Office 365 – Enable Azure MFA for global admins and all users

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How to secure your Office 365 tenant with multi-factor authentication using Azure MFA. Security of your Office 365 tenant is paramount. This is the minimum you should do in order to improve security and prevent unauthorised access. What we are going to do is:

      1. Enable MFA for your admin accounts
      2. Enable MFA for all other users
      3. Add a trusted location, so that you don’t have to use MFA when in your office or other location with a static public IP address.

Note: if you don’t have Azure AD Premium as part of E3 or another license, you will only be able to enable the MFA for Admins policy, and you will not be able to set locations or other advanced options. You can however still manually turn on MFA for all users.


First, check that you have modern authentication enabled for Exchange Online. Without this, you will be unable to connect Outlook to Exchange Online with an MFA enabled account:

Check the status:

Get-OrganizationConfig | select *OAuth*

If this is set to false, enable it:

Set-OrganizationConfig -OAuth2ClientProfileEnabled:$true

Enable MFA for Global Admins

It is recommended that you have dedicated accounts with Global Admin rights. Don’t assign the role to normal user accounts, by creating separate accounts you improve security since you aren’t accessing the tenant all the time with your privileged account. Your admin accounts don’t have to have a license assigned.

Enabling this policy will be that global admins will be required to use MFA from any location, even if they are inside your network. This is so that an internal network compromise could not then allow indirect admin level access to Office 365. This is the effective baseline MFA policy and will apply regardless of other policies.

Note that there is now a default policy in Office 365 in order to enable MFA for Global Admins, so this is very easy to implement:

      • In the Azure AD Portal, navigate to Azure Active Directory > Conditional Access
      • Select: Baseline policy: Require MFA for admins
      • Enable policy: Use policy immediately.

Enable MFA for all users

Whilst you can enable this on a per-user basis, the best way to do this is using a conditional access policy. That way you can be sure no users have been missed, and you don’t have to worry about enabling it for new users.

Using a conditional access policy (Azure AD Premium required)

Create a conditional access policy in Azure AD as follows:

      • In the Azure AD Portal, navigate to Azure Active Directory > Conditional Access
      • New Policy: Name: Internal Users MFA Policy
        • Users and Groups: Include: All Users
        • Cloud apps: All cloud apps
        • Conditions: Locations: Include: All locations. Exclude: All trusted locations
        • Access controls: Grant access: Require multi-factor authentication
        • Enable policy: On

Configure your trusted locations

You can now configure your trusted locations e.g. to add the public IP range of your Offices. This won’t be possible if you use a cloud-based proxy, however, if you have ADFS any user who has authenticated internally will count as coming from a trusted location by default.

Manually (any license)

If you don’t have an Azure AD Premium license, you can still enable MFA by going to Settings > Services & add-ins > Azure multi-factor authentication, then enable it for your users.

      • Login to with your admin account
      • Click Settings > Services & add-ins > Azure multi-factor authentication
      • Click Manage multi-factor authentication
      • Click at the top to select and enable MFA for all users

Now, by default users will be able to register with the following options:

Add alternative authentication phone numbers

You should note that all of these methods will probably use the same mobile phone. Therefore once set up, you should instruct users to go back and add their Office and Home phone, in case for any reason they do not have their mobile phone. Otherwise, they may be unable to login to their account.

Instruct users to do this as follows:

      • Login to
      • Click on the username in the top right, the My account
      • Security & Privacy
      • Additional security verification, Update your phone numbers used for account security.
      • Add Office phone and Alternative authentication phone, when you are next at those locations.

Note: Using the link will take you straight to the page below.


See for more information.

Posted in Azure AD, Office 365

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  1. Pingback:Best practices for Office 365 Admin accounts - Cloudrun

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