Microsoft is spending its efforts largely on applying security measures across its solutions or apps. One of the major security features is the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in Azure AD that is used to authenticate to a certain device, app, or service. Once registered for MFA, the user has to put some code sent on his/her mobile phone application called Microsoft Authenticator OR approve/reject the notification received in the same app. This sounds easy but often it ends up in some error while registering a user account on MFA. In this blog, I have gathered some most commonly seen MFA errors/issues and their resolutions which might help in fixing them.

Error # 1You cannot have more than 5 hardware tokens or authenticator apps.

The error user gets while registering for Azure AD MFA.

Resolution/Troubleshooting:

As a Helpdesk Admin or System Admin, you first need to check how many devices have been registered on the user’s account. This can be checked from Azure Portal > Azure Active Directory > Search for user > Authentication Methods. If you can get the confirmation from the user for any unknown device, you can delete it from here. You can then re-register the user MFA session to get the registration prompt on the next sign-in.

Another way to check is to ask the user to log in from his/her account on https://myaccount.microsoft.com and then go to Security Info. Here, the user can find the devices which are unknown and can be deleted.

Error # 2Request failed due to exceeding the number of allowed attempts

Resolution/Troubleshooting:

This error usually comes when a user tries multiple times to authenticate but fails. There are a certain number of attempts that are allowed and if that exceeds, this error will come up. Most of the time, this error gets fixed by waiting for a few hours and trying again after that. Otherwise, System Admins or Helpdesk team can Revoke the MFA sessions from Azure AD portal > Search for user > Authentication Methods.

Issue # 1Unusual MFA registration prompts

Resolution/Troubleshooting:

Your user could end up in a situation where they might be asked for registering MFA methods for themselves even though MFA is disabled (both per-user and CA). This can be really frustrating for System admins to diagnose what exactly is causing MFA to trigger. Here are some troubleshooting steps which might help System Admins or Helpdesk fellows to troubleshoot this issue.

To begin with, do check if Security Defaults are enabled for your Azure AD tenant. If it is enabled, then it will override the CA policy and shall enforce MFA registration to all users. So you should disable it as per your requirements of organizational security policies.

If Security Defaults is already disabled, then you need to check if users’ devices have been enabled for MFA registration automatically when joined with Azure AD. You can check this option in Azure AD>Devices>Device Settings. You can disable this option tenant-wide but you can also do it for a specific user by modifying a registry key on that device.

Here is the registry key path: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WorkplaceJoin

Here is the key “BlockAADWorkplaceJoin” whose DWORD value should be 00000001

When that is done, the device needs to be restarted and hopefully, it will not be prompted for MFA registration while accessing Microsoft 365 services.

Microsoft has also listed different errors with a resolution for Azure AD MFA here which can be useful.

Hope you find the blog post useful. Do consider sharing it with others. Thank you.

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