Duo - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This article contains important information and frequently asked questions about DUO.



What is multi-factor authentication (MFA) or 2-step authentication?

Multi-factor authentication is the process that requires multiple forms of authentication in order to log in. 2-step authentication is a type of multi-factor authentication that requires two identifiers to log in (i.e. your username/password and code from a physical device). Duo is this second identifier for logging in.

How does it protect my account?

When logging in, you will need your username/password along with the numerical code a Duo device generates. These codes change after a short time interval and can only be obtained from a Duo activated device which is assigned to your account. This makes your account more secure against online attacks and phishing because if your password becomes compromised, only you have access to the Duo device for your account.

What options do I have for Duo at UWL?

ITS strongly recommends that you use Duo Mobile on your smartphone as your main Duo device because you are more likely to have it on you.

ITS also recommends having at least two devices setup for 2-Step authentication (i.e. FOB and Duo Mobile, FOB and SMS/Text, SMS/Text and Duo Mobile, two devices using Duo Mobile like a smartphone and a tablet). Having at least two devices setup means you have a backup option if your primary device is forgotten, broken or lost. Backup devices alleviate the possibility of an emergency when traveling or after support hours. If you need an emergency passcode after hours please see Duo - One-Time Passcode or Bypass Code.

To add one of the options below to your account see Duo - Adding a Device.

Duo Mobile: 

  • Available on iOS (iPhone/iPad), Android and Apple Watch.
  • Easiest and fastest way to 2-Step. When using this a notification for approval is sent to the device you have Duo Mobile configured on and you choose Approve. 
  • No WiFi or cellular data, no problem. On your mobile device, simply open Duo Mobile, press the arrow icon at the end of "UW-La Crosse" to get a passcode then enter it on the logon screen that is prompting you (you may need to click "Enter Passcode.")
  • SMS/Text is also available if you have configured a Smartphone with Duo Mobile (for more info see SMS/Text Message below).

Hardware Token (FOB): 

  • Available to UWL employees (please contact Eagle Help Desk)
  • Available for purchase from the UWL Book Store for UWL students (must contact theEagle Help Deskto add to your Duo account).
  • To use a FOB, choose an authentication device, click Enter a Passcode then type in the passcode that appears on your FOB after pressing the button. 
  • No WiFi or cellular data, no problem, this device does not require any.

SMS/Text Message: 

  • Available on any cell phone or smart phone that can receive text messages (there is no fee from UWL to use this, though carrier charges may apply). 
  • This is a great backup option if you forget/lose your FOB and is nice to have after support hours. It is simple to setup and use and may save you a trip back to campus if you left your FOB at work.
  • If you have already setup Duo Mobile on your phone then the SMS/Text message option is already setup for you. If you need to setup SMS follow the steps in Duo - Add a Device.
  • To use SMS/Text, follow the steps in Duo - Using SMS/Text to Authenticate.


How do I get started with Duo?

*Note: "Applicants" and newly "Admitted" students will not be prompted to use Duo until they are "Matriculated" or have started to enroll in classes as a student. 

If you are planning on using a Duo Mobile on a smartphone or tablet, then please use the enrollment link you received via email. 

You can also get started by logging into one of your UWL accounts for the first time or by heading to the Duo Device Management Portal found at the password reset page (https://www.uwlax.edu/info/password-reset/).

Or, just log into one of your UWL accounts and then you should be prompted to enroll in Duo from there.

I forgot my FOB/Phone what should I do?

Having a backup authentication device is key. At the top of this article is additional information regarding Duo Mobile and SMS/Text to help reduce the possibility of an emergency, especially after support hours. If you have lost your FOB please make sure to contact the Eagle Help Desk for assistance during support hours. 

During non-support hours or at your convenience, visit the Duo Device Management Portal on the password reset page at https://www.uwlax.edu/info/password-reset/ and send yourself a one-time passcode. Information on how to send yourself a Duo bypass code can be found here: Duo - One-Time Passcode or Bypass Code

During support hours the Eagle Help Desk may be able to issue a Bypass Code which will allow you access to your Duo protected applications. However, this is used as a last resort only. 

I need to reactivate Duo Mobile, how do I do that? 

I have stopped receiving push notifications on Duo Mobile, what should I do? 

  • Check that your Duo Mobile app is still active and/or if the push notification is awaiting your response there since you may need to reactivate your Duo Mobile app
  • Please ensure that you have not turned off notifications on your phone for Duo Mobile. 

I lost my phone, what should I do?  

If you are unable to remove your phone from your devices please contact the Eagle Help Desk.

Or, you can always use the "one-time passcode" option and send a Duo passcode to your alternate email or "non-university email address" that is on file with UWL instead. 

My hardware token (Duo FOB) stopped working, what should I do?  

FOB's have a 2 year battery lifespan and once the battery dies the FOB needs to be replaced. If a FOB is not working and you're a faculty or staff member, then please contact the Eagle Help Desk. Students will have to purchase their own from the UWL Bookstore if it dies.

My web browser is currently not displaying the Duo Prompt correctly, what should I do? 

My Duo Mobile app sent me a push notification or SMS code without me trying to sign in and I do not recognize the location in which the request is coming from, what should I do?

  • Make sure to deny the push notification or any Duo requests that you receive and then report it as fraud or fraudulent. This will then create a ticket to the Eagle Help Desk in which an Eagle Help Desk Tech will reach out to you via that ticket or email to check in. The tech will also prompt you to change your password with the password reset page as soon as possible since it takes a password to get to the Duo authentication part of the login process and someone else may have access to your password at the time you received those fraudulent Duo authentication requests.

My Duo account is locked, what do I do?

If you are locked out of your Duo account due to the error message: "Your account has been locked out due to excessive authentication failures. Please contact your administrator." (see image below), then you will have to contact the Eagle Help Desk in order to get your Duo account unlocked.


A gray box or blank box is showing up when I try to use Duo Mobile on my iPhone or iOS device, how do I fix this? 

iOS and macOS have configurable content restrictions called "Screen Time" that can potentially prevent the Duo Prompt from displaying correctly. If your users see a gray box instead of the Duo Prompt on their iPhone or iPad, check whether they have content restrictions enabled within Screen Time or try turning off Screen Time first and then turn it back on after successfully using Duo Mobile. Here is more information about Screen Time from Apple Support in general: Use Screen Time on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch iOS 12 or newer

Why am being I asked to log back into my email with the Outlook app or Apple Mail app on my devices after a week or so? 

Due to security reasons and due to our current set-up, you will need to re-sign back in and re-authenticate with Duo in order to access your UWL email account via the Outlook or Apple Mail apps on your devices. 

Other Common Issues from Duo Support: https://guide.duo.com/common-issues#ie-compat

Duo Support Status: https://status.duo.com/

Need more help? Contact the Eagle Help Desk.

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See Also:

Keywords:Duo, duo, 2-Step,2step, 2 step, MFA, two step, two step authentication, 2step authentication, 2-step authentication, 2 step authentication, DUO mobile, FOB, DUO fob, multi, fraud, questions, more, info, information,   Doc ID:81129
Owner:Travis S.Group:UW-La Crosse
Created:2018-03-26 09:40 CDTUpdated:2022-04-25 15:53 CDT
Sites:UW-La Crosse
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