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Microsoft account security information and verification codes

Security information confirms your identity

Security info is an alternate contact email address or phone number that you add to your account. If you've forgotten your password or someone else tries to take over your account, we'll send you a verification code to this alternative email address or phone number. If you send the code back to us, we can make sure that it really is you so that we can give you access to your Microsoft account again.

Your security information is only used to verify your identity when you access personal information or when we discover a problem with your account.

Note:This article is about safety information. If you've lost or forgotten your password, or have other password problems, see Change or reset your Windows password.

Before we start managing your security information, let's make sure we've successfully sent your verification code.

Manage your security information

You can change your password, update information, or review current activity. If you're not already signed in to your Microsoft account, a prompt will appear.

Manage your security information

On the account page Safety basics you can add, update, or remove security information. To do this, select one of the following options.

Add or update security information

To add a new email address or phone number, see Add security information to your Microsoft account.

Make sure the list of phone numbers or email addresses you use to sign in to your account is up to date. Open the sign-in options to turn off sign-in settings for any phone number or email address that you don't use often.

Remove security information

  1. On the Safety Basics page, select the button refresh information. If you're not already signed in to your Microsoft account, you'll be asked to sign in.

  2. You may be asked to enter a security code in order to continue the process. If you don't have access to your alternate email address or phone number, select I do not have this information and follow the instructions to share your safety information.

  3. Your security information is under Security settings displayed. Choose Remove to delete any information. You may need to add new security information before you can remove the old information.

Note:If you request the removal of all security information from your account, the information will not change for 30 days. During this time, we cannot accept any further changes or additions to the security settings or billing information. Your account will remain active and you can continue to use your email, Skype, OneDrive, and devices as usual. We'll let you know when you need to enter new security information.

Troubleshoot issues with the verification code

I haven't received my verification code. How should I proceed?

There are several possible reasons why verification codes don't always arrive. Read this list of the most common causes and see if any of them apply to you.

Does your smartphone block SMS from unknown numbers?
If so, change these phone settings, and then select I do not have a code out. We will then send you a new verification code.

Is the email with the verification code in your junk email folder?

Check if your Junk E-mail folder has a message from a Microsoft account and use the code that was sent to you. Valid verification codes come from an email address in the @ accountprotection.microsoft.com domain.

Mark @ accountprotection.microsoft.com as a trusted sender to receive the verification code in your inbox.

Has the phone number or email address been entered correctly?
To protect your data when you register, you will only be shown the last two digits of your telephone number or the first two characters of your email address.

To determine if your security information is correct:

  1. Sign in to the Security Basics page with your Microsoft account.

  2. Choose refresh information out.

  3. Pick or choose a method that you know will work I don't have any of this information to replace your security information.

Does your alternate email address end in @ outlook.com, @ hotmail.com, @ live.com, or @ msn.com?
If so, then use a Microsoft account to verify a different Microsoft account. This can make it difficult to keep track of which account you're signed in to. When you are signed in with the second account (so that the code is sent to this email address), most browsers will automatically sign you out of the first account (which is actually requesting the code).

To get your verification code:

  1. Sign in to the first account with a browser in privacy mode. So you can stay signed in to both accounts at the same time.

  2. When prompted for the verification code sent to your alternate email address, do not close the browser window.

  3. Open a new window in privacy mode. CTRL+SHIFT+P is the keyboard shortcut for InPrivate Browsing in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. If you are using a different browser, refer to that browser's help for information about privacy mode.

  4. In the new window, sign in to your alternate email account and look for the message from the Microsoft accounts team. Copy or write down the verification code from the message.

  5. Return to the window that asked for the verification code. Enter the code and follow the instructions.

I received a message that said: "Make sure you can get a security code."

If a message prompts you to make sure you can receive a verification code, check your security information or add new ones. You can skip this at any time for 24 hours, but after seven days after the initial notification, you will need to review the security information or add new security information before you can sign in again.

We won't ask you to review your security information every time you log in. Occasionally, we may ask you to check it again, for example if you haven't signed in for a long time. This is how we ensure that your information is up-to-date.

Is a verification code the same as the password?

No. A verification code does not replace your password. So you cannot enter a verification code in the input field for the password. In addition to passwords, we also use verification codes as an additional level of security in the event that someone else learns your password.