Warning older Outlook’s are ending this month

A reminder that older versions of Outlook for Windows, including some Outlook 365 are ‘ending’ in November 2021, meaning they won’t connect with Microsoft hosted mailboxes, including Outlook.com

Microsoft announced this many months ago however their latest list of affected software includes some older versions of Outlook 365 for Windows. See Warning! Older Outlook soon stop links to Microsoft mailboxes

What’s happening?

Microsoft is ending some old and insecure ways that Outlook connect with their Exchange Server mailboxes. 

Older and now unsupported versions of Outlook don’t have the more secure technology to keep a safe connection to a Microsoft hosted mailbox.

The affected Outlook versions will still work and data stored on the computer is kept intact.  But it won’t be able to update with the online mailbox or send/receive new messages. Connections to other non-Microsoft services are NOT affected.

Web-based email in any modern browser is always available as a fallback option.

The change does NOT mean affected Office will stop working – Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc are NOT involved. Affected Outlook software will also continue to work, but won’t be able to connect to Microsoft connected mailboxes.

When?

Officially the change happened on Monday 1st November.

In practice, Microsoft will gradually drop the older connection tech over the coming days and weeks. Starting with Outlook 2007.

What software?

In short, all Outlook 2007/Outlook 2010. Office 2013 and later will be OK as long as they’ve been updated sometime in the last four years.

The following versions of Outlook are affected.

Office 2007 – all versions

Office 2010 – all versions

Office 2013

Any Office 2013 that’s been updated in the last few years is OK. If you’re not sure, force an update to Office 2013.

Specifically affected are versions before 15.0.4971.1000 of Office 2013 (Service Pack 1 with the October 2017 Update).

Office 2016

Any Office 2016 that’s been updated in the last few years is OK. If you’re not sure, force an update to Office 2016.

Specifically affected are MSI installed versions before 16.0.4600.1000 of Office 2016 (with  November 2017 Update, KB 4051890)

Microsoft 365 / Office 365

Outlook 365 needs to be version 1705 or later (released in June 2017)

In other words, you’re OK unless you or your organization has been deliberately stopping updates for the last four years (unlikely).

Currently Microsoft 365 is around version 2110.

Office 2019, Office 2021, Office LTSC

Are all OK — no updates required.

Conspiracy?

Some customers suspect this is some scheme by Microsoft, forcing people to buy newer software.

That’s understandable because Microsoft definitely has ‘form’ with that tactic. But not this time.

This change has been coming for many years. Look at the above list of versions and updates.  Microsoft started preparing for this change back in 2017 with updates to Office 2013 and later.

There are good reasons for this switch. The now-deprecated connection methods aren’t secure and a risk to your privacy. They need to be dropped.

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