Microsoft DNS servers down; Hotmail, Microsoft.com, others down [Update: Microsoft Response]

Microsoft's DNS server servers are apparently failing to respond to requests, returning "no record" errors. This means that you can't access sites like Hotmail.com, MSN.com, and Live.com.  It's unknown how widespread this outage is at this time. Currently msn.com, live.com, hotmail.com, and outlook.com, azure.com, and microsoft.com are all known to be impacted. It's very probable that all Microsoft domains are currently unavailable.

Do a search for "dns microsoft" on Twitter, and you'll find many people reporting the same thing. Could this be a load issue related to the Xbox One launch? Or are their DNS servers being actively DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacked?

For those who are not experiencing an issue, it could be because the provider you're using is caching the results. DNS records utilize a "Time to Live" (TTL), and only ask the master server for an update once that TTL has expired.

A thread has been started in our forums, and you can chime in with your experiences below or at the thread (or both).

We're attempting to reach out to our contacts at Microsoft for comment and will update you if we hear anything.

Some are reporting that services are starting to be restored. We are able to (sorta) get to hotmail.com -- but not everything is working, as you can see in the screenshot.

The DNS servers appear to be responding properly now, and we will update the story when we hear a root cause.

UPDATE 1: Microsoft responded to us and gave us the following statement:

Microsoft can confirm that all online services have been restored. We are investigating the root cause of the disruption and will continue to keep customers updated as information becomes available.

If we hear more from Microsoft, we will be sure to let everyone know.

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Big Player: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Redhat, Amazon, Oracle, IBM , HP, Softlayer and other need to think and redesign the Internet so it is more robust and also more secure (to DDOS and other attack)

utomo said,
Big Player: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Redhat, Amazon, Oracle, IBM , HP, Softlayer and other need to think and redesign the Internet so it is more robust and also more secure (to DDOS and other attack)

The technology exists, to have redundant DNS is part of the original design.

And noobies stating things like:

utomo said,
Big Player: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Redhat, Amazon, Oracle, IBM , HP, Softlayer and other need to think and redesign the Internet so it is more robust and also more secure (to DDOS and other attack)
don't realize none of those are backbone providers.

Would this explain why I suddenly was prompted to re-activate my copy of Windows 8 Pro? I literally sat there scratching my head going, "Why? Did Dell blacklist their OEM key? …interesting, can't get to microsoft.com to verify crap"

IICODECll said,
Would this explain why I suddenly was prompted to re-activate my copy of Windows 8 Pro? I literally sat there scratching my head going, "Why? Did Dell blacklist their OEM key? …interesting, can't get to microsoft.com to verify crap"

Unlikely unless you changed a bunch of hardware out while they were inaccessible.

Turned out to be the FlexCache SSD drive in the system. It marked the internal HDD as read-only. Therefore preventing it from determining if it was activated. =(

I never use skydrive, and today I was trying to get a picture and the freaking servers were down. Talk about bad luck.

What's interesting is that throughout this whole time the Office 365 Admin portal has still reported 'No issues' across the board

Lol, xbox.com is now showing something....

"Service Unavailable - DNS failure

The server is temporarily unable to service your request. Please try again later.
Reference #11.262b5dcc.1385076007.12bf88c"

To be honest... I highly doubt this has anything to do with Xbox One... If it is a DNS issue then it wont be anything with Xbox One... Just saying.

My point is still valid, I doubt it has anything to do with Xbox. If it affects multiple services... its definitely way more internal than just some silly Xbox update.

It could be a coincidence, but I'm still betting on them making changes for the Xbox rollout. Downtimes like this are pretty rare events and it just happens to be as we're getting to the large rollout areas? As long as it's working tomorrow night when I get to unpack my XB1!

It looks some major routes are down, so it depends on where you're coming from. I'd put money they were doing some reconfiguration to handle the XB1 update load and someone botched up a config. I've done it myself once or twice.

Spicoli said,
It looks some major routes are down, so it depends on where you're coming from. I'd put money they were doing some reconfiguration to handle the XB1 update load and someone botched up a config. I've done it myself once or twice.

Where are you seeing routing issues?

I thought it was plainly obvious this was a DNS issue, given how you cant (or couldn't, seems to be coming back now) even resolve microsoft.com

It's because I had the IP addresses of the servers, and I couldn't reach them that way. If it was only DNS, it would only be an issue getting the IP address. That's still not conclusive because there could be something like a load balancer in the middle not allowing an IP only request to continue.

Ahhh!!! I can't access my Hotmail account to get the email containing the UPS tracking number for the XB1 that's inbound tomorrow!!! Ahhh!!!

I kid, I'm not *that* OCD about checking every 10 minutes (but I am).

Side Note: I'm able to access my Hotmail account from Windows Phone's email client, so maybe just the web-based browser is down?

dbam987 said,
Side Note: I'm able to access my Hotmail account from Windows Phone's email client, so maybe just the web-based browser is down?

Read the section I put in the article about TTL -- your phone carrier probably has the IP address cached for now, but once the TTL expires, you'll be out luck on the phone too.

Fezmid said,

Read the section I put in the article about TTL -- your phone carrier probably has the IP address cached for now, but once the TTL expires, you'll be out luck on the phone too.

It could be the other way around too. If they changed IPs to get around a problem, it might start working when the TTL runs out.

I Wonder if that is why I cannot connect to our corporate VPN
Hope they get it fixed soon, this is a major problem!

Email is definitely being delayed to Office 365, however the Admin portal is showing current health as 'No issues' across the board. Go figure :\

The Windows Phone store was down for me earlier, but seems to be OK now. Microsoft.com is loading but without images/css, outlook.com, bing.com and xbox.com aren't loading at all. This is in Australia.

Edited by WizardCM, Nov 21 2013, 11:00pm :

No problems here, just because it's not working in some parts of the U.S doesn't imply that it affects everyone.


Could this be a load issue related to the Xbox One launch? Or are their DNS servers being actively DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacked?

No it's just a regional issue, definitely not worldwide.

only xbox.com is down here, everything else like Microsoft.com,live.com,outlook.com,skydrive.com all working perfectly fine.

Oh no, not any more!
"Service Unavailable - DNS failure
The server is temporarily unable to service your request. Please try again later."

68k said,
Oh no, not any more!
"Service Unavailable - DNS failure
The server is temporarily unable to service your request. Please try again later."

lol so it looks like movies and iphones aren't the only things that arrive in aussie late

trojan_market said,

I am in texas, everything works, even services are all up green. https://status.live.com/

The services never went down... The DNS that routes you to these services however, was. I think these problems don't reflect on the status page. Could be wrong though.

Same. And on the night of the XB1 release so i hope it don't affect Live... lol this could be a major fail if it does, the XB1 is released in less than a hour.

Maybe it's a DDoS attack by Sony

NoClipMode said,
Same. And on the night of the XB1 release so i hope it don't affect Live... lol this could be a major fail if it does, the XB1 is released in less than a hour.

Maybe it's a DDoS attack by Sony


With the 10 servers powering PSN? Good luck with that.

/s