Tips for Troubleshooting MFA


How do I troubleshoot my MFA?


Try the steps below to resolve common Sierra College Multi-Factor Authentication issues.

Confirm that you are using a supported system

We encourage you to upgrade your device to a more current version of operating system (OS) or re-enroll in the Sierra College MFA using a different phone with a newer operating system.

  • iPhone: MFA supports iOS 11.0 and greater. 
  • Apple Watch:  MFA supports the Apple Watch.
  • Android: MFA supports Android when using the Microsoft Outlook App, or using App Password
  • Windows Phone: MFA support Windows mobile phone when using the Microsoft Outlook app

Troubleshoot MFA problems

If you receive one of the following error messages when using Sierra College Multi-Factor Authentication, follow the steps below to resolve it. 

MFA Issues

  • Unable to receive email on smartphone
  • Constantly sending me notifications to enter pin

Troubleshooting steps for above error messages

  1. Restart your email app

  2. Restart your phone

  3. Remove email account from device and re-add it

  4. Use the App Password

Additional support

Browse other Sierra College Multi-Factor Authentication knowledge articles or review the list below of common issues and the knowledge article that should address the issue.  

When will I be requred to use MFA? MFA will only be requred wheny you are accessing your mySierra, myAccess, O365 email and Canvas from outside of the District network, or from the public wireless.
Can I use my office phone to MFA?  You should not use your office phone as an option to MFA, as you are not going to be in your office when you are prompted to MFA. You will be promted to MFA once you are accessing the resources from outside of the District network, or from the public wireless

Should I always approve/accept/allow the login prompt?

No. If you are prompted to approve a sign in but haven't tried to sign into anything, there is the possibility that there was an application that automatically started with your password saved attempting to log in, or your sign-in attempt was sent twice (e.g. refreshing a log in page).

If the sign in request appears during a time where you have not attempted to sign in or open applications recently, it may be someone else attempting to access your account without your permission. If you are ever unsure, click deny and contact the Service Desk if you have any questions or concerns regarding your account.

What is an app password and when is it needed?

Microsoft's MFA solution only works with newer versions of Microsoft applications. If you are using the built-in email software on your iPhone or Android device, using an older version of Microsoft Office on your computer, or using other software that doesn't support MFA, you will need to use an "app password" instead of approving the login when prompted. An app password is a very strong, randomly-generated password. You'll use this password to sign into the non-MFA application once, and then you never have to enter your password for that application on that device again.



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Article ID: 78818
Tue 5/21/19 3:20 PM
Tue 5/28/24 8:27 AM

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This service is provided for those who need or would like to request a manual enrollment in Multi-factor Authentication.