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Setting up MFA on NHSmail

To continue using your NHS.net email account you need to following the steps below. This will require access to either a work or personal mobile device.  

If you don’t have access to a mobile device, please do not set up MFA. Similarly, if you access a shared mailbox, which other people also sign in to, please do not set up MFA on this account. 

*Colleagues working in secure care should not set up MFA and further guidance will be circulated.

1. Enrol for MFA on your NHS.net email account

Please follow the steps below to enrol for MFA on your NHS.net email account. You can also refer to NHS England's visual guide on enrolling for MFA on your NHS.net email account which includes screenshots for each of the steps outlined below. 

  • Step 1: Sign in with your NHSmail account to begin the MFA set up process at https://portal.nhs.net/
  • Step 2: Click ‘Profile’ in the navigation bar at the top of the screen and select ‘My Profile’ from the drop-down menu
  • Step 3: From ‘My profile’ page, click on ‘Self-Service
  • Step 4: Select ‘Self-enrol’ for MFA
  • Step 5: Click ‘Confirm’ to enable the MFA
  • Step 6: The following success message will be displayed: ‘success: MFA enabled successfully for nhsmailaccount@nhs.net’.

Once MFA is enabled on your email account, the authentication method needs to be set up. It is recommended that you use the Microsoft Authenticator app on your work or personal mobile device.

2. Install the Microsoft Authenticator app

To install the Microsoft Authenticator app, please follow the steps below. You can also refer to NHS England's visual guide on installing the Microsoft Authenticator app which includes screenshots for each of the steps outlined below. 

  • Step 1: Once Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is enabled on your account, sign in with your NHSmail account on your PC to begin the set up process at https://portal.nhs.net/. Select ‘Click me to enrol for Multi-Factor Authentication’ to proceed. Once redirected to this page, select ‘Next’ to start the MFA set up process. Please proceed to the next step using your mobile.
  • Step 2: Clicking on ‘Download Now’ will open a new window with the QR code. Scan the QR code that is displayed with the camera on your mobile phone, pointing your mobile phone at the QR code (for Android use the QR code displayed on the left side and for iPhone scan the code on the right side). Please proceed to the next step using your PC.
  • Step 3: Tap on the pop-up banner or QR code icon that appears on your mobile phone screen to be directed to download the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile phone. Click ‘Get’ or ‘Install’ to download the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile phone. Once installed, click ‘Open’ to launch the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile phone.
  • Step 4: Once the Microsoft Authenticator app is downloaded on your mobile phone click ‘Next’ on the registration page on your PC. To set up your account on the Microsoft Authenticator app, please proceed to the next step using your mobile.
  • Step 5: Tap the ‘+’ or ‘+ Add account’ icon on your mobile device, to add an account and continue the enrolment process. Select ‘Work or school account’. A pop-up box will then appear on your Microsoft Authenticator app screen, click ‘Scan QR code’. Please proceed to the next step using your PC.
  • Step 6: On your PC on the Microsoft Authenticator app screen a QR code reader will appear. Point the mobile device to the screen and scan the QR code. Click ‘Next’ to be directed to the next step and continue the enrolment process. Take note of the unique number that will appear on your PC screen and proceed to the next step using your mobile.
  • Step 7: A pop-up box will appear on your Microsoft Authenticator app, enter the unique number and select ‘Yes’. Please proceed to the next step using your PC.
  • Step 8: Following input of the unique number in the Microsoft Authenticator app, you will receive the following message ‘Notification approved’ on your PC. Click ‘Next’ to proceed. Insert a password of at least 8 characters and then click ‘Next’.
  • Step 9: After creating a password you will be provided with a key password – store this password in a safe place and click ‘Done’. A message will appear confirming that you have finished your Microsoft Authenticator app set up. Click ‘Done’ to complete the process. Congratulations, you have successfully set up MFA!
  • Step 10: When logging in to ‘portal.nhs.net’ you will be presented with a two-digit number. The Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device will prompt you to authenticate the log in. Type the two-digit number into the app to complete the approval and the NHSmail portal will then open. You have now successfully logged into NHSmail using MFA!

Please note: You won’t be able to install or use Microsoft Authenticator on Apple Watch. Microsoft recommends that you delete Microsoft Authenticator from your Apple Watch, and sign in with Microsoft Authenticator on another device.