One of the benefits of Google’s Chrome browser is that when you create a new account on a website, it can create a unique password and then save and autocomplete it when you revisit the site. Now Microsoft Edge will do the same, although the process is much more complicated and uses the Authenticator mobile app instead.
The new features are part of a public preview of password management and autocomplete features in the Authenticator app for iOS and Android, which already serves as a two-factor authentication (2FA) solution for websites. However, so far you have had to come up with your own password for these sites, which Edge could keep if you so choose.
You can now use Authenticator to create a unique password, save it for you, and then autocomplete when you revisit the site.
However, it’s a bit of a clumsy process. For example, Chrome automatically creates a strong, unique password very simple: Just click the “password” text box when creating a new account. Then you will be able to allow Chrome to offer a strong, unique password – it works whether you use the Chrome desktop browser or Chrome for Android. Passwords are created automatically, stored and stored.
By comparison, automatic password generation in the Microsoft ecosystem only works through the Authenticator app in a mobile environment, at least for now. In other words, if you are signing up with a new account, you will need to do so online phone, not a PC. Authenticator will then create a unique password, save it, and then sync with the Edge desktop browser. (You can also sync with Chrome via this plugin.) The desktop version of Edge does not yet include a password generation feature.
This is partly because Microsoft believes that your passwords are best protected through 2FA, which overlaps a device you know, such as a phone (one-factor authentication) with your known password (second-factor authentication). And while that’s true, it’s also inconvenient for those who don’t have a phone on hand, or for those who just don’t want to stop working on their PC to perform this minor task.
To enable this feature, you will need to make Authenticator an autocomplete provider on your phone:
- iOS: Open Settings -> Search “Autofill passwords” -> Click on “Autofill passwords” -> Select «Authenticator“
- Android: Open Settings -> Search “AutoFill“-> Select”AutoFill“-> Press”AutoFill“On the next screen -> Select”Authenticator“
There is another clue. The current default setting is that this new password generation feature is disabled for those who use Authenticator as a 2FA solution for enterprise accounts. Therefore, if your employer’s IT department forces you to use Authenticator as a 2FA solution to secure your work email, this public preview of Authenticator will not allow you to use the password generation feature without special installation.
As you can see, this Authenticator preview is useful, but it is also accompanied by rather severe drawbacks. Over time, we hope that automatic password generation will be more integrated into the Edge, both on the phone and on the PC.