What are flagged sign-ins in Microsoft Entra ID?

As an IT admin, when a user failed to sign-in, you want to resolve the issue as soon as possible to unblock your user. Due to the amount of available data in the sign-ins log, locating the right information can be a challenge.

This article gives you an overview of a feature that significantly improves the time it takes to resolve user sign-in problems by making the related problems easy to find.

What are flagged sign-ins?

Microsoft Entra sign-in events are critical to understanding what went right or wrong with user sign-ins and the authentication configuration in a tenant. However, Microsoft Entra ID processes over 8 billion authentications a day, which can result in so many sign-in events that admins may find it difficult to find the ones which matter. In other words, the sheer number of sign-in events can make the signal of users who need assistance get lost in the volume of a large number of events.

Flagged Sign-ins is a feature intended to increase the signal to noise ratio for user sign-ins requiring help. The functionality is intended to empower users to raise awareness about sign-in errors they want help with. Admins and help desk workers also benefit from finding the right events more efficiently. Flagged Sign-in events contain the same information as other sign-in events contain with one addition: they also indicate that a user flagged the event for review by admins.

Flagged sign-ins give the user the ability to enable flagging when an error is seen on a sign-in page and then reproduce that error. The error event then appears as “Flagged for Review” in the Microsoft Entra sign-ins log.

In summary, you can use flagged sign-ins to:

  • Empower users to indicate the sign-in errors they need their tenant admins help on.

  • Simplify the process of locating the sign-in errors a user needs to be resolved.

  • Enable help desk personal find the problems users want help with proactively- without the end user having to do anything other than flag the event.

How it works

Flagged sign-ins gives you the ability to enable flagging when signing in using a browser and receiving an authentication error. When a user sees a sign-in error, they can select to enable flagging. For the next 20 minutes, any sign-in event from that user, on the same browser and client device or computer, will show “Flagged for Review: Yes” in the Sign-ins Report. After 20 minutes, the flagging automatically turns off.

User: How to flag an error

  1. The user receives an error during sign-in.
  2. The user selects View details in the error page.
  3. In Troubleshooting details, select Enable Flagging. The text changes to Disable Flagging. Flagging is now enabled.
  4. Close the browser window.
  5. Open a new browser window (in the same browser application) and attempt the same sign-in that failed.
  6. Reproduce the sign-in error that was seen before.

With flagging enabled, the same browser application and client must be used or the events aren't flagged.

Admin: Find flagged events in reports

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Entra admin center as at least a Global Reader.
  2. Browse to Identity > Monitoring & health > Sign-in logs.
  3. Open the Add filters menu and select Flagged for review. All events that were flagged by users are shown.
  4. If needed, apply more filters to refine the event view.
  5. Select the event to review what happened.

Admin or Developer: Find flagged events using MS Graph

You can find flagged sign-ins with a filtered query using the sign-ins reporting API.

Show all Flagged Sign-ins: https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/auditLogs/signIns?&$filter=flaggedforReview eq true

Flagged Sign-ins query for specific user by UPN (for example: user@contoso.com): https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/auditLogs/signIns?&$filter=flaggedforReview eq true and userPrincipalname eq 'user@contoso.com'

Flagged Sign-ins query for specific user and date greater than: https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/auditLogs/signIns?&$filter=flaggedforReview eq true and createdDateTime ge 2021-10-01 and userPrincipalname eq 'user@contoso.com'

For more information on using the sign-ins Graph API, see signIn resource type.

Who can create flagged sign-ins?

Any user signing into Microsoft Entra ID via web page can use flag sign-ins for review. Member and guest users alike can flag sign-in errors for review.

Who can review flagged sign-ins?

Reviewing flagged sign-in events requires permissions to read the sign-in report events in the Azure portal. For more information, see How to access activity logs.

To flag sign-in failures, you don't need extra permissions.

What you should know

While the names are similar, flagged sign-ins and risky sign-ins are different capabilities:

  • Flagged sign-ins are sign-in error events users are asking assistance on.
  • A risky sign-in is a functionality of identity protection. For more information, see what is identity protection.

Next steps