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Summary: The content discusses common issues faced by Microsoft 365 users, including sign-in problems, synchronization errors, and support difficulties. It offers solutions and emphasizes the value of understanding these challenges for effective utilization of the platform.

Microsoft 365 has earned a significant market presence as a collaborative and productivity platform, thanks to its outstanding features and capabilities. Numerous organizations benefit from its services, particularly its highly secure Office 365 platform, which enables users to store and edit enterprise-level data securely. Furthermore, it empowers users to seamlessly share and collaborate with others using advanced tools and applications, regardless of their geographical locations.

Since its launch in 2011, Microsoft 365 has consistently advocated for business migration to the cloud. Despite offering various subscription plans, competitive pricing, and a suite of communication and collaboration applications, Microsoft 365 does have some limitations. Many users of Microsoft 365 encounter common issues when utilizing its services.

This article highlights some of the known Microsoft 365 issues and their solutions that users often encounter.

  1. Sign-in problems with Microsoft 365 – At times, users may encounter difficulties signing into the Microsoft 365 portal. This issue typically stems from one of two causes: either an incorrect password has been entered, or there may be an issue with the service responsible for handling log-ins. Fortunately, resolving this problem is usually straightforward and can be easily addressed.

    Many users are aware that Microsoft 365 Home and Personal licenses are linked to their Microsoft accounts. Consequently, it’s crucial to ensure that your Microsoft 365 ID and password correspond to your Microsoft 365 account. Be diligent in entering the correct credentials, and double-check to ensure that the CAPS LOCK key isn’t inadvertently enabled when inputting your password. If, for any reason, an administrator has altered or deactivated your password, you will need to get in touch with the administrator to address this issue.

    In case the problem still persists, click the Can’t access your account link on the Microsoft 365 log-in portal. The password reset guide will help you how to verify and change your password. To recover work or school accounts, you can use this link:

    During the account setup process, it is crucial to establish a recovery email address. This recovery email serves as a lifeline for easily regaining access to your account, especially if it becomes locked. In the event that your account is locked and lacks a recovery email address, you will be required to complete an account recovery form.

  2. Synchronization errors with Microsoft 365 – Let’s start by defining the synchronization problem. When you launch any Microsoft 365 application like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, recently added files should automatically appear within each application. However, if this doesn’t happen, it may indicate a synchronization issue with your Microsoft 365 application.

    While this problem is relatively rare with the desktop version, mobile users tend to encounter it more frequently. In such cases, your initial step should be to close the app and then reopen it. If the problem persists, there are several potential causes, such as using an outdated application version or experiencing interruptions in your internet connection.

    However, updating the software may not always be the ideal solution, especially in the case of the Outlook application. Many users have reported application crashes after installing updates like KB2837618 or KB2837643. To address this issue, you can follow the steps below to uninstall these updates:

    • Open the Control panel in your system and click Programs and Features.
    • Select KB2837618 and click Remove.
    • Select KB2837643 and click Remove.
    • Finally, restart Windows and run your Outlook application again. Check whether everything is working properly.
  3. Difficulty in getting support – When users subscribe to a service or plan, they naturally expect comprehensive technical support from the vendor. However, when it comes to Microsoft 365, some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the level of support they receive from the Microsoft team. This isn’t to say that Microsoft doesn’t offer any assistance, but rather that it may not have a support system in place to handle every support request promptly. Consequently, if you have a query or issue related to Microsoft 365, you might find yourself waiting for several days to receive an effective solution.

    As an alternative, users have the option of seeking help from external IT support service providers or utilizing third-party tools to address their issues.

  4. Bandwidth demand – One of the most common challenges for Microsoft 365 users is the high bandwidth demand it places on their internet connections. When working online with Microsoft 365, users require ample bandwidth to ensure smooth workflow, especially when dealing with numerous files in OneDrive. To address this issue, one potential solution is to reach out to your internet service provider and inquire about upgrading to higher bandwidth plans.
  5. Microsoft 365 isn’t 100% cloud-based – While Microsoft 365 is widely recognized as a predominantly cloud-based platform, it’s important to note that some of its applications, such as MS Access and Publisher, are not available in the cloud. Therefore, the choice between using desktop or cloud versions of Office apps can often depend on your available bandwidth. Businesses with lower bandwidth may find it more practical to use the desktop version of Office apps to ensure a smoother user experience.
  6. It is not easy to migrate to Microsoft 365 – While many Office 365 issues can be resolved relatively quickly, migrating to Microsoft 365 can be a significant challenge and source of frustration for users. During migration to or from Microsoft 365, users often encounter a variety of difficulties, including:
    • Migrating all types of data- Exchange data, SharePoint data, OneDrive data, IMAP data, etc.
    • Difficulty in performing the migration using manual methods
    • Requirement for technical experts for migration
    • Need for selective migration
    • Ambiguity is estimating migration time and feasibility
    • Finding a good professional Office 365 Migration tool.
    • Assigning impersonation rights to users mailboxes

    With these obstacles, it is almost impossible for non-technical users to perform the migration in Microsoft 365.

