About your Microsoft account

All UWE Bristol students and staff are provided with a Microsoft account for access to their UWE emails, other Office 365 services, and most UWE Bristol systems. You will need use your UWE Bristol email address and password log in.

Most UWE Bristol systems will also ask you to confirm your identity every three days or when using a personal device, this is known as multi-factor authentication (MFA). You can prove it's you by responding to an MFA notification an Authenticator app notification, entering code from a text message, or answering a verification phone calls.

MFA is more secure than just a password because it requires something you know plus something you have.
No hacker has your physical phone.

To set up your MFA notifications, you must add a minimum of two security info methods in your Microsoft account. Once set up, you can also use your Microsoft account to:

  • change or reset your password
  • add, change, or delete your verification (MFA) methods
  • change your default sign-in (MFA) method
  • reinstall the Microsoft Authenticator app on a new device
  • disable a device from your account (lost, stolen, or changing personal devices).

Please note: changing your password will take immediate effect in Windows, myUWE portal, Blackboard, and most other UWE Bristol systems (except for faculty-specific passwords).

Wifi symboleduroam wifi users: don't forget, if you change your password you will need to remove and re-install eduroam on any iOS or Android mobile devices.

Set up your security info

If you are setting up your security info for the first time, follow the steps below to add the Microsoft Authenticator (recommended first method), then add text messaging (recommended second method) or phone calls.
Once set up, you can then add additional security info methods.

Troubleshooting: If you have previously set up your security info but don't have access to your device to respond to an MFA notification, you can use a UWE Bristol PC on-campus to add additional security info methods to a different device.

Microsoft Authenticator (recommended first method)

  1. Sign in to your UWE Bristol account on a computer or tablet.
  2. Go to https://aka.ms/mfasetup and the 'More information required' prompt will appear:
    More information required
  3. After you select Next from the prompt, a Keep your account secure wizard appears:
    Start by getting the app
  4. Select Download now to download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device, and then select Next. More information via Download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app:
    Set up your account
  5. Remain on the Set up your account page while you set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device.
  6. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app, select to allow notifications (if prompted), select Add account from the Customize and control icon on the upper-right, and then select Work or school account.
  7. Return to the Set up your account page on your computer, and then select Next.
    The Scan the QR code page appears:
    Scan the QR code
  8. Scan the provided code with the Microsoft Authenticator app QR code reader, which appeared on your mobile device after you created your work or school account in Step 7.
    The authenticator app should successfully add your work or school account without requiring any additional information from you. However, if the QR code reader can't read the code, you can select the Can't scan the QR image and manually enter the code and URL into the Microsoft Authenticator app. More information can be found via Manually add an account to the app.
  9. Select Next on the Scan the QR code page on your computer.
    A notification is sent to the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device, to test your account:
    Let's try it out
  10. Approve the notification in the Microsoft Authenticator app, and then select Next:
    Notification approved
    Your security info is updated to use the Microsoft Authenticator app by default to verify your identity when using two-step verification or password reset.
  11. Now select Next and follow the guidance below to add a second method, either text messaging (recommended second method) or phone calls.

Troubleshooting: If the set up window closes before adding a second method, please follow the guidance via adding security info methods.

Text messaging (recommended second method)

  1. On the Phone set up page choose Text me a code, then select Next. You must use a phone number for a device that can accept text messages:
    Method 2 of 2: Phone
    A text message is sent to your phone number.
  2. Enter the code provided by the text message sent to your mobile device, and then select Next:
    Enter code
  3. Review the success notification, and then select Next:
    SMS verified. Your phone was registered successfully
    Your security info is updated to use text messaging as a method to verify your identity when using two-step verification or password reset.
  4. Review the Success page to verify that you've successfully set up both the Microsoft Authenticator app and a phone (either text message or phone call) method for your security info, and then select Done:
    Success!

    Now your security profile is set up, you can add additional security info methods.

Phone calls

  1. On the Phone set up page choose Call me, then select Next. You must use a phone number for a device that can accept phone calls from any number:
    Method 2 of 2: Phone
    You will receive a phone call with instructions.
  2. Enter the code provided in the phone call, and then select Next:
    Enter code
  3. Review the success notification, and then select Next:
    Call verified. Your phone was registered successfully
    Your security info is updated to use phone calls as a method to verify your identity when using two-step verification or password reset.
  4. Review the Success page to verify that you've successfully set up both the Microsoft Authenticator app and a phone (either text message or phone call) method for your security info, and then select Done:
    Success!

    Now your security profile is set up, you can add additional security info methods.

Additional security info methods

MFA is more secure than just a password because it requires something you know plus something you have.
No hacker has your physical phone.

To add additional security info methods:

  1. Go to your Microsoft account.
  2. Make sure you are signed in with your UWE Bristol email address and password.
  3. Select Security info.
  4. Now add a minimum of two security info methods:
  5. Select Change next to default sign-in method, to choose how you'd like to receive your MFA notifications.

Only the methods listed above will allow you to access Office 365 apps on personal devices (which includes your UWE Bristol email account). Email is another method, but can only be used for password reset authentication.

Troubleshooting: If you don't have access to your device to respond to an MFA notification, you can use a UWE Bristol PC on-campus to add additional security info methods for another device and/or change your default sign-in method (MFA notification).

Why you should use multi-factor authentication (MFA)

The short answer is because it will make things more secure. The long answer involves Ronald Reagan.

