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Microsoft 365’s hosted email recently had an issue where it filtered out proper email, wrongly designating it as junk mail. While the problem was remedied quickly, it highlighted something important: with cloud services so prevalent now, you need to know just who to blame when a problem occurs. If a cloud service is down, how can you determine whether the issue is with it — or with you?

There are actually a variety of ways to figure out what’s going on. Here’s my rundown of how to do just that, from what should be obvious to lesser-known techniques and resources.

Let’s start with something simple: issues with a website. The most obvious way to check whether a site is down is through a third-party service. If a site like indicates a site is having issues, you know the problem is not about your access — everyone is likely affected. That means your Internet connection isn’t broken, your router doesn’t need to be rebooted, and you can skip all those things you do when you think the problem is with your computer system.

Twitter is your friend

Twitter is often a key way to track issues affecting various Microsoft platforms, so it’s important to follow the right accounts. I keep tabs on Microsoft 365 (M365) service issues by following the official Microsoft 365 Status account, which I recommend to any M365 subscriber. On my phone, I’ve set the Twitter app to send me alerts when the Microsoft 365 account posts a tweet. Those notifications, which you can also set up on the desktop, are like an early warning system for trouble. They can alert you to issues with a service and when they’re resolved .

Trouble with Windows 10 and Windows 10 updates can be tracked the same way. The Windows Update twitter account notifies me when there are new Windows patch releases and about any widespread issues related to any updates. (The account will often link to the company’s known issues page, which shows the latest resolution.)

I also follow the Windows IT Pro account for alerts about various new topics and trending issues. Often, this account points me to new information about Microsoft releases and tips on getting more from   Windows. And the MicrosoftHelps twitter account is open to direct messages allowing you to reach out directly to try and get support.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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