Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

Outlook Prompting for IMAP Password

Are you tired of being constantly prompted for your IMAP password when using Outlook? You’re not alone. Many users have encountered this frustrating issue, and today we’re going to discuss some possible causes and solutions.

The Initial Problem

Imagine this scenario: you haven’t changed anything with your email account, yet Outlook keeps asking for your IMAP password. This is happening on both your phone and laptop. How perplexing! It seems like there was previously good access with that password, so why the sudden need to change it?

Unnecessary Password Changes

Microsoft, in its attempt to help, sometimes suggests changing the password as a potential solution to this problem. However, this can be counterproductive. If there are server authentication issues on the back end, changing the password won’t do much good. In fact, it might only prolong the issue and cause unnecessary frustration.

The Real Culprit: Server Issues

In many cases, the root cause of the problem lies with Microsoft’s servers. There have been instances where even after changing the password, users still couldn’t access their accounts. This indicates that the problem lies on the server side—a server issue that Microsoft needs to address.

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Correlation Between Email Accounts and Frequency of the Issue

As an observer of these server issues, I’ve noticed a correlation between the number of email accounts being accessed by the client and the frequency of the IMAP password prompt. This might be going a bit wide for this discussion, but it’s worth mentioning. If you’re experiencing this issue, try isolating the problematic account when testing. Sending and receiving emails from only that account could help you pinpoint the issue more effectively.

Ongoing Server-Side Problems

It’s important to note that, at the time of writing, there are significant server-side issues with Outlook. These issues started on January 24 in the morning (GMT-5) and are still ongoing. This means that users might encounter false indications of bad credentials, which could lead to needless password changes. Additionally, accessing multiple accounts from the same client might introduce further problems.


The next time Outlook prompts you for your IMAP password seemingly out of the blue, remember that it might not be a problem with your account. It could be a server issue on Microsoft’s side. By being aware of these ongoing server-side problems, you can avoid unnecessary password changes and potential complications when using multiple accounts.

So, hang in there! Microsoft is surely working hard to resolve these issues and restore seamless access to your emails.