Microsoft says everyone can remove the password from their Microsoft account and use other methods to sign in starting today. The company rolled out the option to enterprise users earlier this year, and it plans to remove passwords from enterprise accounts completely.
Rather than having to remember a password or using a password manager, you'll be able to use the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key or SMS or emailed codes. You'll be able to sign in to services such as Outlook, OneDrive, Microsoft Family Safety, and even Xbox Series X/S without a password. Microsoft is rolling out the option to everyone over the next few weeks as it gears up for the launch of Windows 11 on October 5th.
Once you have installed the Authenticator app and linked it to your account, you can switch off your password. Go to your Microsoft account settings, then Advanced Security Options and Additional Security. From there, you can switch your account to a passwordless one. Then, follow the prompts and approve a notification on the Authenticator app to seal the deal.
You can re-activate your password at any time, but other login methods may be far more convenient and secure. Not only are passwords a cybersecurity minefield, they're time-consuming to enter and, at best, annoying to deal with.
It'd be welcome to see other services ditch passwords if they can offer users alternative, secure methods of logging in. Until then, turn on two-factor authentication wherever possible, and get a password manager and use unique passwords for all of your accounts.