Support for Microsoft’s Authenticator app on Apple Watch to end in 2023

Support for Microsoft’s Authenticator app on Apple Watch to end in 2023
If you’ve been using Microsoft Authenticator for Apple Watch, then it may be time to look for alternatives. Microsoft has made a subtle addition to their help center article which states that support for the two-factor authentication app for WatchOS will end in January 2023, or next month.

In case you’ve not heard about two-factor authentication — more commonly written out as 2FA — it is basically an extra layer of security. In this day and age, having 2FA enabled is something that is strongly recommended by security experts, especially for accounts containing sensitive information or payment methods.

Now, just to be clear — this impacts only the WatchOS version of the Authenticator, so if you’d like to keep using the solution, you are free to do so on another device. However, as noted by 9to5Mac, Apple Watch users won’t be able to use the app next year.

As per Microsoft’s own words, the company has decided that the upcoming security changes to the way Authenticator works won’t be compatible with WatchOS, and as such, the app will be discontinued.

As the FAQ article suggests, Apple Watch users should delete the app when the time comes, as otherwise it would just be taking up space on their watch. As of now, there is no specific date and time stated, but we’re expecting the article to reference January 1st of 2023.

Some users have suggested online that while the WatchOS app itself may become outdated, the iOS or iPad OS versions of the Microsoft Authenticator will still be capable of sending you the needed prompts via notifications, but we’ve not seen a confirmation on that as of now.

While it may cost you a bit more time to take your phone out of your pocket, unlock it and then check out the authentication prompt, it is still something you can do with Microsoft Authenticator for iOS or iPad OS (available on Android phones and tablets too).

Though we get the frustration of not having the app itself available on your watch, it is still important to stick to using 2FA, even if it might be a tad more time-consuming of a task. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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As of now, Microsoft hasn’t made a statement regarding the matter, nor about the upcoming security improvements, which are planned for the authenticator app. This may not have been the news you were hoping for, but at least you won’t have to worry about why your Authenticator on WatchOS randomly stopped working.

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