Microsoft Office 365 goes down across Europe

Microsoft Office 365 image, with a magnifying glass over Microsoft Word
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft's Office 365 cloud-powered productivity suite went down yesterday morning across Europe, with users reporting issues connecting to the cloud-hosted email servers at around 9.30am.

The tech giant confirmed that it was experiencing problems with its servers and it was working on a fix to get email back up and running.

"We're investigating an issue where users can't access their mailboxes through multiple protocols," the company posted on Twitter. "More details are published in the admin center under EX172491, available to your Microsoft 365 admin."

However, customers weren't particularly happy about the outage (who is ever joyous when they can't access a key part of their working arsenal?!), especially when Microsoft failed to keep users updated about an estimated fix.

The company's Office 365 status page didn't provide much in the way of detail about the problem. In fact, it said that the tool was running smoothly, despite users bombarding the company with comments and complaints.

"I think its time to take someone to court for disruption of business if a critical system like email can be down for +6 hours without resolution for a whole geographical region #Office365," Twitter user @the_adam_tm said.

Some joked that the whole concept of email was broken if they couldn't access their Office 365 accounts. "Hey @Microsoftyour #office365 has been down for 9 hours now. Shall I go to a local post office to send my emails?" @konradzaczek wrote on the social network.

Meanwhile, businesses such as Arcsystems used the outage as an opportunity to promote its disaster recovery solutions.

Later in the day, Microsoft's advice remained to acknowledge the issue, but still advised customers keep an eye on the Admin Centre for updates. It said it had determined the cause of the problem and was working on a fix.

"We're working to resolve difficulties a limited subset of enterprise customers in Europe are experiencing when attempting to access Exchange Online. Consumers are not affected. Admins can find status updates on the Admin Center."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.