A technical issue has been affecting Outlook.com users who try to access their accounts using various email clients, Microsoft announced.
The problem started on January 23, 2024 was partly resolved late on 31 January and finally on 2 Feb for some but not all customers. Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016 users might have some extra steps (see below).
According to Microsoft, users reported that they were unable to connect to their Outlook.com accounts using Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, Outlook for Microsoft 365, Thunderbird, and mobile email apps.
The issue affected POP, IMAP, and Exchange connections.
Missing from Microsoft’s list are Outlook 2021 and Outlook 2019. There’s also no mention of any difference between Windows and Mac versions of Outlook.
Some users have found a temporary workaround by using an App Password, but this solution didn’t last long.
Others have been frustrated by pop-up messages asking them to enter their password repeatedly, even when they enter the correct one and choose “Remember my credentials”
Two Part Fix
Microsoft now reports that they’ve fixed the Outlook.com problem. Or in Microsoft speak they have “implemented service changes” to “address” … “unexpected authentication prompts”.
Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016 users who are still getting repeated authentication prompts should make sure that Two-Factor Authentication is setup then create an App Password. The App Password is necessary because older Outlooks and other email clients can’t automatically handle modern sign-in methods.