MFA Troubleshooting for End-Users

This guide serves as a troubleshooting reference if you have end-users unable to log in with multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Generic issues

If you do not have your mobile device, or your mobile device is turned off

If you have lost your device, you can finish authentication using the recovery code provided when you first signed up. After entering your email and password to log in, click the Use the recovery code link to access your account without using your device.

If you no longer have your recovery code, you will not be able to log in. Contact your system administrator for help accessing your account.

If you forget your password

If you have forgotten your password, click the Don't remember your password? link located underneath the email and password fields. Then, enter your email address to receive an email containing a link you can use to reset your password.

If your transaction expires

When logging in via MFA, there is a five-minute maximum between providing your first and second factors. You can see how much time has elapsed since you logged in using the first factor by checking the timestamp on the messages provided.

If more than five minutes has elapsed, you will need to log in again and obtain a new code or notification.

If you are requesting SMS messages, make sure you are not exceeding rate limits.

If you did not receive an SMS message

If you did not receive your six-digit code via SMS, check that the phone number you provided is correct. If it is, make sure you have a cellular signal.

If you still are not receiving the messages, check with your service provider to confirm that messages are not getting blocked.

SMS message rate limits

If you attempt to send more than ten SMS messages to your device within one hour, you will see an error message about a rate limit exception.

When you exceed your messaging limit, you'll need to wait at least an hour after your request for your first message before requesting another. You will receive an additional attempt after the passage of each additional hour.

If the 6-digit code in the Guardian or the Google Authenticator app are being rejected for sign in (often with the message Incorrect Code), first check that you are selecting the right application from the list in your authenticator app.

If Guardian or Google Authenticator rejects the six-digit code that you provide and displays the Incorrect Code message, check that you are using the correct application from the list of options available in your authenticator app.

If you've verified that you're selecting the correct application, make sure that your mobile device's clock settings are correct. One-time passwords are generated using Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), so your device's time must be correct for your code to work.

To check your clock settings:

  • Android Devices - Go Settings > Date & Time. Make sure that the box next to Automatic is checked.

  • iOS Devices - Go to Settings > General > Date & Time. Enable Set Automatically. If this setting was already enabled, you can disable it for a moment, then re-enable.

For questions or issues specifically regarding Duo, see Duo's documentation.

Android, then tap "Settings." Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings menu, then tap "Date & Time." Tap the box next to "Automatic" to un-check it.