After you have enabled the two-step verification for your Microsoft account (outlook.com, live.com, hotmail.com, msn.com, skype.com etc.), the apps that use the standard username and password fail to work as they do not support the new two-step verification system. Some of these apps include Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook app in Android, Xbox 360 etc. Fortunately, Microsoft allows you to generate app passwords for your Microsoft account that can be used in place of passwords in various apps. For each of the apps, you would need a new app password and you can keep the two-step security turned on at the same time. This foils the attempts of a potential hacker from stealing your Microsoft account credentials from the password stored in various apps as these app passwords cannot be used to sign in to your Microsoft account but only for accessing through the apps.
In order to create one or more Microsoft account app passwords, you can follow these simple steps:
- Sign in to your Microsoft account using one of the many Microsoft domains like outlook.com. Once logged in, click on your username near the top-right corner and select Account Settings.
- On the Account settings page, select the Security & privacy section.
- Scroll down the page related to the security & privacy of your Microsoft account. Under the App Passwords section, click on Create a new app password.
- This will instantly generate a new app password for you. This 16 character long password is to be used in any app that takes the username and password for the Microsoft account.
- You can create as many passwords as you want. One new password has to be created for each of the apps that you want to use with your Microsoft account.
Conclusion: Microsoft account app passwords make it easy to work with older apps that do not support the two-step verification system and need only a username and password. By generating the app passwords, you can use your Microsoft account with such apps as well ass keep the two-step security enabled for your Microsoft account.