How to sign into your Microsoft Account website without a password

Learn how to sign in to your Microsoft Account site using your fingerprint, face, or a physical security key via Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

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Image: NicoElNino, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Microsoft's Windows Hello feature helps you avoid passwords by letting you sign in to your Windows 10 device via your face, your fingerprint, a physical security key, or a PIN. Windows Hello is also supported on the web, courtesy of the FIDO2 protocol. Several websites have already adopted the Windows Hello technology to enable password-free logins. The number of supported websites is still small, though Microsoft does support it through its Microsoft Account site. Windows Hello logins at the Microsoft Account site work across the three major browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

To start, you'll need to use a computer on which you've already set up one of the Windows Hello authentication features to sign in to Windows 10, such as a fingerprint reader, Windows Hello-compatible webcam, or a physical security key such as a YubiKey. A PIN can serve in a pinch if those other Windows Hello methods aren't available on your current device. On my end, I use a fingerprint reader built into my Lenovo laptop.

I'm going to cover the steps in Microsoft Edge, but the process works in the same in Chrome and Firefox, so you can use whichever of the three browsers you prefer.

SEE: Secure your data with two-factor authentication (free PDF) (TechRepublic)   

First, make sure you've updated your preferred browser to the latest version. Next, open your Microsoft Account page and click the link to Sign In (Figure A).

Figure A

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At the Sign In screen, click the link to Sign In With Windows Hello Or A Security Key (Figure B).

Figure B

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The browser detects the Windows Hello authentication technology available on your computer and prompts you to set up the one of your choice. Pick the method you wish to use to sign in, such as fingerprint, camera, PIN, or security key, and follow the instructions to authenticate using that method (Figure C).

Figure C

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You should then be signed into the site using the authentication method you chose (Figure D).

Figure D

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To test it again, sign out of the Microsoft Account site and then try to sign back in. At the Sign In screen, click the link to Sign In With Windows Hello Or A Security Key. Use your fingerprint, webcam, or other authentication method to sign in (Figure E).

Figure E

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You can also set up the Windows Hello authentication if you're already signed in to your Microsoft Account page. To do this at your main account page, click the heading for Security (Figure F).

Figure F

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At the Security page, click in the section for More Security Options (Figure G).

Figure G

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At the page for Additional security options, scroll down to the section for Windows Hello And Security Keys and click on the link to Set Up Windows Hello (Figure H).

Figure H

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At the Windows Hello screen, click Next. Your built-in authentication method should be detected--use that method to sign in or click the link for More Choices to see other methods (Figure I). You're signed into the site.

Figure I

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Also see