Microsoft Office 365 users in Europe unable to access mailboxes for a full day

Email issues have plagued a number of Microsoft 365/Office 365 users in Europe for an entire day, and information on what's happening from Microsoft has been sparse.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on
Credit: Microsoft

A number of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft 365 users in Europe have been unable to access their mail for an entire day. Microsoft officials said earlier in the day that the company had identified the problem and were mitigating the issue, but users still are having trouble.

Around 5 a.m. ET, Microsoft officials said on Twitter that they were "investigating an issue where users can't access their mailboxes through multiple protocols." Even though Microsoft officials said they were making more details available in the admin center to customers, quite a few noted that their dashboards were showing that Microsoft was indicating all services were operating as normal. 

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Around 8 a.m. ET, Microsoft officials posted an update to the "Microsoft 365 Status" account on Twitter, claiming they'd found the problem.

"We've determined that a subset of Domain Controller infrastructure is unresponsive, resulting in user connection time outs. We're applying steps to mitigate the issue," officials said.

For the past five hours (as of about 1:30 pm. ET), there has been no further update to that account on Twitter. I asked Microsoft for an update and have heard nothing back.

Users affected by the outage have been posting some choice GIFs indicating how their days are going without being able to access email. 

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"This outage has prevented our business from sending and accessing email for almost an entire day, and many other businesses across Europe. Shocked by suggestions it's a single point of failure with no failover after 6 hours here," posted Twitter user Adam (@stonkcat) around 10:30 a.m. ET. 

"Outage has been all day - and as a single business owner this is critictal. We come to you because we trust you - or used to! More updates please - even if just to reassure us you're on it. Lousy customer management and communciation," tweeted Twitter user caroline chapple (@chapplecartoons)

Late last year, Office 365 was hit by back-to-back multifactor authentication outages.

Update (2:30 pm. ET): A Microsoft spokesperson sent me the following statement: "We're working to resolve difficulties a limited subset of enterprise customers in Europe are experiencing when attempting to access Exchange Online. Consumers are not affected. Admins can find status updates on the Admin Center." 

I asked why there's been no update to the Microsoft 365 support account on Twitter for hours and why users are reporting they've gotten no updates about what's happening since earlier this morning. No word back so far.

Update (9:45 am ET on January 25): Some European Microsoft 365/Office 365 users are still reporting Exchange problems a day after the initial issues began. Five hours ago, the Microsoft 365 Support account on Twitter posted this update:

"Our telemetry data is indicating connection time outs within the Exchange authentication infrastructure, resulting in impact. More details are published under EX172491 in the admin center." 

Some users said EX172491 was not viewable in their admin centers, but others said they saw it. According to that update, Microsoft is "looking into the Domain Controller logs to understand the cause and remediate impact."

Update (January 29): Looks like the issues have continued for the past few days. Here's a January 28 update from the Microsoft 365 Support Twitter account

"We've deployed some fixes and made some configuration changes throughout the affected infrastructure. Things are looking good so far but we'll monitor throughout the day to ensure the service remains healthy. For more updates refer to EX172491 in the Admin Center."

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