Mobile Hotmail and users hit by multi-day access issue

Mobile Hotmail and users hit by multi-day access issue

Summary: Those trying to access Microsoft's Hotmail and from iPhones, iPads, Android phones and other mobile devices are continuing to encounter problems.


An undetermined number of mobile users of Microsoft's Hotmail and have been unable to access the service for the past several days.


 The problem is affecting iPhone, iPad and Android phone users, according to posts on the Microsoft Answers forum. It also, according to some, is affecting some Windows Phone and Surface RT users, as well. (Thanks to @doylebob for the link to the Answers forum threads.)

The problem seems to stem from issues with Exchange ActiveSync, the Microsoft protocol for accessing Exchange Server natively from mobile devices.

On January 10, I asked Microsoft for an update on the issue, which still seems only partially resolved. A spokesperson emailed me the following statement:

"Microsoft is investigating an issue affecting a small percentage of mobile users' access to Hotmail and, and we are working to restore full access to the service as quickly as possible. For the latest information, we encourage users to visit the Hotmail and status page."

(Note: The status page gives information specific to whichever Microsoft account is signed in.)

A post by a moderator about the ongoing access problems provided this update:

"Hotmail is working for all web users and POP-based accounts. Some mobile device users relying on EAS (Active Sync) may see problems accessing their email, calendar and contacts.

"Please check the status page for updates and ETA on a fix."

While most, if not all, mobile Hotmail and users currently can access their mail via a Web site, some still cannot using their local mail app on their devices if that mail app relies on EAS. Because some of these users are seeing status pagees indicating all is working, they are becoming increasingly frustrated. It seems as though Microsoft is marking the issue as resolved because users can still get to their mail via Web access.

Google announced late last year that it is dropping EAS support by the end of January 2013. Google is phasing out Google Sync, which relies on EAS, in favor of its own CalDAV and CardDAV protocols for users who are not paying Google Apps customers.

Update: Around 8:45 pm PT/11:45 pm ET on January 10, Microsoft officials said they believed the Hotmail/ EAS issue was resolved and that all users on all mobile platforms should be able to access their mail via the Web and EAS connections.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Collaboration, iOS, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Looks like Google is

    doing the right thing by dropping EAS (Active Sync), as the Microsoft Support crew can't keep it in working order.
    • Yeah...

      ...nobody else EVER has problems with their services. Moron.
      • Wow! Shooting the messenger

        Look at you, disagreed with the comment
        Choose to name calling.

        Anger Management, is there a show with that name
        Has something to do with Winning…
    • Think before you post

      Google is not respected in any technology world and is only a temporary phenomenon or parasite.
      • Wow..

        You mean like your comments..
    • Dropbox users experiencing upload problems; AWS questioned again

      Kinda Sucks When This Happens Huh?
  • No Problems

    I haven't experienced any problems on my Galaxy SIII (Germany, but using .com, not .de account).
  • Service Restored

    For me about 8:22PM EST on the 10th my service was restored. Not sure of the cause or resolution. I was reading and posted a question in a Microsoft Hotmail Support Forum, but no real answers there.
  • 1 of 4 Windows Phones had issue

    My son's HTC had the issue for 20 hours. It resolved itself yesterday about 4:00 PM. The other three Windows Phones in the family did not. I didn't see it with the Surface either.
  • hotmail and outlook

    for the past week or so, i've had significant problems connecting to hotmail from outlook. it has never been great but it has been especially bad recently. any connection to this? just wondering.

    also: microsoft, PLEASE make and IMAP compliant.
  • Not working for a month
    EAS is not working. At all. will not sync to any devices. Not even one!
    Microsoft is still urging people to sign up for this havoc. But buried in the Help Forum Threads is the evil truth. Downloading and setting up Outlook 2013 with EAS account is essentially working like malware. But not only does it make your PC unable to connect to your email, but ALL YOUR DEVICES. The very selling point is not just a bald faced lie, it's about the worst thing you can do to your email lifeline, calendar, contacts, etc.
    The program freezes "too many devices are syncing to this account" . I've foolishly followed the mod instructions to no avail. Microsoft really doesn't want to be the email for the "NEXT BILLION INBOXES. It can't even handle one! MIne!
  • Thank you!

    Forgot to say thank you very much for blogging about this. Nobody seems to want to hold MS's feet to the fire. This a much worse blunder than eliminating Google Maps on the IOS 6. There were other apps that could do the job. But there is nothing, certainly not OUtlook 2010, that can replace Outlook 2013. It worked perfectly from July to December 15th. Then they broke it for good.
    Thank you again!!!
  • Synch too many devices is a new

    A persistent problem which make Outlook 2013 on not book using EAS unusable, sometimes on phone
    Bill Goodbody
  • 10 years worth of email gone

    I have been a Hotmail loyal user since 2002 and since couple of weeks I noticed all my inbox mails prior to Nov 2012 were simply gone. Microsoft forum support is garbage and does not provide any real answer. I have a windows phone 7 HTC and I also use windows Live Mail and am also using the Office 2013 preview. One of these emails client screwed up my account. Trusting Microsoft for years, but not felt so let down. Here is the link to the forum thread:
    • Time to choose a different provider ..

      Don't you think??
      It's like going to the same restaurant that has bad food! Why?
      Stop drinking the kool-aid, dude!
  • still not syncing with Outlook 2010/2013 or any devices!

    The problem has not been fixed. I am so disgusted with Microsoft for screwing this up and not fixing it!