Fixing Office, OneDrive document sign-in problems

Ever since Microsoft added shared, collaborative documents via OneDrive, they’ve had problems with saving and sign-in.  Here’s how to deal with some of those persistent bugs.

These bugs can happen in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote.  Most commonly with documents saved to OneDrive but also Dropbox or other cloud storage.

Can’t Sign-in

A very common problem is opening a document saved on OneDrive, DropBox etc and seeing this.

UPLOAD FAILED: You are required to sign in to upload your changes to this location

In recent Office for Windows releases you’ll see ‘Upload Failed’ next to the document title.  The document has been opened from a locally stored copy but Office can’t save to the cloud.
Maybe you’ll be lucky, click the Sign In button and you can login to your Microsoft / DropBox account and keep working.

Too often, the Sign In button does nothing.  Click and the yellow warning bar only disappears for a few moments.

The next thing to try, go to the Microsoft account area at top right of the title bar.  You should see a warning symbol, click on the account to reveal the error.

ACCOUNT ERROR, Sorry we can’t get to your account right now. To fix this, please sign in again.

Click on the Sign in link.   In our experience, this link really will open a sign in dialog.

If you’re lucky, this second sign in attempt will work properly.  The error message disappears and the message ‘Saved’ shows up next to the document title (depending on your version of Office).

Still can’t save / sign in

Sometimes even that isn’t enough to stop these persistent sign in messages.

Some ‘desperation’ options to try:

  • Close the document and re-open it. That might be enough to make Office forget it’s problem.
  • At worst, save the document to a new name on OneDrive and share with others. That’s a PITA and should not be necessary but sometimes it’s the only way out of Office’s problem.


Both Office and OneDrive are Microsoft products, but they don’t always work happily together.  It’s a system which needs work to remove annoying glitches.  Unfortunately, Microsoft is happier pretending these problems don’t happen or are so rare they don’t need fixing.

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