Hotmail, Outlook hit by extended access delays, messages disappear

Hotmail, Outlook hit by extended access delays, messages disappear

Summary: More disruptions amid Microsoft's mammoth transition from Hotmail to

TOPICS: Microsoft

Microsoft is not calling Tuesday's disruption to Hotmail and Outlook an outage, but the delays users are experiencing accessing email remain 12 hours after users first reported problems.

It's taking Microsoft "longer than hoped" to fix access problems with Hotmail and Outlook, with the service disruption which began Tuesday evening continuing through to Wednesday.

"We're having a problem accessing email. You might not be able to see all your messages," Microsoft notes on its status pages for Hotmail and Outlook for 12 March to 13 March.

Users took to Twitter to complain about being unable to open any emails on Tuesday, with the service returning a message selected could not be found and may have been moved or deleted.


Microsoft's Live Status page indicates the problems are ongoing, though it's not clear from the times made available which zone it's referring to. ZDNet has asked Microsoft for comment and is waiting on a response.  

"We apologise for the lengthy interruption in service," it said in its latest update.

Outlook users were unable to access emails late last month during another service issue which locked them out of their accounts.

Though the cause of the problems remain unclear, Microsoft is in the middle of a major migration of Hotmail users to, which began days ahead of the 25 February outage. As reported by ZDNet, the migration will give Hotmail users's cleaner Metro-Style interface for their mail as well as calendars.

Microsoft also notes that it was performing maintenance on the Hotmail Calendar until 6pm PDT and warned of potential error messages and delays to syncing mail, contacts and calendar content to mail apps or phones.

Separate issues with SkyDrive were also resolved after a several hour disruption on Tuesday.

Microsoft's status page on 13 March

Topic: Microsoft

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Seems to be back up as now

    I just went in at 8:40 am Est 3/12/13 and I was able to get in through the website and through the apps in Windows 8. I saw all my data and all my emails. People just have to be patient a major migration like this may cause delays at times. I have had a email address for at least 5 years and I have only had trouble accessing it a few times. They are pretty good with keeping disruptions to a minimum.
  • Microsoft and Unreliable?

    Say it isn't so...

    Microsoft has no idea what it takes to be reliable and scalable.
    • LOL! Once again

      We can see why you go unnoticed in the IT world.

      Though you ARE reliable - We can always rely on you to say something that shows you haven't a clue. ;)
      William Farrel
    • Don't go there

      I'm not a fan of Microsoft at all but I wouldn't go there. These kinds of problems can happen to any company who hires human beings. Google (who I use and prefer) has had problems with uptime as well as many other companies. It's just that people make mistakes, whether within process or design. Yes, Microsoft does have a bad track record for reliability but they have been working hard to try to change that.
    • While I agree that you can't trust MS with mission critical data

      and would be a fool to use online mail, stuff like this happens to every online email provider. If you consider how often this kind of thing happens, you might want to think twice about whether to use cloud storage or online email for anything other than backup purposes.
      • You can't trust MS with mission critical data?

        I would argue that I wouldn't trust Google, or anyone else, any more.

        Every time you turn around they are all having problems - Amazon, Google, MS, Yahoo you name them - thay all have down time.
        William Farrel
      • Mission Critical

        Why would you use a free Internet mail service for something that was Mission Critical? It makes no sense.
  • itguy10, that is a stupid statement

    Tell us what ISP mail service, webmail provider, standalone mail servers such as Exchange Lotus Domino, and their ilk, that have not had issues. Yes, having your mail provider hiccup is a mighty pain in the kazoo, yet it is know to happen will continue to happen. Software and hardware do not always agree to get along. If you know you can do better please, for everyones sake, jump in fix it. If not please shut up.
  • Hotmail, Outlook hit by extended access delays, messages disappear

    Must have only been a select few that were experiencing this. No problems over here.
    • Reliability

      I log into hotmail using my phone, PC or some other device everyday. I canoot even remember thelast time I have not been able to log in. Judging by th escale oof their (free) email operation their reliability is to be commended actually. Wish my company email was as reliable.
    • For all of your shilling

      Your reward must be that you get the 'good' outlook and hotmail.
    • Liar. The world could be completely destroyed by a huge comet and you'd

      still report that you were having no issues with [fill in the blank with some MS software]. Bing! The fries are up again, time to go back to work, Lovey.
      • Re: "Liar"

        @WhatsamattaU- Neither I nor my roommate had any problem at all accessing Hotmail/outlook. You want to call me a liar too, you arrogant little fool?
        • my comment had to do with Lovey's lack of credibility

          and if you're one of his alter egos, yours too. I find the comments of those who do nothing but cheer for [fill in the blank] software, never have any problems at all, accept all changes as if it's the greatest thing on earth, to be useless to any reasonable discussion of what's happening in IT. In other words, the comments Lovey, Farrell et al are meaningless. I'd be interested in their opinion if if they'd actually demonstrated some objectivity, but they're like fans of a sporting event, my team good or bad, rah rah. This stuff is actually important.
      • Is this coming from someone who believes

        that they personally have no issue with their products, so any mention of said issue is all make believe?

        If the issue is relagated to a group of servers hosting 20% of the user base's data, wouldn't that just affect those 20%?

        It can be localized, you know.
        William Farrel
        • I don't know if you're asking me or Lovey, but if it's me

          As I said earlier, Lovey is not a credible source of information on anything having to do with IT, he's an MS fan right or wrong, as are you. Yes, I understand that outages can be somewhat localized, or scattered actually.

          I not a fan of anything but an objective look at the easiest and least expensive way to get something done. I know that doesn't always fit the model MS, or Apple or Google or any other for profit enterprise has, but that's just too damn bad.
    • Outages not effecting all...

      My hotmail was fine. My fiancés was down 5 or 6 hours.
  • I still don't get it....

    Hotmail did a job , Messenger did a job....

    why force us to change in the first place..

    All I can think of is that its another method of wringing cash out of cuctomers

    I won't be using

    and I won't be transferring my contacts from Hotmail to Skype..
  • Not Affected Here

  • Happens All The Time

    I agree...these things happen all the time to many services. I have also gone through a long email migration at work and that slowed down our email a lot, we had glitches, errors, and access problems until the migration was completed.