Microsoft Authenticator is dropping Apple Watch support

wearing apple watch
(Image credit: DenPhotos / Shutterstock)

Support for the Microsoft Authenticator app on the Apple Watch has now ended, but there's very little information as to why.

In a somewhat ironic fashion, on Apple's App Store, the description for the latest update of one of the best authenticator apps around reads: "This update removes Microsoft Authenticator from Apple Watch."

However, the alert also mentions that you can still mirror alerts from your iPhone to Apple Watch in the notification settings. But the fact remains that the removal of the dedicated app has certainly made it less convenient for users of the wearable tech to authenticate their logins now. 

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Another app falls

Microsoft Authenticator is one of the most popular authenticator apps around, and is used as a form of Multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of security to your accounts and devices. 

The app for Apple Watch was first introduced in 2018, and allowed you to authenticate your logins without the need to unlock your iPhone. 

Microsoft had initially announced the end of the app's lifecycle in a clandestine fashion in December 2022, burying the news in an FAQ section on the company's support website, rather ambiguously stating that "there will be no companion app for watchOS due to it being incompatible with Authenticator security features."

Quite what these security features are, and what makes them incompatible with watchOS, has not been explained by the IT giant.

This is far from the first major app to be discontinued on Apple's smartwatch, though. Instagram, Slack, Uber and Pokémon Go all ended support for their respective apps on the platform. 

It seems that in a lot of cases, people just weren't using the apps, with notifications and alerts from their iPhone counterparts being enough for many.

  • An authenticator is a great supplement to your security posture, but they can't replace the best password manager
Lewis Maddison
Staff Writer

Lewis Maddison is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro. His area of expertise is online security and protection, which includes tools and software such as password managers. 

His coverage also focuses on the usage habits of technology in both personal and professional settings - particularly its relation to social and cultural issues - and revels in uncovering stories that might not otherwise see the light of day.

He has a BA in Philosophy from the University of London, with a year spent studying abroad in the sunny climes of Malta.