Archive for the ‘E-mail’ Category

Outlook Message Body Blank

Suddenly many users alerting that the message body of their e-mails, using Outlook desktop app, are blank. Also they cannot type in the body of a new e-mail or reply. Microsoft has released the following statements:

Latest message, May 11, 2021 7:24 PMView historyTitle: Issue affecting viewing email content in Outlook User Impact: Users may be unable to view email message content within Outlook. More info: Impact is specific to the Outlook client and users with access to other protocols, such as Outlook on the web or the Outlook mobile app, can view message content in those platforms as a potential workaround while our fix is applied. Current status: We’ve identified the underlying cause of impact and are applying a fix. This fix will reach all affected users incrementally over the course of the next four-to-five hours. Once users receive the fix, they will need to restart their email client to apply the fix. In some circumstances, users may need to restart their client a second time for the changes to take effect. We expect to complete this process and restore service for all affected users by May 12, 2021, at 3:00 AM UTC. We encourage affected users who are able to do so to leverage the workarounds described above in the “more info” section of this post while we complete the process of fixing this problem. Scope of impact: This issue could affect any user attempting to view an email message in the Outlook client. Root cause: A recent change to systems that facilitate text display management for content within the Outlook client caused impact. Next update by: Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 12:00 AM (3:00 AM UTC)

“May 11, 2021 6:19 PMView historyTitle: Issue affecting viewing email content in Outlook User Impact: Users may be unable to view email message content within Outlook. More info: Initial reports indicate that impact is specific to the Outlook client and users with access to other protocols, such as Outlook on the web or the Outlook mobile app, can view message content in those platforms as a potential workaround. Current status: We’re continuing to analyze recent updates to the environment and the associated code as we work to isolate the cause of impact. Our efforts are focused on determining the most expedient means of remediating this issue. Scope of impact: This issue could affect any user attempting to view an email message in the Outlook client. Next update by: Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 7:30 PM (10:30 PM UTC)

May 11, 2021 5:28 PMView historyTitle: Issue affecting viewing email content in Outlook User Impact: Users may be unable to view email message content within Outlook. More info: Initial reports indicate that Outlook on the web is unaffected and users with access to Outlook on the web can view email messages there while we work on a solution. Current status: We’re gathering and analyzing data in an effort to isolate the cause of impact. Initial reports indicate that impact is specific to the Outlook client and users with access to other protocols, such as Outlook on the web or the Outlook mobile app, can view message content in those platforms as a potential workaround. Scope of impact: This issue could affect any user attempting to view an email message in the Outlook client. Next update by: Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 6:30 PM (9:30 PM UTC)”

Outlook fails to start

Immediately after Windows updates today on 2 different systems, so far, you cannot open Outlook.  As soon as you open it closes.  Next time you open you get the Open Outlook In Safe mode popup, which also doesn’t work.  After looking at commonalities in the two systems and trouble shooting it seems the issue was the July 14th ‘Patch Tuesday’ update “Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1909 for x64-based Systems (KB4565483)”.  The update includes multiple features but among them is “Updates to improve security when using Microsoft Office products.” Uninstalling the update immediately resolved the issue.

If unfamiliar with doing so go to Control Panel, click on “Programs and Features”, then “View installed updates”, locate the (KB4565483) Update, right click and choose uninstall.  As always you should have a backup of your system before adding or removing updates.

I have also selected “pause updates for 7 days” in case it tries to reinstall before Microsoft has a fix.

Update: It seems this does not always work. Instead you need to roll back Office, however Microsoft has apparently realized the problem and is pushing out the fix.  To enforce, just close Outlook and re-open.  This worked on the latest machine with which I had a problem and there was a message in Outlook about the issue when it did open.  It may not be pushed out to all machines yet so waiting a couple of hours may be necessary.  See the following link from Microsoft regarding details: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/active-investigation-into-outlook-crashing-on-launch-9c59ad4b-813c-432a-afdc-f14717a4528d?ui=en-us&rs=en-us&ad=us

Microsoft 365, Outlook, & MFA

When you enable multifactor authentication in Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) with an existing tenant, Outlook starts asking for a password and will not accept your current Microsoft 365 password.  You then need to use app passwords for Outlook, rather than standard MFA with your password and a second option such as the Microsoft Authentication app, Txt, E-mail, or call.  Those options work fine with access to Web and other Office Apps but not Outlook. See the following link to manage App Passwords; https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/user-help/multi-factor-authentication-end-user-app-passwords#:~:text=To%20create%20app%20passwords%20using%20the%20Office%20365,password%2C%20and%20then%20select%20Next.%20More%20items…%20

You can however enable standard MFA methods for Outlook using powershell.  The credit for most of the instructions below goes to; https://www.petri.com/enable-modern-authentication-exchange-online

Instructions to enable MFA with Exchange On-line (paraphrased)

When asked for credentials, you need to use an O365 admin account that does not have MFA enabled.  I create one without an Office license just for this.

I use the PowerShell ISE but I suspect standard PowerShell run as admin will work as well

Connect to an Exchange PowerShell session by running the following 2 lines

$UserCredential = Get-Credential

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

This is not in the Petri link above, but you need to run the following line to allow running scripts

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Test if MFA is already enabled.  Will return “false” if not enabled

Get-OrganizationConfig | ft name, *OAuth*

Assuming not enabled run

Set-OrganizationConfig -OAuth2ClientProfileEnabled:$true

Then run the following again to confirm now enabled, i.e. “True”

Get-OrganizationConfig | ft name, *OAuth*

Close session

Remove-PSSession $Session

I find it takes 30-60 minutes before the policy is applied and changes in use

Cannot open e-mail attachments on HP computer

Recently found on 3 two month old HP computers users could not open Office documents that were received as attachments to e-mails within Outlook. After troubleshooting, discovered it was due to an HP add-on utility “HP Single Click” a security app provided with many HP PCs. This can simply be uninstalled from Programs and Features, however any open apps that use it must be closed. A reboot will insure this. Also a reboot is required after uninstalling. Presumably this was caused by a windows or HP update as it had not been a problem in the past. Perhaps more recent updates have resolved the problem.

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