Skip to content

How changes in Outlook login will affect you

There’s about to be a big change in how you login to (, email and it’s best to get ready now. We explain which email apps are already setup OK, some apps might need a simple change while others have to be replaced.

From 16 September 2024, won’t just accept a simple “email and password login”, instead a more secure and private login called “Modern Authentication” will be needed.

This is part of Microsoft’s gradual move to better security for online data.  Basic Auth aka Email + Password is so 20th Century and prone to hacking.

For some years, has supported “Modern Authentication” which is a largely unseen system of tokens and encryption to keep your login safe from hackers.  Now Microsoft is making the more secure login compulsory.

Modern Authentication = OAuth2

Modern Authentication is Microsoft’s name for OAuth2 an open standard for secure login. Most likely you’re already using OAuth2, without realizing it, for login to sites or apps.

What apps are OK with Modern Authentication?

If you’re using modern Outlook in one of its many modern forms, you should already be using Modern Authentication.

That includes (according to Microsoft):

  • Outlook 365 for Windows or Mac
  • Outlook 2021 for Windows (build 11601.10000 and later)
    • Also Outlook 2021 LTSC
  • Outlook mobile apps for iPhone, iPad or iPad.

Apple Mail should also be OK because it also knows about Modern Authentication but there’s a chance you might have to setup the mail account again.

Which apps might need a fix?

Some email programs/apps now support with OAuth2/Modern Authentication but an email account was setup years ago when only Basic Auth was available. 

For those apps, you’ll need to remove the existing mail account settings and add the mailbox again.  The recreated mailbox setup should automatically use Modern Authentication.

That might be necessary for Apple Mail if the device/app has been running for a few years.

Mozilla Thunderbird supports Modern Authentication under the name OAuth2. You might need to update the existing mail settings. In short, go to the Server Settings and make sure the Authentication Method and Outgoing Server (SMTP) are set to “OAuth2”. Microsoft has step-by-step instructions.

Other mail apps, like the in-built Android mail apps may support Modern Authentication, probably called OAuth2.  Check with the app maker for details.

What mail apps will NOT work

There are some Microsoft email apps that don’t support Modern Authentication, most notably some currently supported versions of Office.

  • Outlook 2019 (Office 2019 or Office 2019 LTSC)
  • Outlook 2016 (Office 2016)

Both these versions are out of mainstream support but still receiving security updates. Upgrading to secure mail login is apparently counted as a feature update not a security fix.

These versions of Outlook are past all support dates and don’t support Modern Authentication.

  • Outlook 2016 MSI
  • Outlook 2013
  • Outlook 2010
  • Outlook 2007

What are the alternatives?

If your email app won’t support OAuth2 then you’ll have to find an alternative.

Naturally, Microsoft recommends Outlook … please contain your shock and surprise.

There are free versions of Outlook available for:

It’s a pain but a good thing

The change to better email logins has been a long time coming.  Yes, it’s a pain for some and Microsoft is using it as another excuse for people to buy a newer version of Office. Or use their Outlook instead of another email app.

However, the change is a necessary thing and should make your mailbox a lot harder to hack, especially if combined with two-factor authentication.

Both our Windows 11 for Microsoft Office users and Windows 10 for Microsoft Office users ebooks have entire chapters devoted to properly setting up Two Factor Authentication. Look for the chapter “Microsoft account security”.

About this author

Office Watch is the independent source of Microsoft Office news, tips and help since 1996. Don't miss our famous free newsletter.