UCT employs multi-factor authentication to keep user accounts safe – meaning that you need to log in using two different mechanisms to access your email and other services. In February 2023, a slight change was introduced, affecting how this process works. This is a result of Microsoft bolstering security on the Microsoft Authenticator app.

What do I need to do?

* Note that this applies only if you use the Microsoft Authenticator app to authenticate your login to your UCT account. If you are using another method, such as SMS verification, this does not impact you and you don’t need to do anything.

The change was implemented for students on Monday 13th February 2023, and for staff, third parties, and alumni on Monday 20th February 2023.

After the change, when you open a UCT MFA-enabled application (e.g. Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, ServiceNow) for the first time on a device or browser, you will be prompted to approve the login:


  1. On the device you’re trying to sign in with, an Approve sign in request window will come up, including an authentication number. Take note of this number.
  2. Code for authentication
  3. On your phone, tap the Approve sign-in? message.
    • A window will appear asking you to Enter the number shown to sign in.
    • Enter the number which appeared in step 1 above, then tap Yes.
      Phone sign-in

  4. When prompted, enter your phone’s screen lock PIN / password / pattern or, if enabled, biometric authentication (e.g. your fingerprint).
  5. The authentication process is complete.


Need help?

If you require assistance with multi-factor authentication, please log a call with the IT Helpdesk.