Microsoft Authenticator gaining 'password manager' that syncs to Edge for iOS, Android

Microsoft Authenticator Passwordsync Ios
Microsoft Authenticator Passwordsync Ios (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Authenticator is gaining the ability to store and autofill your Edge passwords.
  • Spotted in early November, the feature now seems to be rolling out to more beta users.
  • For many, this feature will let them ditch Enpass, LastPass, and other paid password managers.

Microsoft Authenticator is a free and essential app used for two-factor authentication (2FA) with code generation and on-device notifications. The app is available on iOS and Android, geared towards consumers and enterprise with some excellent features like cloud-backup, app security lock, limited screen captures, and more.

Interestingly, the app also now appears to be gaining the ability to sync – and manage – your passwords from the Edge browser, including autofill ability.

The new feature is in early testing in the beta apps for iOS and Android (A/B testing). It was initially spotted in early November, but now seems to be rolling out to more users.

The concept is simple. If you use Microsoft Edge browser on your desktop, laptop, or phone, and you choose to save your passwords to it, those passwords can now populate in Authenticator (with your permission).

Authenticator Password Sync

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Currently, on Edge for PC, users can manage their passwords through Settings > Profiles > Passwords, including security notifications if your password has been leaked. But there is no separate app to do so, unlike services like Enpass, 1Password, or LastPass.

The feature is a creative expansion of Microsoft's continued push to offer seamless feature parity between iOS, Android, and PC. It also makes switching away from paid services for password managers that much easier. The ability to enable auto-fill, where Authenticator will populate your login information to your mobile browser, is especially useful.

No word on when this feature will roll out to the public, but it's clear that between Authenticator's password sync and Edge's ability to sync open tab history that Microsoft is flipping the switch on cloud syncing. It's been a long time waiting, but it seems to be worth it.

You can read more about Authenticator from Microsoft's dedicated page (opens in new tab). And you can learn more about all Microsoft's iOS and Android beta apps in our guide.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Is this only for storing passwords? Is there or is there a plan to have a generator?
  • Right now, it's storing/modding already stored. I imagine adding the ability to create/generate/save/sync the other way could happen in later versions.
  • Kind of odd they aren't including a generator. That's one of my most used functions of Enpass. I will hold off on switching until they add a generator.
  • Not odd at all. We're talking about beta features. I'm not sure what Microsoft's endgame is here as they haven't laid out their plans. It's quite plausible this will turn into an actual Enpass/LastPass challenger, but those apps/services have been around for years and it seems unlikely that you can match them feature-for-feature on a v1.0 beta.
  • But my PCs / Phones don't have a M1 chip. Surely that must make them useless. This has the potential, if it eventually becomes a full on authenticator/password manager that works seamlessly across platforms/devices, to be the equivalent of removing that very pointy stone that has been in my shoe for years. I worked out my password management needs using a password manager years ago but having it natively in the software stack, which implies some very robust security (Microsoft has some skills here) and convenience, would be zippity do dah slick.
  • What does the Apple M1 have to do with this?
  • I think that was sarcasm.
  • Yeah a Generator always seemed to be the main draw or Lastpass, Enpass. An easy ability not to reuse insecure passwords.
  • Will the 2FA tokens sync across device, like Authy does? Unless it starts doing that, I'm not switching from Authy.
  • Am I able to import password records from other managers, like Bit Warden?
  • We're not even close to being at that level yet.
  • And in Microsoft fashion they **** up everything in the name of enterprise.
    Just tried it, doesn't allow me to enable the feature because I have my school email added to outlook alongside my main account...
    What is this dumb crap Microsoft, my school email does not own my phone or passwords! I didn't even add it to the authenticator, it's just there for email!
  • Well, no, actually, it isn't yet set-up for "Work" (enterprise) or school accounts. Per the settings page on the app, it can currently only be switched on on devices where you DON'T also have a work or school account.
  • Delete me thanks.
  • Yeah, of course. Autofill. You've never switched Android phones and have to re-login into all your apps before? This will help as when you open that app you can have Authenticator auto-populate your username and PW without having to switch apps back and forth and copy/paste like a barbarian.
  • So ... Edge already syncs my passwords between desktop and Android. Will the Authenticator be required to sync passwords between browser installs at some point? I can kind of see the advantages of abstracting security away from individual apps and into its own app.
  • Edge does not handle passwords all that well. Outlook mail syncing is not all that great. Authenticator will handle it well? We shall see.
  • I don't see edge for password management but outlook syncs main well for me
  • Cool! And it creates a conundrum: Do I go to password storage on M$, a massive company for whom this project is but a drop in the bucket and a company every nefarious hacker is targeting...or do I stay with my paid service from one of the companies for whom PW storage is life blood?
  • Why wouldn't nefarious hackers target password management companies, who may not have as much money for the best security yet still have tons of valuable information?
  • Hackers do target password management companies...
  • "Do I go to password storage on M$, a massive company for whom this project is but a drop in the bucket..." You do realize that the Department of Defense is putting their real time cloud computing needs on Azure, Yes? Some of the best computer security people on the planet work for Microsoft...correction M$, much better. But I digress from the approved narrative.
  • I assume you also write APP£E, GOOGL€, FA¢EBOOK, or is it just Microsoft you have a problem with?
  • I'm thinking of changing from Bitwarden to this, but I wish Authenticator was on Windows as well. I would ditch Authy for it.
  • Bitwarden's strength is having an app and plugin for everything. It would be tough to supplant it for me. I do use MS Auth as my preferred TOTP source however, although I'm considering migrating to the Yubico one since I have Yubikeys and can protect it with them.
  • I use lastpass, I see no reason to change, and I see no reason to use Microsoft Authenticator
  • Yes! This will be awesome when it becomes official. I wonder if it will support multiple Edge profiles, as I have one profile for work, and another for personal stuff. I'd like to keep my passwords separate between Edge profiles.
  • When will Authenticator release on Windows 10 (I hope it does)?
  • Awesome. Just got the app update. This could work well for me.