Set up: Multi-factor authentication (MFA) for O365

General Information

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), also called 2-Factor Verification, is a way of verifying people logging into our systems are authorized to access those systems.
  • Malicious and phishing email attacks are a constant threat for all organizations. Each individual who uses MFA helps to reduce the risk and vulnerability while also contributing to the overall security of our network environment. Through our Minnesota State Colleges and Universities O365 single tenant licensing, we have access to the Microsoft MFA solution.
  • This solution helps to protect not only your account, but all of our data and applications connected to Office 365 within the shared Minnesota State tenant.
  • For video instructions useYou Tube - MFA Set-Up OR MinnState - MFA Set-Up


  • What is Multi-Factor Authentication for O365?


  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a form of authentication which employs a 2-step process, beyond just your password, to help verify you are actually the person who is logging in to your account. This second form of authentication verification provides another layer of added security protection.
  • Once you have enrolled in O365 MFA, after entry of your MinnState credentials to log in to O365 applications, you will receive a notification via the MFA notification option you selected during set up (a text, a phone call, or mobile Microsoft Authenticator App verification) to verify it is you logging in to your account.


  • How do I attain O365 MFA added protection?


Follow these steps:

  • Step 1) Review O365 MFA Verification Options section below to identify which option is most convenient for you.
  • Step 2) Set up O365 MFA verification option with the instructions included below.
  • Step 3) Select the Enable MFA (button) to complete MFA enrollment after steps 1 and 2 have been completed.


Step 1: Review O365 MFA Verification Options:

  • Reviewing the MFA verification options first will help you determine which of the three options will be most convenient for you.
  • Keep in mind you will need to have immediate access to the phone you will select for the verification option whenever you log into O365 applications.
  • Provided you have a smartphone (iPhone, Android phone), it is highly recommended to use the Microsoft Authenticator app.
  • If you have a regular cell phone without smart capabilities, use text or call.
  • If you do not have a cell phone or do not wish to use your cell phone, your option is to use your office phone.

Verification Options:

  • Option 1) Microsoft Authenticator Mobile App (iPhone, Android smartphone):
    • Contact Method Choices:
      • Receive notification for verification: Receive approval notification for verification sent to your smartphone.
        • Recommended smartphone choice, offering convenient one tap approval verification from your smartphone.
      • User verification code: Receive verification code sent to your smartphone
        • This option continually generates a verification code sent to your smartphone which requires you to accurately enter the code for verification.
  • Option 2) Cell Phone (called Authentication Phone): Recommended option if you do not have a smartphone
    • Contact Method Choices:
      • Cell Phone Call: Robo call to your cell phone which requires you to tap “#” on your phone for verification
      • Cell Phone Text:  6-digit code text sent to your cell phone which requires you to accurately enter the code for verification
  • Option 3) Office phone
    • Please be aware if you select this option you will always need to be in proximity of your desk phone during all authentication in to O365 applications.
      • Office Phone Call: Robo call to your desk phone which requires you to tap “#” on your phone for verification

Step 2: Set Up MFA Verification Option:

Tip: Before you begin setup it will be helpful to take a moment to review instructions provided in this article, in addition to iPhone or Android instructions (if you will be opting to use one of these devices for MFA).

  • Option 1) Microsoft Authenticator Mobile App - Continue with Setup instructions, click on: iPhone or Android.
  • Option 2) Cell Phone - Continue with the instructions below
  • Option 3) Office Phone - Continue with the instructions below

Set Up for Cell Phone or Desk Phone

  • Important note:
    • Once you click on the Minnesota State button Enable Multi Factor Authentication outlined in the first step (Step 1), you will need to complete MFA set up before you will be able to access your email and other Minnesota State O365 connected services. If you cancel or do not complete the set up, you will not be able to access these services until MFA is successfully set up.
  • Step 1) From your computer, browse to
    • a)  Click, Enable Multi Factor Authentication < Your Name > button.

  • b)  It will then display Your account is now enabled for MFA and offers the link to:
  • c)  browse or click here: to continue MFA set up.
  • Log in using your MinnState login credentials:

        StarID password

  • Step 2) Once logged in, you will receive the prompt More information required. Click Next.
  • Step 3) Select the MFA verification option you would like from the drop down selections:
    • Authentication Phone (Cell phone) - see Figure 1
    • Office Phone (Desk phone) - see Figure 2

Figure 1 authentication phone. These instructions are for cell phones without smartphone capabilities (for iPhone and Android smartphones see setup instructions for Microsoft Authenticator mobile app above). 1. Select authentication phone and select country. 2. Enter your phone number. 3. Select method: send me a copy by text message or call me (consider this selection if you prefer not to enter a six-digit code accurately each time you authenticate to Microsoft apps). 4. Select next to receive either a text message or call immediately with a one-time password. Enter it in the space provided and select verify to complete the process. 5. Proceed to step 3 at bottom.

Figure two, office phone. 1. Select office phone and select country. 2. Enter your phone number. 3. Select Next to receive a call with instructions on how to complete the process. 4. Proceed to step 3 below.


  • You have completed setup for O365 MFA enrollment!


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Article ID: 127376
Fri 2/5/21 11:36 AM
Thu 4/8/21 1:02 PM