Some additional Microsoft 365 problems and solutions:

  • Problem 1 – Microsoft 365 Activation IssuesWhen any user attempts to activate Microsoft Office via Microsoft 365, he may receive an error like when the activation fails – “We are unable to connect right now. Please check your network and try again later.” Or “Sorry, we can’t connect to your account. Please try again later.”

    Solution – Try the following solutions to troubleshoot the aforementioned error.

    • Utilize Microsoft 365 Support and Recovery Assistant to fix the activation issue.
    • Check for the correct license under Microsoft 365 Settings.
    • Remove the existing product key to activate the Microsoft Office program
    • Check for proxy servers and firewall blocking
  • Problem 2 – Glitches in the Microsoft Teams application of Microsoft 365 while working on the Safari browser.
    Solution – Before using Microsoft Teams in the Safari browser, you may want to consider disabling the ‘Prevent cross-site tracking’ setting, which can be found in the browser’s Preferences under the Privacy section. However, remember to re-enable this setting for other browsing activities once you have completed your work on Teams.
  • Problem 3 – Update issues in Microsoft 365, such as failure in installing or detecting updates.
    Solution – Check for all network connections; check Microsoft 365 update channels from File>Office Account>About Outlook.
  • Problem 4 – Issues in add-in may also show errors in Microsoft 365, such as programs shut down/crashing, slow performance, etc.
    Solution: Disable add-ins and run Microsoft 365 applications in safe mode without using the specific add-ins.
  • Problem 5 – Temporary server issues while attempting to sign in to Microsoft 365 account for its activation after the installation.
    Solution: Perform workarounds like checking internet connectivity, resetting browser (IE) settings, repairing Office online, disabling two-step verification for the account, and running Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant
  • Problem 6 – Office setup freezes or stops responding due to corruption in the installation file.
    Solution: Use the Microsoft Office Uninstall wizard to remove the currently installed Office and then re-install it.
  • Problem 7 – SharePoint Online can present various issues, including difficulties in sharing content with external users, profile pictures not displaying, problems with site collection creation and library synchronization, SharePoint tenant storage and access denial issues, among others. Similarly, with OneDrive, users may encounter issues such as problems with OneDrive site collection provisioning, challenges when modifying storage quotas, and OneDrive web access and synchronization issues, including those related to the OneDrive sync client.
    Solution: Run respective diagnostics in Microsoft 365 Admin Center for the specific SharePoint Online and OneDrive issues.
  • Problem 8 – Error: UserAlreadyBeingMigratedException while trying to enable or disable an archive mailbox for the Microsoft 365 user.
    Solution: To resolve this error, you must connect to Exchange Online PowerShell and remove the request by running this command – Remove-MoveRequest -Identity IdentityOfFailedRequest. Now, rerun the command to enable or disable an archive mailbox for the user.
  • Problem 9 – Cannot migrate archive mailbox to Microsoft 365
    Solution: Ensure to enable the archive mailbox before starting mailbox migration to Microsoft 365 and reconnect the on-premises archive mailbox within 30 days of disconnection.
  • Problem 10 – In a hybrid deployment, Outlook Web App (OWA) may encounter difficulties accessing a cloud-based Archive Mailbox, leading to an error message that states: ‘Your archive appears to be unavailable. Try to access it again in 10 seconds. If you see this error again, contact your Help Desk.’ If you encounter this issue, it’s advisable to reach out to your IT Help Desk for further assistance in resolving the problem.
    Solution: To fix the problem, update root certificates by running the Windows update on the Exchange hybrid server and rerun the Hybrid Configuration Wizard.
  • Problem 11 – Items are duplicated in the Microsoft 365 archive mailbox while an active IMAP migration batch is running, or the MRM retention policy is enabled.
    Solution: Pause or stop the running migration batch, remove duplicate items manually, or delete the migrated mailbox entirely and try to migrate it again. Also, you can disable the MRM Retention Policy before starting the migration batch.
  • Problem 12 – Unable to receive emails in Outlook 365
    Solution: Check the correct working of the Inbound mail flow via the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer tool (perform Inbound SMTP email test under Office 365 tab>Internet Email Tests).
  • Problem 13 – Can’t connect to a Skype user account
    Solution: After enabling multi-factor authentication for the account, you have to use the app password to connect to Skype for Business and if you have selected the option saying, “Allow users to create app passwords to sign in to non-browser applications”, then you can create a separate app password also.
  • Problem 14 – Failure in signing out of the Microsoft 365 web services
    Solution: Try solutions such as signing out the Microsoft 365 account, and signing in again, closing and launching browsers again, signing out of all Microsoft online services, clearing web browser cache and cookies, etc.
  • Problem 15 – Failure to sign out of the Microsoft 365 web services
    Solution: Check for missing messages on Outlook on the web, run Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant tool, check Microsoft 365 service health, and use the inbuilt message trace tool in Microsoft 365.
  • Problem 16 – Can’t use Autodiscover or Setup wizards
    Solution: Check the default Autodiscover URL, use Microsoft 365 Support and Recovery Assistant tool to run an automatic check for the issue, update the Outlook application to the latest version, and test the working of Exchange Autodiscover via Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer.
  • Problem 17 – Repair process for an Office Click-to-Run application does not start
    Solution: Perform online repair on the installed Microsoft 365 program.
  • Problem 18 – Can’t search inactive mailboxes in Exchange Online
    Solution: To the Discovery Management Role group in Exchange Online, add the View-only Recipients Role.
  • Problem 19 – Litigation Hold users cannot delete messages in Microsoft 365 (cannot clear Deleted Items folder, mailbox items, or create copies of items)
    Solution: Use this command to review each affected mailbox folder statistics and duplicate items analysis –

