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Microsoft expands support for passkeys in Windows 11

Microsoft expands support for passkeys in Windows 11

Windows Insiders will soon be able to sign into their accounts using passkeys and Windows Hello.

This week Microsoft announced that is is expanding support for passkeys in Windows 11, enabling users to log into websites and apps using biometric authentication.

Passkeys allow users to replace passwords when they sign into a web site or application that supports them. They are unique codes linked to specific devices such as computers, tablets, or smartphones. Passkeys reduce the risk of data breaches they protect against phishing attacks – i.e., threat actors cannot steal them and gain unauthorized access.

Amanda Langowski, Principal Product Manager who leads the Windows Insider program, and Brandon LeBlanc, Senior Program Manager, announced the passkey addition in a blog post this week. The news was part of the general announcement of the release of Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23486 to the Dev Channel.

According to the post, Windows 11 users “can now go to any app or website that supports passkeys to create and sign in using passkeys with the Windows Hello native experience”. Once a passkey is created, users can then use Windows Hello (face, fingerprint, PIN) to sign in, they wrote.

Users can also use their phone to complete the application login process, they added.

Easy management of passkeys

“We are giving users a fundamental control over how they can manage the passkeys saved to their Windows device. They can now view and delete passkeys saved for their favourite apps/websites from Windows settings”, Langowski and LeBlanc wrote. Users can access and manage their passkeys by simply navigating to Settings > Accounts > Passkeys.

The notice does, however, include some special instructions. “On Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome, if you see the browser’s passkey UI, choose ‘Windows Hello or external security key’ to get the Windows native experience”, they wrote.

“Try Google Chrome Canary for the latest experience there. As Microsoft Edge is Chromium-based, experiences in Chrome Canary will roll up into Microsoft Edge as well over time”.