Laptop, tablet and smartphone

Getting a new smartphone, tablet or laptop?

It’s the season for big sales and deep discounts. So if you’re scoping out good deals for a shiny new device, follow these steps to enroll it in multi-factor authentication (MFA-Duo).

Taking these steps will help you “prove it’s you” and protect your personal online identity, as well as help safeguard UW–Madison’s digital assets.

Don’t have another device set up in MFA-Duo?

If you are currently unable to log in to MFA-Duo because you do not have another device set up already, or you do not have a saved list of backup codes, you will need to use a temporary passcode to log in (see MFA-Duo – Request a Temporary Passcode).

If you are able to log into MFA-Duo with a previously registered device or backup passcode, you can skip this step and follow the steps below.

Already have an MFA-registered device?

  1. Navigate to the UW–Madison MFA Portal at and log in with your NetID and password if requested.
  2. Once there, click Manage MFA Preferences and Devices.
  3. Follow the steps in the Reactivate Duo on a Mobile Device KnowledgeBase article to set up your new phone or tablet.

Don’t forget: Create backup codes

While you’re in the MFA Portal, it’s always a good idea to generate a list of backup passcodes for future use, in case you misplace your phone, or you find yourself in a situation where you can’t bring in your MFA-registered device (such as a secured location or a classroom where you’re taking a test and can’t have any devices). These are available for one-time use situations and a new set of backup codes can be generated when needed. See Generating Backup Passcodes for Future Use.

Remember: Backup passcodes should be stored offline in a secure place, and they expire after four months.

Have you tried “Remember Me?”

To improve your MFA experience, use the “Remember Me” function. This feature reduces the number of times you’ll be prompted for MFA-Duo on the same device using the same browser. The “Remember Me” feature remembers your current browser for 12 hours.

Need help?

These how-to videos will walk you through the steps:

You may also want to review the MFA-Duo KnowledgeBase articles. If you need help or have questions, contact the DoIT Help Desk.