your identity, your phone will be set up as your primary authentication. Click Next

10. You will be prompted to set up a backup method.

set up backup method


11. Continue to add your desired authentication method as a backup. 
Note: The email and security questions option will only work for password recovery.

12. If you wish to set up an email or security questions, click the link titled, I want to set up a different method.

13. This will bring up the option to Choose a different method. From the drop-down menu select the Email or Security Questions option and click Confirm.

Choose a different method drop-down menu


14. If you selected Email, enter your non-UWM email address in the text box and click Next.

Enter non-UWM email address


15. When prompted, enter the verification code that was sent to your non-UWM email address and click Next.

Enter email code


16. On the next screen you will receive a notification that you have successfully enrolled. Click Done.

Success screen


17. You will be brought to the My Sign-Ins page. If you are done making changes you can click on your Person icon and Sign out.

Person icon - Sign out


18. If you selected Security Questions, choose three questions from the drop-down menus, and enter your answers in the text box for each question.

Security Questions


19. After selecting your Security Questions and providing answers, click Done.

20. You will be brought to the My Sign-Ins page. If you are done making changes you can click on your Person icon and Sign out.

Person icon - Sign out


21. The next time you login, you will be prompted for Microsoft MFA after entering your UWM Email address and Password. Select how you would like to authenticate and continue with that process.

Authenticate at login


22. To save time authenticating select the option, Don’t ask again for 14 days when prompted.

Remember me for 14 days





Keywords:Microsoft, MFA, Office, M365, O365, 365, Azure, phone, txt, text, sms, primary, authenticate, authentication, method, multi, factor, multi-factor, secure, security, securely, cell, mobile,   Doc ID:66991
Owner:Help Desk K.Group:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Created:2016-09-16 14:01 CSTUpdated:2021-11-12 13:56 CST
Sites:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Feedback:  0   0