Work from home? Not when Microsoft Office 365 suffers outage

Customers of Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription service reported an inability to use the service yesterday. Affecting predominantly North America, with some outages reported in Australia and Japan, users found themselves met with multiple error messages when attempting to access Microsoft Office 365. The most common among them was a message that stated, “AADSTS90033: A transient error has occurred. Please try again.” Affected Microsoft 365 products included Word, Outlook, Excel, and Microsoft Teams — services that are seeing heavy demand as millions work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft’s Office 365 Twitter account acknowledged the issue, stating in the first of many tweets that “We’re working to identify the full impact and will provide more information shortly.” After some time, Microsoft surmised that the issue stemmed from a recent update and decided to roll back the changes. This change did not have the intended effect, however, sending Microsoft back to the drawing board.

Finally, Microsoft’s Office 365 tried a new method where they decided to attempt “rerouting traffic to alternate infrastructure to improve the user experience.” This appeared to have a positive effect as hours later Microsoft put out a tweet stating the following:

The majority of services are now recovered for most users. We’re closely monitoring some residual impact for a subset customers located within North America.

Finally, at 0400 UTC, Microsoft reported that all Office 365 service issues appeared to be resolved. The tweet confirming this read as follows:

We’ve confirmed that the residual issue has been addressed and the incident has been resolved. Any users still experiencing impact should be mitigated shortly. Additional details can be found in the admin center under MO222965 or

In total, the Microsoft Office 365 outage lasted roughly six hours. Ordinarily, a major set of business tools like Office 365 being down is a headache. This is compounded, however, by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the global community is working mainly from home. There is no telling how much money and overall work disruption this issue caused, not to mention the educational institutions and their students that were affected.

Technology. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

Featured image: Shutterstock


Derek Kortepeter

Derek Kortepeter is a graduate of UCLA and tech journalist that is committed to creating an informed society with regards to Information Security. Kortepeter specializes in areas such as penetration testing, cryptography, cyber warfare, and governmental InfoSec policy.

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Derek Kortepeter

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