Microsoft account security proofs overview

Overview

To help protect personal data, Microsoft is asking customers to take a few moments to verify that the security information for their Microsoft accounts is up to date. Depending on how long it’s been since you updated your security information, you may be prompted to sign in with your Microsoft account, add security information to your account, or verify the information in your Microsoft account.

Security information refers to a phone number or secondary email address that we can use to contact you regarding account security. This information allows us to validate your identity before changes are made to your account. These changes can include changing the password, billing information, or contact information. This helps keep your account secure.

Solutions

Sign in with your Microsoft account

If you haven’t recently entered your Microsoft account email and password because the information is saved on your console, you may be asked to verify this information in case you need to download your profile or sign in to a new Xbox console.

If you‘re prompted to update or verify your password, you must do this within two weeks. If you don't update or verify your password within two weeks, Microsoft will lock your account to help protect it. Therefore, you won't be able to sign in again until you've verified your password.

Notes

  • To reset your Microsoft account password, go to the sign-in page and click or tap Can’t access your account?. Then, follow the instructions provided.
  • If you have an Xbox One console, select I forgot my password on the Xbox sign-in screen to reset your password.
  • To learn what to do if you’ve forgotten your Microsoft account password, see You have forgotten your Microsoft account password.

Add security information to your Microsoft account

We can verify that you’re the account owner and more quickly help you resolve issues with your account if you’ve added security information to your account. If you don’t have any existing Microsoft account security information, you’ll need to add it if you’re prompted to do this.

Notes To learn more about how Microsoft uses Microsoft account security information, see Add a Microsoft account security proof and Microsoft account security info: FAQ.

Xbox One users

If you use an Xbox One console and are prompted to add security information, you can do this on the console by following the instructions that are displayed. You enter a phone number or email address to which we can send a security code that you then use to access your account. We strongly recommend that you have at least two contact methods saved to your account, for example two email addresses or two phone numbers, in case you lose access to one of the methods. For example, you may lose access to a contact method if you move or change email service providers.

Note You can also add security information through a web browser. To do this, follow the steps in the “Xbox 360 users” section, below.

Xbox 360 users

  1. Go to the sign-in page.
  2. Sign in by using your Microsoft account email address and password.
  3. Select Security info.
  4. Note You may be asked to have us send a security code to one of the existing contact methods listed in your security information. If you don’t yet have security information in your account, just click Add under Phone number or Alternate email address to add the information.

  5. To add a phone number or email address, select Add.
  6. Enter a phone number or email address to which we can send a security code. We strongly recommend that you include at least two contact methods, for example two email addresses or two phone numbers, in case you lose access to one of the methods. For example, you may lose access to a contact method if you move or change email service providers.
Watch this video to learn how to add security proofs to make your Microsoft account more secure.

Verify the security information for your Microsoft account

When you add security information, you must verify that you can receive a security code at that email address or phone number. If you skipped this step when you first set up your account, you’ll need to do this when you are prompted.

Xbox One users

If you’re using an Xbox One console and are prompted to verify security information, you can do this on your console by following the instructions that are displayed.

Note If you no longer have access to a listed email address or phone number, you’ll need to delete that item and enter new security information online. Learn more at Your phone/email Microsoft account security proofs are out of date.

Xbox 360 users

To verify your Microsoft account security information, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the sign-in page.
  2. Sign in by using your Microsoft account email address and password.
  3. Select Security info.
  4. Select Verify next to the phone number or email address that you want to verify.
  5. Note If you no longer have access to the phone number or email address that’s listed, select Remove, and then add new security information. To learn more, see Your phone/email Microsoft account security proofs are out of date.

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