Responding to notifications

Your response to an MFA notification will depend on the security info method you set up:

  • Mobile app - tap the notification or open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone and tap approve or reject.
  • Text message - type the code received by text message into the login screen.
  • Phone call - answer the call and press the hash-key (#) to confirm.

Most UWE Bristol systems will ask you to confirm your identity every three days.

Troubleshooting

If you are using the Microsoft Authenticator app on a device that supports face or touch ID, but you're receiving a code instead, follow the steps below:

  • In the notification settings of your mobile device, enable notifications for the Authenticator app.
  • Within the security info within your Microsoft account, ensure the default sign-in method is set to Microsoft Authenticator - notification.

If this hasn't resolved the issue, try reinstalling the Microsoft Authenticator as a security method:

  1. Within your security info:
    • Make sure you have added additional security info methods.
    • Click Delete next to 'Microsoft Authenticator'.
    • Review your default sign-in method. If it is blank, click Change and select a method to receive MFA notifications.
  2. On your device, open the Authenticator app and remove the UWE Bristol account.
  3. Set up the Microsoft Authenticator app.
  4. Go back into your security info, and change your default sign-in method back to Microsoft Authenticator - notification.

More information can be found via Microsoft support.

Unexpected MFA notifications

If you haven't tried to log in but receive a notification, you should either reject it or take no action.

If you receive unexpected alerts often, check whether you have any apps running in the background or on other devices. If you can't identify the source, contact the IT Service Desk for advice.

Change your password

Passwords must be a minimum of 12 characters in length, we recommend using three random words.
More information can be found via Passwords.

Changing your password will take immediate effect in Windows, myUWE portal, Blackboard and most other UWE Bristol systems (except for faculty-specific passwords).

The University will never email or call you to confirm your password.

Initial password

Once you receive the initial password from UWE Bristol, you must:

  1. read the guidance to ensure you always use secure passwords.
  2. set up your Microsoft account and security info, which will enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  3. change the initial password via your Microsoft account.

Current password

You can change your current password at any time using either your Microsoft account or any UWE Bristol PC.

If you've forgotten your current password, you'll need to reset it.

Change your password using your Microsoft account

  1. Log in to your Microsoft account.
  2. Select CHANGE PASSWORD:
    Password. Make your password stronger, or change it if someone else knows it. CHANGE PASSWORD
  3. The 'Change password' window will now be displayed:
    Screenshot of the 'Change password' window, displaying you User ID and password entry fields (old, create, and confirm)
  4. Check the User ID is displaying your UWE Bristol email address (for example, an2.other@live.uwe.ac.uk).
  5. Enter your old password.
  6. Create a new password.
  7. Confirm the new password.
  8. Click Submit

Wifi symboleduroam wifi users: don't forget, if you change your password you will need to remove and re-install eduroam on any iOS or Android mobile devices.

Change your password using any UWE Bristol PC

  1. Press Ctrl, Alt & Delete.
  2. In the dialogue window, select Change Password.
  3. Type in your current password.
  4. Select a new password.

Wifi symboleduroam wifi users: don't forget, if you change your password you will need to remove and re-install eduroam on any iOS or Android mobile devices.

Passwords

Follow our advice to ensure you always use secure passwords. They reduce the risk of data breaches and protect you from many threats such as identity theft.

Information Security Toolkit

Top tips and advice to help safeguard you, others and the University against cyber threats. Learn more about secure passwords and identifying fraudulent communications.

Reset your password

If you've forgotten your password, you'll need to reset it.

Passwords must be a minimum of 12 characters in length, we recommend using three random words.
More information can be found via Passwords.

Resetting your password will take immediate effect in Windows, myUWE portal, Blackboard and most other UWE Bristol systems (except for faculty-specific passwords).

To reset your password:

  1. Go to Microsoft password reset.
  2. Enter your User ID (UWE Bristol email address).
  3. Enter the security characters as shown on screen.
  4. Select a contact method for verification.
  5. Enter the verification code.
  6. Select a new password.

Please note: if you haven't previously set up your security info in your Microsoft account, you will need to contact the IT Service Desk to reset your password. 

Wifi symboleduroam wifi users: don't forget, if you change your password you will need to remove and re-install eduroam on any iOS or Android mobile devices.

What to do when changing devices

If you have installed the Microsoft Authenticator app on a phone and then change handsets, you will need to install the app again on the new phone.
Remember: you need MFA to register the app on a new phone.

Make sure you have set up a different authentication method via adding security info methods.

If your phone number is also changing, please see what to do if you change your phone number.

Got a new phone and still have the old handset

If you still have the old handset available, then you can use MFA with the old handset to complete the registration of the app on the new phone.

Once complete, remove the Authenticator app from your old handset/device.

Got a new phone but not the old handset

The problem comes if you no longer have the old handset, and you had the app as your only authentication method. In that case, you could get stuck, unable to complete registration of the app on the new phone because you can't use the old handset to authenticate.

In this situation, you would need to add additional security info methods via a UWE Bristol PC on-campus or contact the IT Service Desk.

You don't use the Authenticator app

If you use other MFA methods such as text messaging, no action is required when changing handsets provided your phone number doesn't change.

If your number does change, then see what to do if you change your phone number.

What to do if you change your phone number

If you use your phone number as a security info method for text messaging or phone calls, you will need to update the number:

  1. Go to your Microsoft account.
  2. Make sure you are signed in with your UWE Bristol email address and password.
  3. Select Security info.
  4. Now click Change against the relevant method and follow the instructions that appear on-screen.

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