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Email – Basic Authentication

Changes to Email sign-in – Summer 2022

Microsoft is making changes to how users sign into their Office 365 email accounts. Most users will be unaffected, but if you are using an older email app or device to access email, you may need to update your settings, or, if you are using a very old email app, you may need to switch to a different email app.

Basic authentication and security

Basic authentication is an old sign-in method where the application sends a username and password with every request, and those credentials are also often stored or saved on the device. Basic authentication does not support the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA). Basic authentication is one of, if not the most common ways Universities get compromised, and these types of attacks are increasing; every day Queen’s has basic authentication enabled, we are at risk from attack.

Later this year, Microsoft will switch off basic authentication and any software using this method will no longer be able to access QUB email. Modern authentication is the replacement for basic authentication and offers a number of benefits, including support for MFA. Modern authentication is not subject to credential capture and re-use, credentials are not stored on the client device, it ensures users re-authenticate when something about their connection or state changes, and it makes adding MFA simple.

Almost all modern email apps will already be using modern authentication. If your device supports modern authentication but is still using basic authentication to sign in, you can update it by simply removing and re-adding your account on the device (see below for more information).

How do I know if I am still using Basic Authentication?

Applications which are confirmed not to support modern authentication are listed below.

  • Microsoft Outlook older than Outlook 2016 or Outlook for Mac 2011
  • Apple Mac Mail older than macOS 10.14 (Mojave)
  • iOS older than version 11
  • Built-in Mail app on some older Android phones
  • Mozilla Thunderbird older than v78
  • Older email clients using IMAP which do not support OAuth

If you currently use one of these, you will need to switch to a modern email application or use a web browser to continue to access your QUB email. Information Services recommends these email applications for best performance with Office 365:

Over Summer 2022, Information Services will be in contact with all Users who are still using basic authentication to prompt you to switch to modern authentication.

Updating your email application to use modern authentication

If you have received a notification that your account is using basic authentication, you should try removing your account from your email app(s) and re-adding it. Often this will be the only action required.

Email stored in your mailbox will be unaffected when you remove the account from your app(s). If you have any drafts or other data stored offline (e.g., in your Outbox) please make sure you back these up before removing your account.

Detailed instructions on removing and re-adding accounts are available below

If you have any problems removing and re-adding your account, please contact your School Computer Office or the IT Service Desk

Removing and re-adding email accounts

View the instructions below to remove and re-add the following email accounts:

Outlook (Windows or Mac)

  1. Download and install the most recent version of Microsoft Office available at
  2. Once installed, open Outlook and follow the prompts to set up your email account

Apple Mail

  1. In the Mail app, choose Mail > Preferences > Accounts
  2. Choose your QUB email account
  3. Choose Remove ( — )
  4. Choose Mail > Add Account
  5. Choose Exchange
  6. Enter your QUB email address, username and password when prompted
  7. Complete multi-factor authentication
  8. Confirm that your QUB account appears in the Mail app

Apple iOS Mail, Calendar and Contacts

  1. Go to Settings > Mail
  2. Tap your QUB email account (often named “Exchange”)
  3. Tap Delete Account
  4. Tap Accounts > Add Account
  5. Choose Microsoft Exchange
  6. Enter your QUB email address and a name for the account
  7. Choose “sign in” when prompted
  8. Sign in with your QUB username and password
  9. Complete multi-factor authentication when prompted
  10. Confirm that your QUB account appears in the Mail app

Android Mail

Steps may vary depending on phone manufacturer and operating system

  1. Go to Applications > Email > Settings
  2. Tap Accounts
  3. Press and hold your QUB account (often named “Exchange Account” or “Corporate Account”)
  4. Choose Remove Account and confirm that you want to remove the account

The mail app provided on Android varies between manufacturers. If using the built-in mail application on Android, you will need to download the Outlook for Mobile or Gmail applications as the built-in app does not support modern authentication.

Gmail for Android

  1. Tap the Gmail app
  2. Tap your profile picture in top right corner
  3. Tap Manage accounts on this device
  4. Choose your QUB email account
  5. Tap Remove Account
  6. Tap Add another account
  7. Choose “Outlook, Hotmail and Live”
  8. Enter your QUB email address, username, and password
  9. Complete an MFA request when prompted

Mozilla Thunderbird

  1. Choose Tools > Account Settings
  2. Choose your QUB account
  3. Choose Account Actions > Remove Account
  4. Choose OK to confirm
  5. Restart Thunderbird
  6. Choose Tools > Account Settings
  7. Choose Account Actions > Add Mail Account
  8. Enter your name, email address and password
  9. After autoconfiguration has run, manually configure the account with these settings:


Type: IMAP

Server hostname:

Port: 993


Authentication: OAuth2

Username: OR


Server hostname:

Port: 587


Authentication: OAuth

Username: OR

10. Click Done
11. Complete sign in and MFA authentication when prompted