Private comments

Private comments allow Microsoft support personnel to have a private conversation with a user to help them troubleshoot when the user needs to share personal and confidential information.

Only certain Microsoft employees (moderators and administrators) can start a private message exchange with an author. In the majority of the cases it will be the person who posted a question, although Microsoft employees can also initiate a private conversation with the author of a feedback item, answer, or comment.

When Microsoft will use private comments

Microsoft Q&A is a public community site and it is our goal to stay that way. However, there are some scenarios where a private conversation is necessary in order to help the user resolve the problem they are facing. This includes, but it is not limited to the following scenarios:

  • Collect user’s sensitive or private information such as logs, subscription or account information, code project, user’s token or key to access the customer’s project online.
  • Follow up with the author on feedback they have provided via the feedback section or our popup survey.
  • Provide a user some feedback so they can have a better impact on the community.
  • Follow up on abandoned threads.

When the private conversation is in relation to a question or issue posted by the user, the Microsoft employee will publish a solution for all the community members to benefit. This information will not have any of the user's private information.

How to know when a comment thread is private

You will see a comment thread (the first comment and all its children) are private, as the comments have a lock icon next to them.

private comment icon


Q. What is the private comment length limitation?

A. As with public comments, it is 1,600 characters. So, make sure that you include code or logs as attachments instead of as text.

Q. As a user, can I initiate a private conversation with another user?

A. No, only certain Microsoft moderators and administrators can start a private conversation.

Q. Can I get notifications about private messages?

A. Yes, for that, enable e-mail notifications as explained in the Email notifications article.

Q. What happens to my private comment once the issue is resolved?

A. In order to protect your privacy, private comments will be removed periodically from the site.