Microsoft says ‘configuration update’ caused global Outlook outage

Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk past a Microsoft Technology Center in New York, on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

Jeenah Moon | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Microsoft is trying to fix a worldwide outage after a software “configuration update” left many users unable to access their Outlook email.

“We’ve received reports of users experiencing issues accessing their Exchange Online accounts via Outlook on the Web”, an official Microsoft account tweeted early on Thursday morning.

Several hours after users started to notice the outage, Microsoft said it had figured out the cause of the outage.

“We’ve determined that a recent configuration update to components that route user requests was the cause of impact,” it said. “We’ve reverted the update and are monitoring the service for recovery.”

While Microsoft’s initial investigation found that users in India were most affected, the company said the issue appeared to be affecting users worldwide. 

Users may experience problems with various Exchange Online protocols including Outlook desktop and mobile services, Microsoft said. 

The outage comes as increasing numbers of people are working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Microsoft users vented their frustrations on social media as the outage left them unable to send and receive important emails.

Adam Thomas wrote on Twitter: “Some businesses rely on a functional email service to conduct business, please try to work faster as I have emails expected today to do my own work.”

This is the second major Microsoft outage this week. On Tuesday, Microsoft had issues with Microsoft 365 services including Outlook and Teams.  

It is unclear if the two outages are linked. 

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