Microsoft is improving Windows 11’s support for the new passkey standard that aims to replace passwords with a more secure and convenient way of logging in. A recent Insider Preview Build (23486) now lets you use Windows Hello natively to create and sign in to supported applications and websites using passkeys, where you’ll be asked to prove your identity using a PIN, fingerprint, or face scan.
According to Microsoft, you can set up the feature by going to a website that’s added passkey support, creating a passkey in its settings, and then logging out to get the option to sign in with the new security method. On Edge or Chrome, the option to sign in with a passkey should be under the “Windows Hello or external security key” option. Saved passkeys can be managed by going to Accounts and then Passkeys in Windows’ settings.
Although Microsoft’s Edge browser has supported passkeys’ underlying Web Authentication standard for years, bringing it to Windows Hello should make it easier for users to manage their credentials at the operating system level. Apple added passkey support to macOS, iOS, and iPadOS last year, and Google announced it was adding support to both Android, as well as its Chrome browser, in October.
Bleeping Computer tested out the new Windows Hello functionality and noted that it worked with both Best Buy and Microsoft accounts but added that Google didn’t appear to offer the ability to sign in with a passkey after it was created. But these kinds of kinks show what a complicated process the rollout of passkeys is, with everything, including your device, browser, and web service, needing to work in concert to let you use the new sign-in method. With all the major players getting behind the standard, however, hopefully these kinks won’t exist for long.