    Get-MailboxFolderStatistics <UserIdentity> -IncludeAnalysis | ? {$ -like “Deletions” -or $ -like “Purges” -or $ -like “Versions” -or $ -like “Recoverable Items”} | FL Name,ItemsInFolder,FolderSize,*Subject*

    If you are an administrator and member of User MRM Management or SSA Records Management and the Recoverable Items Folder size is more than 30GB, then execute this command.

    Start-ManagedFolderAssistant <UserIdentity> -HoldCleanup
  • Problem 20 – Error “We can’t display your message right now. Something went wrong and your encrypted message couldn’t be opened. To view the message, follow the instructions in the original email message and try again,” while attempting to view an encrypted message.
    Solution: Fix this problem by resetting the MIME types related to the default Outlook Web App policy to its default values. For this, connect to Exchange Online using Remote PowerShell and then run the following cmdlets one after another.

    $owapolicy = Get-OwaMailboxPolicy
    Set-OwaMailboxPolicy -AllowedMimeTypes @{remove = “text/html”} -BlockedMimeTypes @{remove = “text/html”} -ForceSaveMimeTypes @{add = “text/html”} -Identity $owapolicy.Identity
  • Problem 21 – Microsoft 365 Import Job fails with MailboxAmbiguous error in the Import Job log file while importing PST files via Network Upload or Drive Shipping method.
    Solution: First, execute these commands to check whether objects are recipients or soft-deleted users.

    Get-Recipient <SMTP_ADDRESS>
    Get-Mailbox <SMTP_ADDRESS> -SoftDeletedMailbox
    Get-MailUser <SMTP_ADDRESS> -SoftDeletedMailUser

    Once the user is identified, utilize the Exchange GUID as the target mailbox while mapping with the CSV file.

  • Problem 22 – Having email issues after adding a custom domain in Microsoft 365
    Solution: Ensure that mailboxes are created for everyone in the cloud platform, for those who hold the email in the domain, before changing the MX record when you add a custom domain to your Microsoft 365 account.
  • Problem 23 – Issue (Error: List ‘|0’ does not exist at site with URL ‘|1’) when creating documents in Microsoft 365 portal
    Solution: Try restoring Documents Library from the Recycle Bin and if failed, create a “Documents” list on your Team Site.
  • Problem 24 – Unable to setup Microsoft 365 on your iOS device
    Solution: Check for the correct assigned Exchange Online license, check whether the Exchange ActiveSync of the account is enabled, and try resetting the password for the account also.
  • Problem 25 – Missing email after moving from WorkSpace to Microsoft 365
    Solution: If folders or messages are missing on the Outlook on the Web but available on the WorkSpace webmail, restore deleted items from the Deleted Items folder, and if folders or messages are missing from both Outlook on the Web, and Workspace WebMail, contact for official help.
  • Problem 26 – Error when you try to turn on/off the search Audit Log in Microsoft 365
    Solution: Check that the user is assigned the Audit Logs Role in the Exchange Online. By default, global admins in Microsoft 365 are members of the Organization Management role group to which the Audit Logs role is assigned default, but the user needs to check this permission to fix the issue.
  • Problem 27 – Archive Status is set to “None” for an active archive mailbox while checking the archive status of the mailbox in the Exchange Online PowerShell.
    Solution: To check the status of the archive, use ArchiveDatabase and ArchiveGuid properties using the following command.

    Get-mailboxUserName|fl archivedatabase,archiveguid

Similar issues can arise during Office 365 migrations too. The best solution to these problems is either taking help from an expert who knows how to deal with Microsoft 365 migration or using third-party tools like Kernel Office 365 Migration (, Kernel Migrator for SharePoint (, Kernel IMAP to Office 365 (, etc. for a smooth and seamless migration.

Wrap Up

Undoubtedly, Office 365 is a valuable platform for organizations, but users may encounter various challenges while using it. We have discussed some well-known Office 365 issues above. Consequently, it’s important to have an understanding of these common issues with Office 365 and how they can be resolved. In this article, we have aimed to shed light on the most prevalent problems faced by Office 365 users and have provided recommendations for reliable professional solutions to address them.