Disabling ADAL or WAM not recommended for fixing Office sign-in or activation issues
To diagnose and automatically fix several common Office sign-in issues, you can download and run the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant.
Disabling ADAL or WAM authentication as a solution to fix sign-in or activation issues can have adverse effects in your environment and is not recommended.
Microsoft 365 apps (for example, Office client apps) use Azure Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) framework-based Modern Authentication by default. Starting with build 16.0.7967, Microsoft 365 apps use Web Account Manager (WAM) for sign-in workflows on Windows builds that are later than 15000 (Windows 10, version 1703, build 15063.138).
ADAL enables sign-in features such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), smart card, and certificate-based authentication for Office client apps across different platforms. Furthermore, on Windows devices, some of the security-related features are available exclusively via WAM and are otherwise not possible. Additionally, all future innovations will be implemented on WAM.
Recommendations on resolving common sign-in issues
Authentication issues during sign-in or activation typically manifest as one of the following symptoms:
- Unable to sign in: Repeated password prompts, "Credentials Needed", or "Needs Password" statuses.
- Sign-in window doesn't show up, is blank, prematurely disappears, or gets stops working.
- Specific errors are displayed in Office apps or the sign-in user interface.
If you experience sign-in issues, consider the following recommendations:
- Manually sign-out of all accounts in the Office app, then restart the app and sign-in again.
- Reset the Office activation state.
- If you experience device issues, for example, the device is deleted or disabled, follow these recommendations.
- If the investigation suggests that an authentication process is experiencing network or connectivity issues, then these steps will be helpful. Additionally, you can reset Internet Explorer Options, and then try signing into Office again (go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Reset Internet Explorer Settings). After resetting Internet Explorer Settings, you will lose any custom settings.
- In some cases, Microsoft Azure Active Directory, or MSA WAM plugins may be missing on the device that blocks user from signing into Office. Follow the steps in Fix authentication issues in Office applications when you try to connect to a Microsoft 365 service to restore the plugins and avoid removing them in future.
- See Connection issues in sign-in after update to Office 2016 build 16.0.7967 on Windows 10 for information about troubleshooting other commonly occurring sign-in issues.
For more information about sign-in related symptoms and solutions, see the following articles:
- Azure Active Directory device management FAQ
- Troubleshooting devices using the dsregcmd command
- How to troubleshoot non-browser apps that can't sign in-to Microsoft 365, Azure, or Intune
- "Access Denied", or user is repeatedly prompted for credentials when connecting to Microsoft 365
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