Ironically, the app designed to enhance your login experience might disappoint you when it fails to display codes or sign-in requests when you need them most. This results in the inability to sign in to apps requiring two-factor authentication via Microsoft Authenticator for added security.
Several issues could cause this problem, such as incorrect setup, application glitches, device bugs, a poor internet connection, inaccurate date and time settings, or corrupted cache files.
Furthermore, if your organization has specified requirements when using school or work accounts and those are not met, the application may also fail to work correctly.
For example, some organizations might require device encryption or the installation of Google Play Services. Additionally, your account might have been blocked due to policy violations. It’s recommended to contact your IT help desk to address these potential issues before attempting the troubleshooting steps below.
If your device is registered with Azure AD, consider re-registering it to see if that resolves the issue. If not, proceed with the troubleshooting methods detailed below.
1. Perform All Network Checks
Begin with some basic diagnostics to ensure there are no hindrances in your network connection. Poor internet often causes issues with the Microsoft Authenticator app. Confirm the stability of your connection, even if you appear to be online. Use online tools to test your internet speed.
Deactivate Airplane mode if it’s on. Since a VPN can alter your location, disable it as well. If you’re using Wi-Fi, consider switching to mobile data, or vice versa.
2. Force Quit & Restart
Problems with running processes in the application can cause various malfunctions. Address this by force-quitting the app and restarting it.
- Swipe up from the bottom of your screen and pause in the center to open App Switcher. On some devices, you might use the Home Button or a multitasking icon.
- Swipe left or right until you find the Microsoft Authenticator app.
- Swipe the app preview upwards to close it forcibly.
- Another method for Android users: Long-press the app’s tile and select App info, then choose Force stop and confirm by tapping OK.
Wait a few moments before reopening the application.
3. Allow Notification Permission
For Microsoft Authenticator to display login approvals, notification permissions must be enabled.
- Navigate to Settings.
- Scroll and tap on Apps.
- Select Manage apps.
- Find and select Microsoft Authenticator.
- Tap on Notifications.
- Turn on the toggle for Show Notifications.
- Open Settings.
- Scroll to and tap on Microsoft Authenticator.
- Tap on Notifications and enable Allow Notifications.
4. Turn Off Battery Optimization
Battery optimization on Android devices can limit background activity of apps, potentially causing delays in authentication codes. Disabling this feature might improve the app’s responsiveness.
- Open Microsoft Authenticator.
- Tap on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner.
- Select Turn off battery optimization.
- Confirm by tapping Allow.
5. Enable Automatic Date & Time Settings
Syncing your device’s clock with your actual location is crucial for the app’s functionality since it relies on precise timing.
- Open Settings.
- Scroll to Additional Settings.
- Select Date and time.
- Enable Set time automatically.
- Head to Settings, then General.
- Tap on Date & Time.
- Switch on Set Automatically.
6. Update the Application
Regular updates can fix bugs and glitches. Keeping your applications up to date is highly recommended. If automatic updates are not enabled, here’s how to manually update apps:
- Visit Play Store and access your profile.
- Select Manage apps and device.
- Tap Updates available. Search for Microsoft Authenticator and tap Update beside it, or choose Update all at the top.
- Open App Store and visit your profile.
- Find Upcoming Automatic Updates.
- Locate Microsoft Authenticator and tap Update next to it, or hit Update All to refresh all apps at once.
7. Re-Authenticate Your Account
Re-adding your account can resolve synchronization or misconfiguration issues by re-establishing the connection between the app and the servers.
- Open the Microsoft Authenticator app.
- Select the account you wish to remove under the Authenticator tab.
- Tap the gear icon in the corner and choose Remove account.
- Confirm by selecting Continue.
- To re-add, go to the + icon in the Authenticator tab.
- Select the type of account you are adding and follow the on-screen instructions, granting necessary permissions along the way.
8. Clear Cache/Offload
Clearing your cache can resolve functionality issues. Rest assured that this will not delete important data.
- Access Settings and tap on Apps.
- Visit Manage apps.
- Find Microsoft Authenticator and select it.
- Tap on Storage.
- Choose Clear cache or Clear data.
- Enter Settings and choose General.
- Go to iPhone Storage.
- Search for Microsoft Authenticator and tap on it.
- Select Offload App.
- Confirm by tapping Offload App again.
- After a moment, the option to Reinstall App will appear. Click it to proceed.
9. Contact Microsoft Support
If none of the above solutions work and the issue persists after consulting your IT department, it’s time to seek assistance from Microsoft Support. Choose the appropriate option based on your issue for professional help.