Windows 11 is officially killing off passwords and bringing in passkeys

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Microsoft is expanding passkey support with Windows 11, meaning users will soon be able to take better advantage of the new technology.

In a blog post on its site, the company said that with the upcoming update to the operating system, users can create a passkey with Windows Hello and use it to access supported services using their face, fingerprint or PIN - no need for a password at all.

Passkeys can be managed on a Windows PC and users can sign in using passkeys stored on their mobile device too.   

Ditching the password

Microsoft also added that IT teams will be able to remove passwords as an option for employees from the get-go on Windows 11 devices that have Windows Hello for Business. 

Microsoft said that, "passkeys are the cross-platform, cross-ecosystem future of accessing websites and applications."

Passkeys rely on pair of cryptographic keys, one stored in the cloud and the other on device, which is private and not known by anyone. When combined, they grant access to the service in question. 

More and more services are adopting passkey support to let users log in to their accounts without a password. Apple and Google users can log into their respective accounts using passkeys, and services such as eBay, PayPal, BestBuy, GitHub and WhatsApp support them too.

The technological standards that passkeys employ are governed by the FIDO Alliance, specifically FIDO2. The cross-industry association has most of big tech on its board, as well as several popular password managers. 

The new update to Windows 11 will be available from September 26, and will also feature other important security updates.  


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.