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Outlook personal email accounts will need more than just usernames and passwords Sept. 16

Outlook logo on a black and red background

Microsoft has announced some major changes for people who use personal accounts to sign into their Outlook email accounts. Starting on September 16, Outlook personal accounts will no longer support signing into them with what the company calls Basic Authentication, which is the old-fashioned user name and password method.

In a blog post, Microsoft says on that date, Outlook users including people who still get their emails via Hotmail.com and Live.com must now access their accounts on either a supported mail or calendar app, or use the Outlook.com website. These all use what the company calls Modern Authentication methods. Other apps such as the current Outlook apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, along with Apple Mail and Thunderbird also support Modern Authentication.

In the post, Microsoft says:

While Basic Auth was the standard for quite some time, it also made it easier for bad actors to capture a person’s login information. This increased the risk of those stolen credentials being reused to gain access to a person’s email or personal data. Email-based cyberattacks have only increased with time, so we are requiring modern authentication for all Outlook customers to better help protect their personal accounts.

The blog also described how Modern Authentication methods make signing into Outlook person email accounts safer:

With Modern Authentication methods we apply additional backend process/tokens that users may not notice that add an extra layer of security. Anyone who is attempting to use an application which does not support modern authentication will no longer be able to access their Outlook.com, Hotmail or Live.com email from those applications.

Microsoft will also shut down the lite version of the Outlook web app, which could be accessed via older web browsers, on August 19, 2024. It also reminded users that it plans to end support for the old Windows Mail and Calendar apps by the end of this year.

In addition, Microsoft will end support for accessing Google Gmail accounts in Outlook.com very soon, by June 30. Gmail accounts can still be accessed via the Outlook Windows and Mac apps. Finally, Outlook mobile users will no longer be able to use the voice command features Play My Emails and Voice Search at the end of June.

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