General experience with desktop apps when having multiple 365 tenants (password prompts, credential cache expired +++)

Francis Laurin 6 Reputation points

I am a 365 consultant having multiple clients and therefore licenced accounts in multiple tenants. I want to share my terrible experience using the Office Apps installed on my desktop and see if there is something that can be done.

On Outlook, I have all modern authentication enabled. My issue is that with my ~6 accounts (+Gmail IMAP which works well), there is at least 2 per days that prompts for MFA reauthentication at a random time of the day. When this happens, the whole Outlook app becomes unresponsive and I struggle to find the authentication window causing the freeze. I was expecting credentials to last around two weeks, but I do on average 2 out of 6 every single day. I tried the Support and Recovery utility, but it didn't work.

Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint...) + OneDrive Sync
Every time I open a document (where I need the thick client) from one of my clients' tenant, Office is terribly confused as to what credential to use (even if I am connected on this tenant in Office). I almost always get a "Your cached credentials are expired, please connect again" message, which never resolves itself. In the top right, I can switch account, but it often reverts back to my main one and starts having saving issues again. The funny thing is that if I open the document from a OneDrive sync'd folder, it will save in the background even if Office complains that it can't save. I can only expect that co-authoring would not work, however, in this situation.

Microsoft Teams
Contrary to mobile versions (iOs/Android), the tenant switching is terrible, long, doesn't notify of activities on other tenants, etc. This is well known so I wont expand to much.

This works perfectly using multiple Edge profiles. No complaint here. I also use web-based Teams "web apps" to work around the desktop version limitations (but the meeting experience is much less good on the web based version). However, Outlook on the web doesn't allow to open multiple accounts for emails and calendar overlay like the mobile and desktop version allows. As a consultant, I need that aggregated view!

The whole Windows/365 authentication model is very confusing: when connecting a "work" account in Windows, how does that relate to the fact that I often also need connect to the same account separately in Outlook, OneDrive sync and Office. Sometimes, they seem to speak to each others, sometimes not at all.

Any insight would be much appreciated to straighten my desktop. I reinstalled from scratch, but it didn't change a bit.

Office Management
Office Management
Office: A suite of Microsoft productivity software that supports common business tasks, including word processing, email, presentations, and data management and analysis.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.
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  1. Ceasar Chen_MSFT 4,391 Reputation points

    Hi, @FrancisLaurin
    Welcome to the Q&A forum, your question is mainly about account verification and login.
    You can try the following solutions:

    1. Delete Windows Credential Manager credentials for Office
      Search for credential manager in windows search bar, delete credentials about Office in windows credential manager
      Sign back into Office to see if there is a problem.

    2.Delete cached credentials about Office in the registry.
    Choose Start, choose Run, type regedit, and then choose OK.
    In Registry Editor, locate the following registry subkey:
    Select the Office account you want to delete, and then select Delete.
    In the Identity subkey, locate Profiles, right-click the Office account you want to delete, and select Delete.
    Select File, and then Exit Registry Editor.

    Note: Improper registry modifications can cause serious problems. Therefore, please follow the steps strictly. For further protection, back up the registry before modifying it.

    If the response is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it.
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  2. Francis Laurin 6 Reputation points


    Thank you for your answer. I tried to follow your steps (not the first time for Windows Credentials, but first for Registry) and I deleted every identities. I then rebooted. The only real impact has been to sign in again on OneDrive Sync, but to my surprise, Outlook, Word and the rest recognized my accounts without any problem and without prompting for my password again.

    In Windows settings, I still see my "work" accounts linked as well.

    It's therefore not clear to me where all theses identities and credentials are stored. I doubt the steps changed anything to my issue, but I'll report back with the results.

    Thanks again!

  3. Francis Laurin 6 Reputation points

    Sadly, I can confirm that the suggested previous steps were not successful. I still get frequent Outlook password prompts, and Office is still confused with which credentials to use when opening an Office document. Any other idea?

  4. PS 0 Reputation points

    I experience the same issue as Francis Laurin. Deleting credentials and registry entries does not help. I need a permanent solution. Any suggestion much appreciated.

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