Microsoft Entra authentication methods API overview

Namespace: microsoft.graph

Authentication methods are the ways that users authenticate in Microsoft Entra ID. Authentication methods in Microsoft Entra ID include password and phone (for example, SMS and voice calls), which are manageable in Microsoft Graph beta endpoint today, among many others such as FIDO2 security keys and the Microsoft Authenticator app. Authentication methods are used in primary, second-factor, and step-up authentication, and also in the self-service password reset (SSPR) process.

The authentication method APIs are used to manage a user's authentication methods. For example:

  • You can add a phone number to a user. The user can then use that phone number for SMS and voice call authentication if they're enabled to use it by policy.
    • You can update that number, or delete it from the user.
    • You can enable or disable the number for SMS sign-in.
  • You can retrieve details of a user's FIDO2 Security Key, and delete it if the user has lost the key.
  • You can retrieve details of a user's Microsoft Authenticator registration, and delete it if the user has lost the phone.
  • You can retrieve details of a user's Windows Hello for Business registration, and delete it if the user has lost the device.
  • You can add an email address to a user. The user can then use that email as part of the Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) process.
    • You can update that email, or delete it from the user.

We don't recommend using the authentication methods APIs for scenarios where you need to iterate over your entire user population for auditing or security check purposes. For these types of scenarios, we recommend using the authentication method registration and usage reporting APIs (available on the beta endpoint only).

What authentication methods can be managed in Microsoft Graph?

Authentication method Description Examples
emailAuthenticationMethod An email address can be used by a user as part of the Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) process. See a user's authentication email address. Add, update, or remove an email address to a user.
fido2AuthenticationMethod A FIDO2 Security Key can be used by a user to sign-in to Microsoft Entra ID. Delete a lost FIDO2 Security Key.
microsoftAuthenticatorAuthenticationMethod Microsoft Authenticator can be used by a user to sign-in or perform multi-factor authentication to Microsoft Entra ID Delete a Microsoft Authenticator authentication method.
passwordAuthenticationMethod A password is currently the default primary authentication method in Microsoft Entra ID. Reset a user's password
phoneAuthenticationMethod A phone can be used by a user to authenticate using SMS or voice calls as allowed by policy. See a user's authentication phone numbers. Add, update, or remove a phone number for a user. Enable or disable a primary mobile phone for SMS sign-in.
softwareOathAuthenticationMethod Allow users to perform multifactor authentication using an application that supports the OATH TOTP specification and provides a one-time code. Get and delete a software OATH token assigned to a user.
temporaryAccessPassAuthenticationMethod A time-limited passcode that serves as a strong credential and allows onboarding of passwordless credentials. Create and manage a customized time-limted passcode for a given user to use for strong authentication or recovery.
windowsHelloForBusinessAuthenticationMethod Windows Hello for Business is a passwordless sign-in method on Windows devices. See devices where a user has enabled Windows Hello for Business sign-in. Delete a Windows Hello for Business credential.

The following authentication methods are not yet supported in Microsoft Graph v1.0.

Authentication method Description Examples
Default method Represents the method the user has selected as default for performing multi-factor authentication. Change a user's default MFA method.
NOTE: Managing the details of the default method is currently supported only through the MSOL Get-MsolUser and Set-MsolUser cmdlets, using the StrongAuthenticationMethods property.
Hardware token Allow users to perform multifactor authentication using a physical device that provides a one-time code. Get a hardware token assigned to a user.
Security questions and answers Allow users to validate their identity when performing a self-service password reset. Delete a security question a user registered.
Authentication states Manage a user's sign-in preferences and per-user MFA See or set the MFA state for a user. See or set the system-preferred multifactor authentication (MFA) setting.

Require re-register multifactor authentication

To require users to set up a new multifactor authentication the next time they sign in, call the individual DELETE authentication method operations to delete each of the user's current authentication methods. After the user has no more methods, they're prompted to register the next time they sign in where strong authentication is required.

Tenant-level authentication method usage

You can monitor tenant-level authentication method registration and usage, including users registered or unregistered for MFA and passwordless authentication, and users registered or unregistered for SSPR by using the Authentication methods usage report APIs.

Next steps

  • Review the authentication method types and their various methods.
  • Try the API in Graph Explorer.