Warning! Older Outlook soon stop links to Microsoft mailboxes

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Soon older versions of Outlook won’t be able to connect to Microsoft hosted mailboxes, even though both the software and service come from the same company. Here’s what’s happening, why, who is affected and what to do.

Microsoft is finally ending older, insecure, ‘Basic’ authentication connections to their Microsoft 365 mailboxes including Outlook.com.

The change happens on 1 November 2021.

This has been on the radar for some time.  There are headlines suggesting this is sudden and unexpected, it’s not. Cautious administrators have already disabled Basic authentication for their organizations.

Who is affected?

Anyone with Outlook 2007, 2010 or 2013 (before Service Pack 1) won’t be able to connect to MS mailboxes after 1 November.

Connections to other mailboxes should not be affected, that includes Exchange Server systems hosted outside Microsoft.

Office/Outlook 2013 users need Service Pack 1 (SP1).  That shouldn’t be a problem.  SP1 was released back in 2014 (as version 15.0.4569.1507) so unless you’re WAY behind in updating you should be OK.  The August 2021 version is 15.0.5371.1000. Go to File | Account | Help to check.

Office 2007 and 2010 are out of support and becoming an increasing security risk over time.  It’s a good idea to upgrade either to Microsoft 365 or Office perpetual license.

Office 2019 is the current ‘single payment’ non-subscription version of Microsoft Office however it’s about to be replaced with Office 2021. That means it’s better to wait a little while to get the newer Office with newer features and a more distant support date.

Web-based email in any modern browser is always available as a replacement before you upgrade your Outlook software.

Who doesn’t need to do anything!

Stopping Basic Authentication should not affect anyone with Office/Outlook 365, 2019, 2021/LTSC or 2016 for Windows or Mac. There’s a small/tiny chance that a long-standing Outlook setup still uses Basic authentication. If that happens and the connection stops on 1 Nov just setup the account again in Outlook. Outlook will automatically setup a more secure connection.

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