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Microsoft Outlook fault leaves users unable to access emails

Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent
·2-min read

Microsoft is working to resolve an issue which has taken its Outlook email service offline, leaving users unable to access their communications.

Those attempting to log-in to their email accounts have been met with a “service unavailable” error message.

The technology giant’s Outlook.com platform began reporting issues on Thursday morning and Microsoft has confirmed it is investigating the cause.

A message on the company’s service status website said the fault has left users unable to access emails, and it is “collecting additional data from the affected infrastructure to aid in our investigation to determine the cause of impact”.

Working from home
The outage comes as large numbers of people continue to work from home amid the pandemic, and rely on emails to communicate with colleagues (PA)

In a further response to users on Twitter, Microsoft apologised and said its engineering team is “aware and is actively investigating” the problem.

A Microsoft spokesperson added that some users were beginning to come back online as the company responded to the incident.

“Our engineers are addressing an issue that affected some Microsoft 365 services. Services are starting to improve as a result of the measures we have implemented,” the company told the PA news agency.

The popular email platform supports Outlook, Hotmail and Windows Live email accounts and is estimated to have more than 400 million users, although the number of those affected by the outage has not been confirmed.

Many users have taken to social media to express frustration at the incident, which has left people unable to access their work emails at a time when large numbers are working from home and rely on emails to communicate with colleagues.

According to web service monitoring platform DownDetector, users across Europe, as well as parts of Africa and India, have reported problems with Outlook.

It said issues with Outlook were first reported at around 7am on Thursday morning and since then more than 3,000 reports from users struggling to access the platform have been made to DownDetector.