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Q: Why can't I login to my Microsoft 365 account using just my username and password?


Microsoft announced plans to disable basic authentication for Microsoft 365 (M365). After this change is made, only applications that use modern authentication will be supported.

As a result, IS&T is requiring modern (Touchstone) authentication for M365 accounts in order to best protect the MIT community and prepare for Microsoft's changes.

Most current email clients support modern authentication including:

  • Outlook M365 for MacOS or Windows
  • Outlook for Windows 2013 SP1 or later
  • Outlook 2016 for Mac or later
  • Outlook for iOS or Android version 4 or later
  • Thunderbird 91 or newer (must use for SMTP)
  • Apple Mail for iOS 14 or later
  • Apple Mail for MacOS 10.14 or later

If you are using an older client, you will need to update to a more recent version or access your MIT M365 email using Outlook on the Web.

Your email or calendaring client may get disconnected as a result of this change.
Current versions of Outlook for PC and Outlook for Mac do not generally require intervention to use Modern Authentication. They will switch automatically. Mobile device apps and other clients more frequently require you to delete and re-add your account.

Deleting and re-adding does not affect any of the data stored on the server. No data is at risk of loss. After you re-add, you will be required to authenticate through [Touchstone.

See: [istcontrib:Post-Migration and Modern Authentication Microsoft 365 Email and Calendaring Setup] for more information.

Email Notifications

IS&T is notifying users who appear to be connecting to their M365 email account using basic authentication. The notification, shown below, is being sent in batches, using the Mailjet ( service.

From: Olu Brown <>
Subject: Touchstone authentication will be required for your MIT M365 email account starting DATE

Good day,

You are receiving this email because Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) has noticed that your email application is connecting to Exchange Online (M365) at MIT using basic authentication. Effective {date}, you will be required to use Touchstone authentication to connect to your M365 account.

Microsoft recently announced plans to disable basic authentication for Exchange Online on October 1, 2022. IS&T is requiring Touchstone authentication for M365 accounts well before October in order to best protect the MIT community.

What you need to do
First, make sure the email applications you use support Touchstone. This Knowledge Base article includes a list of common email applications that support Touchstone authentication.

Second, ensure that your email applications connect using Touchstone. Current versions of Outlook for Windows and macOS generally require no intervention and will switch automatically. Mobile device apps and other desktop applications will generally require action on your part. You have received this message because at least one of the applications you use requires attention.

If you are unsure if your application is using Touchstone, IS&T recommends that you delete and re-add your MIT M365 profile in the application as soon as possible. Doing so will not affect any of your data stored on the server. After you delete and re-add your profile, you will be required to re-authenticate through Touchstone.

Follow the instructions in this Knowledge Base article to reconnect your email application to M365.

Note that if the email application on your computer or mobile device is still using basic authentication after IS&T has implemented the modern authentication requirement for your account on {date}, your email or calendaring service will be disrupted.

If you have any questions, please contact the Service Desk.


Olujimi Brown
Associate VP of Technology, Information Systems & Technology (IS&T)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

February 05, 2024

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