MC286990: Exchange Online and Basic Auth – September 2021 Update

We’re making some changes to improve the security of your tenant. We announced in 2019 we would be retiring Basic Authentication for legacy protocols, and in early 2021 we announced we would begin to retire Basic Authentication for protocols not being used in tenants, but not disable Basic Authentication for any in-use protocols until further notice.

MC286990: Exchange Online and Basic Auth – September 2021 Update

Today, we are announcing that, effective October 1, 2022, we will begin to permanently disable Basic Auth in all tenants, regardless of usage (with the exception of SMTP Auth, which can still be re-enabled after that).

We previously communicated this change via several Message Center posts: MC191153 (Sept. ‘19), MC204828 (Feb. ‘20), MC208814 (April ‘20) and MC237741 (Feb. ‘21) and you can always read the latest information about our plans to turn off Basic Authentication here.

Beginning early 2022, as we roll out the changes necessary to support this effort, we are also going to begin disabling Basic Auth for some customers on a short-term and temporary basis.

We selectively pick tenants and disable Basic Auth for all affected protocols except SMTP AUTH for a period of 12-48 hours. After this time, Basic Auth for these protocols will be re-enabled, if the tenant admin has not already re-enabled them using our self-service tools.

During this time all clients and apps that use Basic Auth in that tenant will be affected, and they will be unable to connect. Any client or app using Modern Auth will not be affected. Users can use alternate clients (for example, Outlook on the Web instead of an older Outlook client that does not support Modern Auth) while they upgrade or reconfigure their client apps.

How this will affect your organization

If you receive a Message Center post between now and October 2022, informing you that we are going to disable Basic Auth for a protocol due to non-usage, or you get one saying we know you are using Basic Auth, but we intend to proactively disable it for a short period of time, and you don’t want us to disable specific protocols, you can use the new self-service feature in the Microsoft 365 admin center to opt-out and request that we leave specific protocols enabled until October 2022. We added this feature to help minimize disruptions as you transition away from using Basic Auth.

We will disable Basic Authentication beginning October 2022, and once that happens, users in your tenant will be unable to access their Exchange Online mailbox using Basic Authentication.

Learn more

Message ID: MC286990
Published: 23 September 2021
Updated: 27 September 2021
Action required by date: 22 October 2022