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Howdy folks,

 

I’m excited to announce that cloud backup and recovery for the Microsoft Authenticator app on Android is now available. This means Android users can now back up their account credentials to the cloud, and then easily and securely transfer them to a new device when needed.

 

Try it out!

If you don’t have the Microsoft Authenticator app yet, see Use Microsoft Authenticator with Office 365 for information on how to download and set up the app. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been rolling out the feature and it’s now 100% available for version 6.6.0+. Once you update your app, you can test the new feature out.

 

Turn on backup

To turn on the Microsoft Authenticator cloud backup, open the app and go to Settings. Under Backup, set the Cloud backup toggle to On.

 

Microsoft Authenticator app 1.png

 

Once you turn cloud backup on, your data is encrypted and stored with your personal Microsoft account. Your account credentials stay updated when you add, delete, or edit your accounts.

 

Recovery on a new device

To recover your account credentials on a new device, tap the Begin Recovery button and sign in using the same personal Microsoft account as your previous device.


Microsoft Authenticator app 2.png

 

After you sign in, your OATH verification codes for your third-party accounts and personal Microsoft accounts are available. You also can re-enable push notifications for your personal and work or school Microsoft accounts.

 

If you have additional questions, check out our Microsoft Authenticator docs.

 

Test this feature out and let us know what you think! We always love to hear your feedback and suggestions. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

Best regards,

Alex Simons (@Alex_A_Simons)

Director of Program Management

Microsoft Identity Division

 

13 Comments
Frequent Contributor

Awesome! Can you explain a little more on how the backup is secured? For example, if someone can login using your Microsoft (Personal) Account, will they be able to get the backup restored to any device they want?

 

Also, what are the plans to enable backup to Microsoft Work Account (that is Office 365/Azure AD account), even though I realize this can present a catch 22 scenario.

 

Any plans to have these settings managed using Intune App Protection Policies so we can enforce settings, for example disable/enable this feature including ”App Lock”?

Microsoft

Hi @Jonas Back, the backup is secured with your personal Microsoft account credentials. So yes, if someone can login to your account, and also successfully complete two step verification for your account, they can restore your backup on any device.

 

Right now, there aren't immediate plans to enable backup for Microsoft work accounts, because we need a mechanism for admins to turn cloud backup off. However, we are currently working on a mechanism to allow admins to enforce other settings, like "App Lock". Admins won't be able to enforce settings through App Protection Policies. When we did the investigation, we found it didn't make sense to go that route, because some of the Intune App Protection Policies conflicted with Authenticator. For example, through APP, you could require MFA to open an app, but Authenticator is your mechanism for MFA, and so you get into a chicken-and-egg scenario. Instead, there will be a way to apply settings specifically to control the behavior of Authenticator.

New Contributor

Great feature. I was hoping for this feature for so long. Thank you for delivering this 

Senior Member

@Olena Huang thank you for the detailed response. Really well summarised and I only wish that more feedback like yours (level of detail) is provided when launching new features and capabilities. Great content. Thanks again.

New Contributor

How could I choose with which account I want backup my settings to the cloud?

Microsoft

@Matthias Hummler If you have multiple personal Microsoft accounts added to the app, when you enable backup, you'll be prompted to choose one of them to save your backup to.

Frequent Contributor

@Olena Huang Thanks for the clarification. I don't mind backing up to personal Microsoft Account (or iCloud for that matter on iOS) but I suspect some securityminded customers would want to force users to backup to their OneDrive for Business or simply blocking this feature completely since we can't force nor make sure the user's personal Microsoft Account/iCloud is secured properly.

Microsoft

@Jonas Back thanks for your feedback. Going forward, we probably will keep the backup tied to the personal Microsoft account. End users shouldn't have to back up all their personal accounts to OneDrive for Business, as we make the promise that their admin won't get access to their personal credentials. However, for security minded customers, we definitely want to give the option to block the feature completely for work/school accounts, if they don't feel the user's personal Microsoft account/iCloud aren't properly secured.

Occasional Visitor

@Olena Huang Where is the Microsoft Authenticator data stored, and how can i access it? I would like to make a local backup on usb drive, to be double safe.

 

Best Regards

Piotr Burzała

Microsoft

@CthulhuTactical the backup is stored with Microsoft on Android. (On iOS, it's stored with iCloud). Because of security reasons, it's not accessible anywhere except the Microsoft Authenticator app, so you can't make a local backup to a usb drive at this time. Thanks for the feedback.

Occasional Visitor

@Olena HuangThanks. Well that's a bummer, but i'm still going to use the app, since unlike the google authenticator this one is still updated. I hope microsoft database security is as good and refined as their windows product :).

 

Best Regards

Piotr Burzała

Occasional Visitor

Hello @Alex Simons (AZURE) , how are you ? :)

 

 

I did the test below and it didn't work for this use case (iPhone full restore from iCloud). Maybe we will have the same case using Android (i'm still testing). The restore is only working if I delete the app and reinstall in the same device or moving between devices, but not when I perform a full iPhone restore in the same iPhone.

 

iOS 13.2.2 / iPhone 11

 

steps:

1) installed Microsoft Authenticator app

2) setup personal account (@hotmail.com)

3) added 2 records (facebook and google)

4) performed backup to iCloud using backup feature of Microsoft authenticator app

5) performed iPhone backup using iOS iCloud feature

6) reinstall iPhone using iCloud backup

 

After the restore, I tried to follow the "Begin Recovery" procedures of Microsoft authenticator app, but I received the message that I don't have a backup available in my iCloud. But I have the backup.

 

Any ideas ?

 

Regards,

 

Weber Ress

 

Microsoft

Hi Weber Ress,

 

I'm not sure what the issue might be, just from reading your description. Feel free to reach out to me on twitter if you'd like to debug more.

 

Thanks

Olena