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Microsoft 365 - Can't sign in to Microsoft Office, access Microsoft Outlook, or interact with Microsoft data files

Use the steps/options below to troubleshoot any of the following issues/scenarios:
  • Unable to authenticate/sign into Microsoft Office application
  • Outlook desktop client repeatedly prompts you to log in
  • Microsoft application in read-only mode - unable to edit data file
  • Encrypted connection error
  • NetID/Account password change

Note: Not every step/option will is relevant and can be skipped. Please perform the following steps/options in the order listed - confirm issue persists before moving onto the next step/option.

Possible solutions

Option 1 - Update your software to the latest version

Option 2 - Your account was compromised and you are blocked from connecting

Option 3 - Re-authenticate Microsoft applications

Option 4 - Remove your account from within your OS (Windows OS only)

  • Go to Windows settings | Accounts | Access work or school, then delete/disconnect all listed accounts.

Option 5 - Reset/Remove your account credentials from within your OS

  • Windows OS
  • Mac OS
    • Access the keychain application and remove/delete any of the following records: Microsoft Office Identities Cache 2 | Microsoft Office Identities Settings 2 and any ADAL, Microsoft, or Office entries that are listed within the "Name" or "Kind" columns. Note: search for 'microsoft' and 'adal' within the keychain application and delete all returned results. Detailed steps.

Option 6 - Delete license files (MacOS only)

Option 7 - You are not authenticated into Office using your UW-Madison Microsoft 365 account

Option 8 - If your computer is not connected to UWNET/Campus network, use WiscVPN

Option 9 - Download and run Microsoft's Support and Recovery Assistant for Microsoft 365 (Windows OS only)

This tool must be run on the affected machine. Download the tool here: Fix Outlook and Office 365 problems with Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant for Microsoft 365.

Option 10 - Delete Outlook client Cached Preferences (MacOS only)

  1. Quit Outlook
  2. Open Terminal (click the Spotlight search glass in the top right corner and type terminal).
  3. Type: defaults delete com.microsoft.Outlook (to delete the old preferences).
  4. Type: killall cfprefsd (to kill the cached prefs).
  5. Quit Terminal.
  6. Launch Outlook and check.

Option 11 - Sign out of the connected device associated with the Microsoft email account

  1. Sign into the account: https://portal.office.com/account/.
  2. Select View apps & devices from within Office apps & devices module.
  3. Click DEVICES and sign out of all the devices that you are singed into. This will prompt the user to authenticate via NetID login on all the devices they are connected to via their Office 365 account.

Option 12 - Fully uninstall and reinstall Microsoft 365 desktop suite

Additional resources



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OwnerO365 S.GroupMicrosoft 365
Created2016-02-23 10:22:59Updated2023-05-03 14:00:08
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Microsoft 365, Wisc Account Admin
Feedback  12   45