Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Modern Email Authentication

Use two-step authentication for more secure email

Starting this year, University IT (UIT) will require two-step authentication when you access your Stanford email account through Office 365. This change ensures that you access your email securely from all your devices.

To enable two-step authentication, all email, calendar, contacts, and other information that are synced from your Stanford Office 365 account will be updated.

You will be notified in advance before any change takes place so that you can prepare for it. The change will be rolled out to different users over several months.

Why we are making this change

Stanford uses two-step authentication to protect your SUNet ID and password by asking you to verify your identity with input from another device such as a mobile phone or a security token, or through Cardinal Key. Until now, this two-step authentication has been optional on Stanford email accounts, due to limitations in the third party software that supports email at Stanford.

Over the past two years, companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google have updated their applications and operating systems to support modern authentication methods when checking email, including two-step authentication.

Stanford is now requiring two-step authentication for all methods of accessing email. This change affects current users of Office 365 email, calendars, and all other online services associated with Office 365.

Who is affected

This change affects students, faculty, and staff at Stanford who use Office 365 through an email client on their desktop or mobile device. Your account will not be affected if you access your Outlook email through a web browser (using Webmail, the web-based email client for Office 365).

If you use Google Mail (through G Suite) to access your email, details on how to prepare for this change are coming soon.

How to prepare for this change
If you use Office 365 (Microsoft Outlook) via desktop or mobile clients, you should take these steps before your account is updated:
  • To speed the change, connect your device to WiFi (vs. cellular data service).
  • Establish an alternative way to check your Office 365 email and calendar while the change is applied, such as checking email directly via Webmail. Webmail will be fully accessible throughout the transition.
  • Ensure that your device’s system meets the necessary requirements (see the System Requirements section below).
What to expect if you access your email on your mobile device, laptop, or desktop
  • iOS: If your iOS device is enrolled in Stanford's Mobile Device Management (MDM) (also called AirWatch) and meets the minimum system requirements, this change should happen automatically within an hour of the time that is specified in your notification. If your iOS device is not enrolled in MDM, and you have an issue with your email after the time the change is scheduled, you may need to reconfigure your email manually.
  • Android: Whether or not your Android device is enrolled in MDM, if you have an issue with your email after the time that is specified in your notification, you may need to reconfigure your email manually.  
  • Laptops, desktops, and VDIs:
    • If you use Windows, in most cases this change should happen automatically within an hour of the time that is specified in your notification.
    • If you use macOS and you purchased your device within the last two years, in most cases this change should happen automatically within an hour of the time that is specified in the notification.
    • If you use Linux and you have difficulty accessing your email after the transition time that is specified in your notification, you may need to reconfigure your email manually.

System Requirements

To update your Office 365 information on your device, your device’s system must meet the following requirements.

If your device does not meet these System Requirements, you will need to update to a supported operating system and client version, install Outlook, or use Webmail to access your email account.

Mac and PC computers

Mobile devices

Requirements for mobile devices enrolled in Stanford's Mobile Device Management (MDM):

  • Latest version of the Microsoft Outlook app from the  iTunes or Google Play Store
  • iOS 12.0 or higher native mail client

Requirements for devices not enrolled in MDM:

  • Latest version of the Microsoft Outlook app from the iTunes or Google Play Store
  • iOS 12.0 or higher native mail client
  • Android 8 or higher native mail client

If You Have Questions

Get Help

 

Learn More

Read the UIT News article about the change:

Learn about related services: