IT services

Email authentication change from 1 October

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Information about a change Microsoft is making to its email service which may affect how some people access their University email on a mobile device.

Note: If you already use the Outlook app or certain other modern email apps to access your University emails on a mobile device, then you will not be affected by this change, and do not need to read any further.

On 1 October 2022, Microsoft will begin to permanently disable Basic Authentication for Exchange email tenants. Basic Authentication is an outdated authentication standard that allows users to connect to their mailbox using only a username and password, and its continued use poses serious security risks to users and their data. Modern Authentication will be replacing it. 

Most users who are connecting to University email via basic authentication are doing so via a mobile device, connecting either via the built-in email application for that device, or via a third-party application which does not use modern authentication.

Even though Microsoft provides you with the ability to connect to your Office 365 email account using in a variety of ways, for the best experience and complete support, Microsoft recommends connecting through one of the following ways: 

  • Outlook on the web (using the latest version of Edge, Chrome, Safari or Firefox)
  • Outlook for Windows (2016 or newer)
  • Outlook for Mac (2016 or newer)

The supported and recommended app for accessing your University email on a mobile device is the Outlook Mobile App:

Third party-email applications 
Microsoft does not recommend third-party software for use with Office 365, and there are often limitations in functionality as a result. Because of this, the IT Support Centre is only able to offer support on a best-efforts basis for third-party software, and some issues may require the use of Microsoft software to be resolved.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of email software applications which are capable of authenticating to Office 365 Exchange Online with modern authentication:

  • Mail app on iOS 11.x+ 
  • Mail app on macOS 10.14 (Mojave) and later
  • Mail app on Android devices (dependent on manufacturer)
  • Mozilla Thunderbird app version 78 or above

If you have synchronised your mail with your Apple device before Apple implemented modern authentication, and then transferred your settings from mobile device/restored from backup, you may still be using Basic Authentication. To rectify this, remove and re-add your account to your Apple device. 

Please note that not all Android mobile built-in mail applications allow the use of Modern Authentication, due to the number of different manufacturers of these mobile devices. 

Help and support

Most staff and students will not see any issues. However, if you have trouble accessing your University email on a mobile device after 1 October then it may be as a result of Microsoft’s change. Our advice is to switch to recommended email software, such as the Outlook App. 

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