The following steps will guide you through setting up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on your USask account.

This content applies to:

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Students
  • Alumni
  • Retirees


  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS


Important Information for MFA Setup

Time Requirement 

  • Please note that setting up MFA on your account may take up to 30 minutes or longer. Please begin the process when you have the necessary time available.

Required Equipment 

To setup MFA make sure you have access to:

  1. A desktop or laptop.
  2. At least one of the below options. Learn more about these options here.
    1. Smartphone or iPad. This is the preferred method.
    2. Telephone landline.

You need a reliable high speed internet connection and a phone that can always be reached.

Supported Email Applications

On all devices from which you access USask email, the email applications used must support MFA.  Once your MFA is enabled, please note that only the below email applications are supported:

  • Microsoft Outlook 2016 or later (Windows and macOS). Please note that the versions of Outlook supported by Microsoft change over time; refer to this Microsoft article for the most up to date information available. If you are unsure what version of Outlook you are using, please consult this additional Microsoft Article for instruction on how to determine this information.

  • Microsoft Outlook (Android and iOS)
  • Mozilla Thunderbird 77 or later (Windows and macOS)
  • Mail for macOS Mojave (10.14.x) or later
  • Mail for iOS 11 or later
  • Gmail for Android
  • Outlook on the web (via a web browser

After MFA is Enabled

  • If you are not able to connect to your email after MFA is set up, you may have to remove your email account from your mobile device or email app and and add it back again. If you encounter this, please follow the instructions in this kb support article
  • Setting up more than one verification method is recommended for recovery purposes, in the event that you lose access to your preferred authentication method (i.e. losing your cell phone). Learn how to add additional MFA options.
  • After setup, learn what the process will look like in Using Multi-Factor Authentication.

Getting Help with MFA

The authenticator option you pick should be the one that best suits how you will use it. Pick a method that you can easily access and be in reach of when you try to access your account. Consider if you will be home, travelling - what ever option you pick should be available to you when you need it. 

A SmartPhone (Android or iPhone/iOS) is strongly recommended for the best experience when using multi-factor authentication.

If you find that the options below do not meet your needs, please reach out to IT Support to discuss alternative methods of authentication.

  1. Using a desktop or a laptop computer, log in to PAWS with your NSID and password.

  2. People setting up MFA for the very first time are normally presented with the page below. Review (and edit if necessary) the recovery options then Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

  3. Wait until text appears that shows the status of your MFA. Click on Update MFA Options.

    If the page continues loading and the Update MFA Options text does not appear, click Reload, then wait for a few moments. Continue until the text appears.

  4. If it prompts, sign in with your NSID (in the format and password.

  5. Click Next.

  6. You will be prompted to download the Microsoft Authenticator app (which you will do on your phone). Do so, then click Next on the computer.
  7. Following the instructions on your computer, open the Authenticator App on your phone and tap Add Account, then tap Work or School Account.

  8. Tap Scan QR Code, and tap OK.

  9. On the computer, click Next and point your phone at the QR code, keeping it inside the box on the phone screen.

  10. Once the QR code is scanned, click Next on the computer.

  11. Enter the number on the computer screen onto the phone and tap Yes.

  12. Click Next, then click Done. Your MFA is now set up, with the Authenticator app as your default MFA option.

    Next Login

    On your next login in you may be prompted to enter another 2 digit verification code displayed on the computer, to be entered on your smartphone.

    This video guide explains how to set up the Microsoft Authenticator app as an MFA method

Please log into to begin set up of MFA.

People setting up MFA for the very first time are normally presented with the page below. 

  1. After making sure that all the details are correctly updated, click on Save Changes Button.

  2. On the next screen click on Update MFA Options.

  3. You may be asked to login. If so, click on your email address or sign in with your NSID (in the format followed by your USask/PAWS password when prompted.


  4. You will be presented with option to Start by getting the app, Click on I want to set up a different method.

  5. From Choose a different method screen, Select Phone and Click Confirm.

  6. You will be presented with options to enter the phone number. Select the area code and type the phone number for mobile device, choose Text me a code, and then select Next.

  7. Type the code sent to through text message to mobile device, and then click Verify. Once verification is successful click Done.

  8. You might get redirected to the following screen one last time after entering credentials on Paws / MyProfile. Click on Save Changes Button.

  9. You will be able to see the following screen with Reload button. Click Reload and it will change to MFA is setup successfully. Click Redirect back to requesting service.

  10. Now if you log in to MyProfile, you will be able to see the below screen which shows MFA Enabled.

If you choose a landline for MFA you will be tied to a specific location when prompted for authentication. If you will be accessing services outside of your home this option won't work, and you will need to ensure you have an additional MFA option set up.

C. Verify you have completed setting up MFA
  1. Using your desktop or laptop, log into MyProfile with your NSID and password. If you are still logged into MyProfile from when you registered for MFA (Section A above), please log out and log in again.

    If you see the below message after logging into MyProfile that means you have not successfully added a MFA verification method to your account:

    To add a verification method, using your desktop or laptop, go to the MFA setup page, and add a method as explained in Select an MFA Verification Method above.

  2. Approve the resulting verification prompt, which will depend on the MFA method you chose during set up. Learn what this process looks like in Using Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

  3. Under Multi-factor Verification, MFA should say "Enabled".

If the status does not say "Enabled", please contact IT Support Services.

After MFA is Enabled

For the first hour after you enable MFA, check periodically to make sure you are receiving email. If it doesn't appear you are, send yourself a test message to ensure you can connect to your USask email account and are receiving new email on your devices. 

Also you may see a notice similar to the one below in your inbox:

If you are not able to connect to your email after MFA is set up, you may have to remove your email account from your mobile device or email app and and add it back again. If you encounter this, please follow the instructions in this kb support article.