Duo Authentication for Windows Logon

Duo Authentication for Windows Logon prompts for secondary approval when you log in to your Windows system.

Logging Into Microsoft Windows with Duo

Duo Authentication for Windows Logon defaults to auto push.

After entering your Microsoft Windows username and password, an authentication request will automatically be pushed to the Duo Mobile app on your phone.

Duo Authentication Push

If auto-push is disabled or if you click the Cancel button on the Duo Prompt, you can select a different device from the drop-down at the top (if you've enrolled more than one) or select any available factor to verify your identity to Duo:

  • Duo Push: Send a request to your smartphone. You can use Duo Push if you've installed and activated Duo Mobile on your iOS or Android device.
  • Call Me: Perform phone callback authentication.
  • Passcode: Log in using a passcode generated with Duo Mobile, received via SMS, generated by your hardware token, or provided by an administrator.
    To have a new batch of SMS passcodes sent to you click the Send me new codes button. You can then authenticate with one of the newly-delivered passcodes.

Note that Duo Authentication for Windows Logon does not support U2F security keys for online authentication.

Duo Authentication with Passcode

Remembered Devices

When logging into the local Windows console, you may see a Remember me for... option if your administrator enabled Duo's remembered devices feature. If you check this box when authenticating then you won't need to perform Duo second-factor authentication again when you unlock your Windows system for the duration specified on the prompt.

Do not choose the "Remember me..." option when using a public or shared computer! This could make your Duo-protected login session available to other users.

Remembered Device Option in Prompt

When you unlock your Windows system, Duo authenticates you without asking you to approve another login request until your trusted device session expires.

Remembered Device Login

When your remembered device session ends, or if you log out of Windows, reboot your computer, change networks, or use offline access, then you'll need to complete Duo two-factor authentication again.

User Elevation Approval with Duo

The optional User Elevation configuration adds Duo two-factor authentication to password-protected Windows User Account Control (UAC) elevation attempts. When enabled, you'll see the Duo authentication prompt after you enter your password for a credentialed elevation request. The application you were trying to launch runs after you approve the Duo two-factor request.

Duo Authentication for UAC

Offline Access for Windows Logon

Offline access for Duo Windows Logon helps you log on to Windows systems securely even when unable to contact Duo’s cloud service. You can activate one method for offline access, either Duo Mobile on iOS or Android or a U2F security key.

If your organization allows you to use this feature, you'll see the offline activation prompt after successful Duo two-factor authentication when you log in to, unlock the workstation, or approve a user elevation request while the system is online and able to contact Duo's service. Check with your organization's Duo administrators or Help Desk to verify availability of Offline Access on your workstation.

Activating Offline Access with Duo Mobile

To activate Duo Mobile for offline access:

  1. Select Duo Mobile Passcode and click Activate Now to begin setting up offline access (or click Enroll later (May prevent offline login) to set it up another time).
  2. Duo Offline Access Activation - Start

  3. Scan the activation QR code using the Duo Mobile app installed on your iOS or Android device. Tap Add in the app and then tap Use QR code to begin adding the account by scanning the QR code shown by Duo for Windows.
  4. Duo Offline Access Activation - Scan QR Code

  5. Enter a name for the new offline access account in Duo Mobile and tap Save to continue.
  6. Duo Offline Access Activation - Name Account

  7. Tap the new account you just added for your Windows computer in the Duo Mobile account list to generate a six digit passcode.
  8. Duo Offline Access Activation - Generate Passcode

  9. Enter the passcode from Duo Mobile (without a space) into the offline activation screen on your computer and then click the Activate Offline Login button to finish setting up offline access.
  10. Duo Offline Access Activation - Finish

Activating Offline Access with a Security Key

Duo's offline access works with these security keys:

  • Yubico brand keys supporting U2F/FIDO2
  • Google Titan
  • Feitian ePass FIDO
  • Thetis FIDO

HyperFIDO tokens are not supported for offline access activation, nor are simple OTP passcode tokens or Duo D-100 hardware tokens. If you're not sure whether your security will work, ask your organization's Duo administrator or your IT Help Desk.

To activate your security key for offline access:

  1. Select Security Key (Yubikey) and click Activate Now to begin setting up offline access (or click Enroll later (May prevent offline login) to set it up another time).
  2. Duo Offline Access Activation - Start

  3. Duo for Windows Logon attempts to contact your security key. If you don't have it plugged in, go ahead and insert it. You should see the security key begin flashing, and the Duo screen say Security key found - Tap to enroll. Touch your blinking security key to register it.
  4. Duo Offline Access Activation - Tap Security key

  5. Tap the security key again to verify.
  6. Duo Offline Access Activation - Tap Key Again

  7. If successful, the Duo offline activation window says Security key verified - enrollment complete. Click the Activate Offline Login button to finish setting up offline access.
  8. Duo Offline Access Activation - Finish

Authenticating with Offline Access

Once you’ve activated offline access for your account, when your computer isn’t able to contact Duo’s cloud service you’ll automatically be offered the option to login with an offline code or security key (depending on which type of device you activated earlier) after successfully submitting your Windows username and password during system logon or after entering your password in a UAC elevation prompt (if User Elevation is enabled).

If you activated Duo Mobile, tap the entry for your Windows computer in Duo Mobile to generate a passcode, enter it into the Duo prompt, and click Log In.

Duo Offline Authentication with Duo Mobile Passcode

If you activated a security key, you should see it start blinking. Tap your security key to log in.

Duo Offline Authentication with Security Key

The offline two-factor authentication prompt shows you how many remaining offline logins you have left, or the last day you’ll be allowed to authenticate using offline access (depending on which option your organization's administrator chose when enabling offline access in the Duo Admin Panel).

Duo Offline Authentication Limits

Once you reach the offline access limit, the Duo prompt informs you that you must complete online authentication to Duo before you can log in again with an offline passcode. Offline access refreshes when you perform an online Duo authentication.

If Duo Authentication for Windows Logon was installed with the fail mode set to “fail closed”, then a user who does not activate offline access on that computer may not log in while disconnected from the internet. Make sure to complete offline activation the next time the computer has internet access.

User Denied Duo Offline Access

Reactivating Offline Access

If you need to add the Windows Offline account to Duo Mobile on a different phone than you originally used for activation, you can do this from the online Duo MFA prompt.

IMPORTANT: Only one phone may be activated for offline access at a time. Activating offline access on another phone invalidates the previously activated phone.

If you restored the Duo Mobile accounts on your phone with Duo Restore, reactivating offline access won't reconnect the offline account that was restored. Instead, a second account for offline access will be created. Avoid confusion by deleting the restored offline access account before performing reactivation from the online Duo for Windows MFA prompt.

  1. With the Windows computer connected to the internet, log in with your username and password.
  2. Click the Replace/Reconnect an offline device link on the left side of the Duo prompt to begin. If your Duo for Windows Logon application is configured to automatically send a push request to your phone, you can cancel the authentication in progress and click the link on the left (don't approve the request on your phone).
  3. Duo Offline Access Reactivation - Start

  4. Next, you’ll need to complete Duo authentication. Click on an available method and approve the login request.
  5. Duo Offline Access Reactivation - Authenticate

  6. Continue the activation process by scanning the QR code with Duo Mobile on the replacement phone and entering the verification code when prompted, just like the first time you activated an offline access device.