Multi-Factor Authentication - MFA

First time MFA setup

For assistance with registering your MFA method for the first time, please review this MFA First Time Setup Guide. If you choose not to use the Microsoft Authenticator app, you can click “I want to setup a different method”. The other options you can use are a third party authenticator app, like Google Authenticator, text messages to your cell phone, and voice calls to your cell phone.

What happens if I get a new phone or change my number?

If you get a new phone when you are using the Microsoft Authenticator app or you get a new number and you were using text messages and voice calls to complete the MFA prompt, you will need to call the ITS Service Desk at 206-296-5571 to reset your MFA settings.

You can update your MFA settings by going to but you must complete an MFA prompt first before registering the new method. Therefore, if you can’t use the previous phone or phone number, you will blocked from changing your MFA settings.

For more information on updating your MFA settings please visit this Update MFA Settings document.

International Students and International Travel

For users who setup text messages and voice calls, the country code of the phone number must match the country you are located, otherwise you will not receive the text messages and voice calls from Microsoft. So, if you are traveling to a country that doesn’t match the country code of your phone number, please setup a backup MFA method, like the Microsoft Authenticator App.

The 6 digit number generated every 30 seconds in the Microsoft Authenticator app will continue to work even if you are in another country or when your phone doesn’t have a Wi-Fi or Mobile data connection.

How will MFA affect my everyday work?

Most of the time, you will not notice MFA. Applications such as Canvas, iParq, Zoom, Microsoft applications (Outlook, OneDrive, Teams, Word, Excel, etc.) and more will prompt MFA once for each browser you use and once for each of the mobile/desktop apps you use on your devices.  Applications that contain highly sensitive information will prompt for MFA authentication at least once every seven days (e.g. Colleague UI, mySeattleU, VPN). Please refer to the MFA Frequency Guide for the list of affected applications, their MFA frequency, and additional security actions that may trigger other instances for MFA to occur. 

Who is required to perform MFA?

All students, faculty, and staff are required to perform MFA.

Other MFA questions?

Please visit the MFA FAQ page.


Need additional help? Submit a ticket with the Service Desk here: IT Service Desk Help Center

View our MFA FAQ for further answers.