Microsoft Authenticator App for Apple Watch to Be Discontinued in January

Microsoft Authenticator for iOS will drop support for the Apple Watch companion app from January 2023, the company has revealed.

Microsoft Authenticator
Used principally for signing into Microsoft accounts with two-step verification enabled, the Microsoft Authenticator for iOS gained an Apple Watch companion app in 2018.

The watch app supports Microsoft personal, work, and school accounts that are set up with push notifications and lets users bypass the need to pick up their iPhone at all to complete the authentication process.

However, this functionality is being removed at the beginning of next year. Microsoft documented the change to the iOS app in an updated FAQ webpage. In answer to the question "Is Apple Watch supported for Authenticator on iOS?" Microsoft gives the following reply:

In the upcoming Authenticator release in January 2023 for iOS, there will be no companion app for watchOS due to it being incompatible with Authenticator security features. This means you won't be able to install or use Authenticator on Apple Watch. We therefore recommend that you delete Authenticator from your Apple Watch. This change only impacts Apple Watch, so you will still be able to use Authenticator on your other devices.

Microsoft did not specify which security features the watchOS app is incompatible with going forward, and instead simply directs users to the ‌iPhone‌ or iPad app to authenticate login attempts.

The Microsoft Authenticator app for Apple Watch joins a long list of abandoned third-party watchOS apps that have been discontinued over the last few years, either because of perceived redundancy or lack of user uptake. Other notable Apple Watch apps that have got the chop include Twitter, Instagram, Target, Trello, Slack, Hulu, and Uber.

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Top Rated Comments

chrono1081 Avatar
20 months ago
Dammit I use this all the time :/
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JM Avatar
20 months ago
It’s incompatible with Microsoft’s inability to program anything user-friendly.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheMacDaddy1 Avatar
20 months ago
Man I HATE Microsoft. They are as bad as Google when it comes to canceling stuff.

I use this feature everyday as I manage our Azure/O365 corporate tenant and we strictly enforce MFA.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jtwurth Avatar
20 months ago
Frustrating that they're dropping support. I and a lot of my colleagues use this feature multiple times every day. It has worked reliably for us and is handy for the multiple MFA checks we go through when accessing business resources from home.

Can we do the same on our phone? Sure. But when my phone is usually in my pocket (or sometimes out of immediate reach) and my watch is always on my wrist I can move my finger a few inches to approve. This may seem like a small thing to some but if you're regularly using the feature this news is a bummer.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joker00 Avatar
20 months ago
Our company uses O365 and there's a lot of checks.
It worked most of the time for me and it was brilliant!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MattG Avatar
20 months ago

Our company uses O365 and there's a lot of checks.
It worked most of the time for me and it was brilliant!
Same, and I agree...when I got my Apple Watch, I actually told our security guy at work that being able to answer Authenticator prompts on the watch was almost worth the price of admission. Bummed to see this feature go.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)