|Watch this video to learn how to add security proofs to make your Microsoft account more secure.|
Watch the video, “Make your Microsoft account more secure by adding security proofs.”
Security proofs are means of verifying your account ownership. We can help you resolve issues with your account more quickly if we have a contact phone number and an email address to which we can send a code to verify that you are the actual owner of the account.
Once your proofs are set up, you’ll need to use one of your proofs to confirm any account changes and to access certain parts of your account. So it’s important to make sure the phone numbers and email addresses you enter are correct.
How to add proofs
Note Proofs can be added to new accounts without validation for a short period. Existing accounts will need to have their proofs validated by using an existing proof.
Xbox LIVE will require that you have two proofs on your account, and at least one must be a phone number or email address. We recommend one phone and one email proof to provide the best security options for your account.
Why are so many proofs required?
Often people change or stop using a particular phone number or e-mail address. By having two proofs, you are more likely to have access to at least one of these accounts and thereby reduce the chances of being locked out of your account for even a short time period.
Phone and email
When you access your account, we want to make sure it’s you who is making any changes. We’ll send a one-time code to the phone number or email address you’ve provided. When you send that code back, we’ll know it’s really you.
You can also select Make this computer a trusted PC to link your Microsoft account with one or more personal (not public) computers. Then, if you ever need to reset your password, just use one of the linked computers, and we’ll know that you’re really you.
How to remove or delete an existing proof
Note If you have only one proof on your Microsoft account and you want to remove it, you may have to use that proof to validate its own removal. (For example, to remove an email address that is the only proof on your account, you may need to respond to an email message sent to that same address.)
Out-of-date, invalid, or inaccessible proofs
If you don’t have access to any of your current proofs for your Microsoft account (for example, if the phone numbers and email addresses associated with your account have all expired or are invalid), see Get help with your Microsoft account security proofs.
Some apps (like the mail apps on some smartphones) or devices (like the Xbox 360, for example) can't prompt you to enter a security code when you try to sign in. If you get an incorrect password error with an app or device, you'll need to create a unique app password to sign in. Once you've signed in with your app password, you're all set to use that app or device. You will use this new app password to sign in to your device going forward instead of your Microsoft account password.
You'll need to create and sign in with an app password once for each app or device that can't prompt you for a security code.
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