Microsoft is trying to make it easier for people to manage a large number of passwords with the release of a new Autofill feature. The feature is being delivered through the Microsoft Authenticator app on iOS and Android devices, and as a Google Chrome extension on the PC.
To enjoy Autofill on a mobile device, users must first log into the Microsoft Authenticator app, and then navigate to the Passwords tab. From there, they will be asked to sign into their Microsoft account, and the app will sync with any passwords stored under that account through the Microsoft Edge utility. The Autofill Chrome extension operates in a similar fashion, allowing users to access passwords that have been saved to a Microsoft account while surfing the web.
Once the Autofill feature is set up, it will ask the user if they want Authenticator to remember the password each time they log into a new account or service. The platform will then offer to autofill the password for all subsequent login attempts. The service negates the need remember a large number of passwords, and streamlines the authentication process for people who no longer need to type in complex strings of numbers and letters.
Microsoft has also added an Import feature to make the Authenticator app even more user-friendly. As the name would suggest, the feature allows users to import password lists from other locations, such as Chrome, CSV files, and select password managers.
The Authenticator app itself is protected with strong multi-factor authentication, and will always ask for permission before autofilling a password. Meanwhile, those using the mobile app to access a website or another app on their phone will be asked to verify their identities with a PIN or device biometrics.
Any passwords stored with the app will be encrypted both on-device and in the cloud. In the future, Microsoft plans to expand the autofill service to include other information such as addresses and payment details.
The news comes shortly after Google released a separate update for Chrome’s built-in password manager. Multiple organizations have called attention to the shortcomings of passwords as a security option, with FIDO reporting that the majority of consumers have abandoned an online sale because they could not remember a password.