A Microsoft Teams outage prevents access and restricts features for some users.

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A Microsoft Teams outage prevents access and restricts features for some users.

A Microsoft Teams outage prevents access and restricts features for some users.

A Microsoft Teams outage prevents access and restricts features for some users.

File: On March 2, 2023, at the Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona, Spain, the Microsoft logo is displayed. On Friday, January 26, 2024, Microsoft Teams is having an outage that has restricted access and limited features for certain users. (Joan Mateu Parra, File/AP Photo)

On Friday, there was a Microsoft Teams outage that prevented access for some users and caused “multiple issues” for many others.

The problem started at approximately 11 a.m. EST and spread quickly, according to outage tracker Down Detector. Sending and receiving messages slowly, not being able to access the service, and having trouble with graphics not loading were among the complaints from users.

Microsoft announced that it had moved certain services to backup systems and had discovered “a networking issue impacting a portion of the Teams service” in messages posted on X, the social network that was formerly known as Twitter. The company announced at about 1:30 p.m. EST that its tracking systems were performing better and that the backup transition for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East was finished.

Backup switchovers for North and South America, according to the company, are still in progress. As of 3 p.m. EST, outage reports on DownDetector had dropped to nearly half of their peak level, but they then levelled off, suggesting that problems persisted.

As of September 2023, Teams is a messaging and video conferencing app with over 320 million monthly average users.

U.S.-based X users persisted in lamenting the Teams service problems; a few even jokingly expressed gratitude to Microsoft for swiftly resolving the issue in areas where the workday had already ended. Microsoft later admitted in a tweet that while their backup switchover “did not provide immediate relief to all end users in North and South America regions,” the goal of its other mitigation efforts was to “reduce customer impact as quickly as possible.

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Microsoft’s public tweets on the subject have pointed to additional detail available in a document posted in an administrative dashboard for Microsoft 365 software. When asked about that document, a Microsoft spokesperson at the public relations firm WE Communications said the company’s X posts were the only information it would share on the subject.

However, the paper that Microsoft provided to its clientsβ€”which The Associated Press was able to obtainβ€”presented a somewhat more dire picture. The document listed about a dozen various problems that the outage created, such as the inability to access or see media such as photographs, videos, audio recordings, and other types, as well as problems logging into the service and missing or delayed messages. The company said in an update at 4:26 p.m. EST that attempts to work around issues had resulted in backend system issues that essentially “throttled” data traffic.

Microsoft said that “many customers remain impacted by this issue” at 5:02 p.m. EST, but noted that the business is witnessing “a reduction in errors and an increase in (service) availability.” In addition, the business stated that it was addressing specific team functional issues concurrently with its larger network initiatives.

According to DownDetector, reported issues with Teams continued to decline and were close to normal levels as of 7:45 p.m. EST.

Microsoft said that “many customers remain impacted by this issue” at 5:02 p.m. EST, but noted that the business is witnessing “a reduction in errors and an increase in (service) availability.” In addition, the business stated that it was addressing specific team functional issues concurrently with its larger network initiatives.

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