Microsoft Ditches Passwords for the Sake of Security

You still have to verify your identity, but with more secure means

Microsoft will allow personal account users to skip the passwords and log in directly with more secure verification methods.

For decades, passwords have been the go-to for baseline account security, so why does Microsoft want to do away with them? According to a new support page, it's because passwords are no longer the most secure way to verify your digital identity. As Microsoft points out, passwords can be a liability, as they can be stolen or even straight-up guessed.

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So instead of passwords, the plan is to use other methods like an authenticator, biometrics, SMS codes, and physical security keys. It's an opt-in option, though, so you get to decide if you want to stop using passwords or not.

This won't necessarily make logging in faster, especially if you're used to keeping your passwords stored, but it would be more secure. The option is reversible, too, so you're not stuck if you remove your password and then decide you want to go back.

Logging in without passwords won't be universal, however. Microsoft has acknowledged that older Windows app and services like Office 2010 (or 2011 on Mac) and Windows 8.1 or earlier still will require them regardless.

If you're an Xbox user, you'll also still need your passwords to log in to your Xbox 360. The Xbox One and Series X/S will work with the new passwordless option, though.

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The passwordless rollout already has begun for Microsoft accounts and will continue through the coming months. So if you don't see the option now, check back later.

However, the feature is currently only being offered to personal accounts, so don't expect to see it for work or school accounts anytime soon.

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