MFA Installation: General Mobile Device

FAQ Index


    To help confirm your identity, when accessing information while you’re away from the office, we are adding multifactor   authentication (MFA) to your Office 365 account.

    MFA is an authentication method in which a computer user is granted access only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence (or factors) to an authentication mechanism. Our method will be to supplement your network ID and password with a one-time password or code generated or received by an authenticator such as a smartphone which only you possess.

    In order to add MFA to your account, you need to set up a couple of methods to prove your identity when accessing your Office 365 or WebMail account from a non-State of Illinois device. Examples: Using your home PC, laptop or personal cell phone. Once MFA is “enabled” or turned on, you will only be alerted when your State Microsoft accounts are accessed from a non-State of Illinois connected network device. If you are on a State of Illinois Network, you will not be alerted. State of Illinois Networks include: State Wi-Fi, Cisco AnyConnect, NetMotion, Citrix, and your office workstation.

    Setup a first Alert Method – Text alert authentication method

    1. From a PC or laptop, copy the link below into the browser. ****Note that the Safari browser does not work well for this setup. If you are accessing with Mac or iPad, use the Chrome browser.
    2. If a Sign-in or Windows Security box pops up next, enter your state email address and password in this field (ex.
    3. After signing in, you will most likely see the screen below. Click “I want to setup a different Method”.

    4. On the drop down that appears select Phone and click Confirm. (See below)

    5. Type in your phone number and then select if “Text” to that number. (If you are not able to receive texts choose call) Then click Next.

    6. If you selected Text me a code, you’ll receive a text on the mobile number you provided. Take the 6-digit coded texted to you and enter it on your computer. Example of screen below.

    7. You should receive a message on your PC that SMS verified and your phone was registered successfully. Click Next.

    8. Next, you will most likely see a screen that says “Success!” Click Done.

    9. You’ve now setup one alert authentication method. Time to set up a backup alert/2nd alert method. You should be on the screen below to begin the second method set up.

    Setup a 2nd alert method – This second method will help you to continue accessing your account remotely, in the event your first phone alert method is unavailable.

    NOTE: There are 2 other alert authentication methods but the easiest is to set up an alternate phone #. Later, you can set up the Microsoft authenticator app to send you notice, but while it provides a smooth user experience, it can be labor intensive to set up for some users. Those directions are provided as an OPTION at the end of this document. 

    Adding an alternate phone to call you - Easiest 2nd method
    1. Click “Add Method”. (NOTE: You should still be on your PC and on the screen where you choose the methods of  authentication. If you logged out of the screen, simply click on this link again or paste it into your browser. 
    2. Use the pull down and Select “Alternate phone”
    3. Click “Add”
    4. Use the pull down to select “United States (+1)”
    5. Enter a phone number in the “Enter Phone Number” field NOTE: It is recommended you choose a different phone that the number you set up for your text alert. If you don’t have another option like a home phone, then simply reuse the number from before.
    6. Select the circle “Call me”. Note: this is the only option for alternate phone.
    7. Click “Next”. NOTE: A pop up screen will appear and say it is calling the number you entered on step 6
    8. Answer the phone call
    9. Per the instructions on the call, press the # key on your phone to finish your verification (Note: the caller will say you have successfully completed your verification and will hang up)
    10. Click “Done” on the pop-up screen on your computer. (NOTE: pop up screen will say something like ‘Call answered. Your phone was registered successfully’)
    11. You are finished. Close the browser.
    12. Keep reading if you are interested in downloading the Microsoft Authenticator app for a different method of authentication. If you are satisfied with these two methods, you are finished. Once you have one method set up, you can always return to the site to adjust your methods or change the default method of authentication.

    Optional - Interested in the Authenticator App as an Alert Method?
    Cell Phone
    1. Download the Microsoft Authenticator app to your phone. Do NOT open yet.
    2. Use the same link as before if you exited out of it. Either click on the link or paste it into a browser
    3. Click “Add Method”
    4. Use the pull down and Select “Authenticator App”
    5. Click “Add”
    6. NOTE: At this point you will be following directions on both your computer screen and your phone. Read directions carefully.
    7.  COMPUTER: Click “Next”. NOTE: This screen about downloading the app. You already did this.
    8. CELL PHONE: Tap on the Microsoft Authenticator app
    9. CELL PHONE: Tap “Allow” for Notifications
    10. CELL PHONE: Tap “OK” for the pop up regarding non-personally identifiable usage data.
    11. CELL PHONE: Tap “Skip”
    12. CELL PHONE: Tap “Skip” again
    13. CELL PHONE: Tap “Add work account”
    14. CELL PHONE: Tap “OK” to the pop-up window asking to access your camera. NOTE: Your phone should now be on a screen where it is ready to Scan QR code.
    15. COMPUTER: Click “Next”. NOTE: This screen discusses setting up your account. After you click next, a QR code pops up on your computer screen
    16. CELL PHONE and COMPUTER: Bring the Cell Phone which has the QR code reader up on screen to focus on the QR code on your computer screen. NOTE: It will automatically snap a picture of the code and then the phone will switch over to a countdown on the screen.
    17. COMPUTER: Click “Next”
    18. CELL PHONE: Click “Approve” on the Approve sign-in Pop up window on the phone
    19. COMPUTER: Click “Next” on the Microsoft Authentication, Notification approve pop up window.
    20. You are finished. Exit out of the browser on your PC and the app on the phone.