Emails hosted by Microsoft 365 have recently had an issue filtering the corresponding emails and misidentifying them as spam. While the problem was quickly resolved, he pointed out something important: with cloud services so widespread now, you need to know who to blame when a problem arises. If a cloud service is faulty, how can you determine if the problem is with you or with you?
In fact, there are a variety of ways to find out what’s going on. Here is my summary of how to do this, from what should be obvious to lesser known techniques and resources.
Let’s start with something simple: problems with a website. The most obvious way to check if a site is not working is through a third party service. If a site like https://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ indicates that a site is having problems, you know that the problem is not with your access; all are likely to be affected. This means that the internet connection is not interrupted, there is no need to restart the router and you can skip all the things you do when you think the problem is related to the computer system.
Twitter is your friend
Twitter is often a key way to track issues affecting different Microsoft platforms, so it’s important to keep track of the right accounts. I stay up to date with issues related to Microsoft 365 (M365) services following the official Microsoft 365 status account, which I recommend to any M365 subscriber. On my phone, I set up the Twitter app to send me alerts when my Microsoft 365 account posts a tweet. These notifications, which you can also set up on your desktop, are like an early warning system for problems. I can alert you to problems with a service and when they are resolved.
Problems with Windows 10 and Windows 10 updates can be tracked in the same way. The Windows Update Twitter account notifies me of new versions of Windows patches and any widespread update issues. (The account will often be linked to the company’s known issues page, which shows the latest resolution.)
I’m also tracking my Windows IT Pro account for alerts on various new and hot topics. This account often tells me new information about Microsoft versions and tips for getting more out of Windows. And the Microsoft Helps Twitter account is open to direct messages, allowing you to contact directly to try to get support.
Although I haven’t yet found an official list of all the Microsoft-related Twitter accounts I use, I regularly stumble upon them. Tip: Check who’s following Microsoft official accounts. For example, your MicrosoftHelps account tracks many other official accounts, including AzureSupport, Xboxsupport, MicrosoftEdge, Surface, and HP and Dell.
KB articles (and other sites) for saving
Reviewing changes to knowledge base articles can often provide an indication of issues that may have arisen. Tracking the site http://kbupdate.info/ allows me to find KB articles that document problems and resolutions; This content is especially useful for IT administrators and other IT professionals.
For most regular users, the Office website keeps track of fixes or fixes for recent issues across various Office platforms. Starting with Outlook, the site also looks at fixes for Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Access, as well as issues affecting macOS versions of Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You can also identify and track issues in Outlook.com, OneDrive, and Skype for Business.
Other resources and options
Another place I trust that lists a multitude of Microsoft 365 links is MSportals.io, a site run by Adam Fowler. This site brings together all the sites and portals that a typical IT administrator connects to. (You can still filter by role and go directly to end-user portals to log in.) I use it constantly because the number of URLs I need to remember is too large for me.
You can also get support using the Windows Admin location on Discord, the digital voice over IP / instant messaging platform for communities. Reddit is another alternative where there are often trend issues that affect Windows 10, along with recommendations and solutions. (I have to warn you: Reddit posters often feature unusual gaming computers that may have issues that most users won’t see. You’ll often see banners that report unusual BSODs.)
Last but not least, don’t forget the AskWoody.com resources and forums and, of course, this blog. We are rarely stuck for a long time when dealing with computer problems.