* About: Two-factor authentication (2FA) and Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR)

Service overview | Who can use it | How to request & access | Cost | Availability | FAQs | Best practices & policies | Training & documentation | Support

Service overview

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds a layer of security to the authentication process when you sign in to Microsoft 365 online applications, the Virtual Private Network (VPN), and most browser-based applications (e.g., Workday, Sunlife pension site etc.) when you are off-campus. Over time, additional systems and applications will also require 2FA.

Your identity is verified by using two methods or “factors” of authentication:

  1. Something you know (McGill password)
  2. Something you have (mobile device - tablet or phone)


Don't have a mobile device? Download Authy on your desktop or laptop.

2FA makes it more difficult for online attackers to gain access to your account. Even if an unauthorized person has your password, it is unlikely that they will also have your device.

Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) is a Microsoft feature that provides 2FA users with the ability to reset their own password if they have forgotten it, or are locked out of their account.

NOTE: SSPR is only available for accounts that are 2FA-enabled.

Who can use it

How to request & access the service

To use 2FA, you will need:



Don't have a mobile device? Download Authy on your desktop or laptop.

Configuring your 2FA setup

All McGill staff, faculty, and students are required to protect their accounts with 2FA. When you first log in using your McGill username and password, you will be directed to set up 2FA. Follow the instructions to configure you 2FA setup using the method of your choice.

Steps to enroll voluntarily (e.g., McGill retirees, alumni, etc.)

  1. Go to the 2FA enrollment page.
  2. Log in at the top of the page and answer a few questions so that we can provide instructions specifically for you.
  3. Unless instructed to call the IT Service Desk, click "Submit" at the bottom of the page to enroll.
  4. IMPORTANT: Once you click "Submit", you must complete the 2FA setup immediately by following the set-up instructions in the confirmation message you will receive. Otherwise, you will be locked out of your account.


There is no cost associated with this service.


This service is available 24 x 7.

Frequently asked questions

Visit the 2FA FAQs.

Best practices & policies

For more information on how personal information is stolen, used, and how you can minimize your risk, see the article Personal information and identity theft.

Training & documentation

View the IT Security Awareness Essentials, a series of short, humorous videos, accessible through myCourses.

Topics addressed include passwords (including 2FA), data security, browsing, social networks, email and messaging. Each video is a maximum of 5 minutes long.

Find out more at IT Security Awareness Essentials


If you require assistance with 2FA, log into the IT Support site and start a live chat with an IT Service Desk agent Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. Once you are logged in, scroll down to the IT Support Chat window and click the blue button to start a text chat. Alternatively, you can book a one-on-one virtual support session.