Updating Duo MFA settings - Removal of SMS messaging and Telephone call capabilities

As of Spring 2024, Northwestern University will begin removing the ability for users to authenticate using a telephone call or SMS text messages to confirm Duo Mobile Multi-Factor Authentication prompts. Going forward all registered Duo devices will be required to authenticate using Duo Verified Push. To ensure that you maintain access to your Northwestern University accounts it is important to install and activate the Duo app on a compatible smart device prior to this change. 


Install/Update Duo Mobile (Recommended)

Before attempting to activate for yourself or with Northwestern University IT assistance, please install the Duo mobile application. If you already have Duo Mobile installed on your device you should check to ensure that the version you have installed will be compatible with Verified Push.

Download Duo Mobile for iOS
Download Duo Mobile for Android

Duo Mobile is the recommended method for multi-factor authentication at Northwestern. If you do not have access to a compatible smart phone or other mobile device, you may consider activating a Yubikey or using TouchID/Windows Hello.

Self-reactivating Duo Mobile

If you are able to authenticate using an already registered device, please try the following steps: 

  1. Make sure you have a device you have already registered available. If that device is a cell phone, make sure you have adequate cell phone coverage in your location or have it connected to a wireless network. 
  2. On your computer open an incognito window, then navigate to any Duo MFA login page and attempt to sign in (i.e. CAESAR for students, myHR for faculty/staff, Outlook Web Application, or any service protected by DUO MFA).
  3. In the DUO Authentication prompt, Click Other options.

  1. Click Manage devices.
  2. You will be directed to authenticate with a registered Duo device. 
    • If you have no functioning registered Duo device, you may need to contact Northwestern University IT for assistance.
  3. Click I have a new phone / I have a new device under the device you are attempting to re-activate.
  4. If you have not already you will now be prompted to download the Duo Mobile application from the App Store or Google Play. Once you have the app installed, click Next.
  5. You will be presented with a QR code. In the Duo Mobile app, click + Add then click Use QR code.

If you do not wish to use the QR code,

  1. Complete steps 1-7.
  2. Click Get an activation link.
  3. Enter your preferred email address, then click Send Email.
  4. Open the activation email on the device you are activating, click the provided link to activate Duo Mobile on your device.


Add a New Device

If you need to register a new device, reference this article.


Requesting Assistance

If you can no longer authenticate using Duo Mobile, contact the Northwestern University IT Service Desk at 847.491.4357 (1-HELP). 

If you are unable to contact Northwestern University IT by phone for assistance, send an email message to servicedesk@northwestern.edu. Be sure to include your NetID and a description of your situation. Our agents will review your ticket and follow up with potential next steps.


Smart Device Alternatives

If you do not have access to a compatible smart device, you may want to consider either a YubiKey or a Duo Hardware token. 


YubiKeys are a bring your own device (BYOD) solution for Multi-Factor Authentication and can be purchased from a number of online retailers. You can review this article for information on recommended models.

Duo Hardware Tokens

Northwestern University Faculty and Staff may request their department purchase a Duo Hardware Token to use as their MFA device. If you are interested in using a Duo Hardware token send an email to servicedesk@northwestern.edu with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your netID
  • A Department Chartstring to be charged $20

Assistance after Telephone and SMS Capabilities Removed

If your capability to authenticate using telephone calls or SMS messages has been removed and you want to explore using a YubiKey or Hardware Token, please contact the Northwestern University IT Service Desk at 847.491.4357 (1-HELP) to discuss your options for access.



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Article ID: 2587
Tue 4/9/24 9:27 AM
Thu 6/13/24 10:27 AM