• Microsoft Office Tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) – Authentication loop

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    Hello, we’re experiencing an issue, that we believe has been going on since Christmas and continues for about 10% of our user base (at least from those that have reported the issue) and it appears to hit randomly.

    The symptom, opening one of the above Office tools, at first the avatar at the top right shows that it is licensed, then you go to open a document (doesn’t matter if it originates from SharePoint or OneDrive) and then you see the yield sign on your avatar along with a message you must sign in.  Attempting to sign in, results in you inputting you login name then the authenticator disappears, but you can’t properly save the document (interestingly the document does get saved in either SharePoint or OneDrive, even though the Office Tool says it doesn’t) and it states you must sign in.

    While the above happens, the user is able to access Teams (in one case we were accessing Teams while running through a series of tests over an hour), OneDrive works – stays licensed, Edge – office.com uses the cached credentials to successfully login and Outlook stays connected, though there are times when Outlook will stop being connected if you continue to try fighting with the authentication.

    Our current fix is to have the user restart the computer and then there are no further issues.  We have a 7-day MFA confirmation prompt (using Microsoft’s MFA management) and there doesn’t appear to be a connection between the 7-day reset and when the above Office Tools go into an Authentication loop.

    This is happening on Windows 10 & 11 machines.  And I’m not seeing any other authentication or other Microsoft 365 / Domain login issues.

    Notes on our setup:

    • Microsoft Office tools are automatically setup to update upon Microsoft makes an update available;
    • All of the machines are within 30 days of applying monthly Windows updates;
    • Running a hybrid AD setup.


    A quick summary of what we’ve observed and tried:

    • Dec. 2022; 1st occurrence, thought we were dealing with a hardware issue (we were bouncing back and forth between using the remote home user wired, wireless & cellular connection and though Outlook came back, we still couldn’t authenticate.
      • The user reported that this issue would go away with a reboot, as such it’s possible this one user had issues starting in Nov. 2022;
      • Have bench tested the user system for over 2 weeks with another profile, no repeat of the authentication issue.
    • Feb. 13, 2023; another user had a similar issue, tried removing Microsoft Authenticator from the user’s Microsoft 365 Security profile and reboot to get the symptoms to stop;
    • Feb. 14, 2023; separate user, and tried the removing of MicrosoftOffice16Data…. From Windows credentials and a reboot, which then worked.  Today the user had a repeat of the Authentication loop, had them restart which allowed them to work with the Office Tool once again (which is why I’m issuing my appeal for further information);
    • Over Feb. 2023 I’ve had 4 more users (including myself) report the issue, and a reboot fixes it.

    IT Manager Geek

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    • #2537829

      Hello, the advice from my 3rd support vendor is as follows:

      • The recurring login prompts is fairly common, there have been several fixes over the past few years but since the move the modern authentication in 365 I have had good results by going into Settings > Accounts > and click on Disconnect for the Microsoft 365 assigned account.

      Now I wait for the next colleague to have Office tools authentication loop and seeing if following the above, with or without a reboot, will fix the issue.

      May take a couple of weeks before I have sufficient experiences to report back on.

      Take care,

      IT Manager Geek

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