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COMMON PROBLEMS FOR MICROSOFT 365 | SHAREPOINT ONLINE USERS: QUICK-FIXES

#Microsoft365, #problemidentification, #problemresolution, #SharePoint, #MicrosoftTeams

Author: Jonathan Stuckey


This article is third in the series of SharePoint Online & Microsoft Teams trouble-identification and diagnostics.

patch-panel cabling - blue cables
Its always the red-wire...

So we know a lot of end-user complaints tie-back to either network (failure, or latency), browser caching (not refreshing properly), users permissions on content, and software interaction/integration. So the following are the 1-2-3-4 of basic fixes to try, before you go get an expert to help.


First - check your network


Check the network settings (bottom right in Windows) – does your network show as connected?

Yep?


The next simplest, most obvious thing is check you can see the internet.

  • Close open apps and browsers.

  • Open a new browser

  • navigate to something you don’t normally use e.g. Microsoft.com, or bbc.com etc

If it loads – all good. If not, well you’ll need to get this fixed first.

You can either wait for a while and try again, or raise a support ticket.


We are not going to tell you how to raise a support ticket, or call IT support number.

You got that...


Second - Flush the browser (modern-day CTL+ALT+DELETE)

When you’re sure that the network connection is working i.e. We can I see internet… then most basic issues with blank-pages, missing stuff in webparts and the ice-cream cone of annoyance, are fixed with the modern 3-finger salute


Simple (progressive steps). Try each one, check if this fixes issue, if not try the next one:

  1. Browser refresh – Browser reload button (circle), or on keyboard – Fn (FUNCTION)+F5

  2. Forced browser re-load – use keyboard CONTROL+Fn+F5 or CONTROL+SHIFT+R.

  3. Delete browser cache – CONTROL+SHIFT+DELETE – tick boxes and click ‘Clear now’

If you want to know more options, covering Mac and Windows, there’s a great little article on otechworld, and one for mobile-devices on WikiHow


Third - Check for updates


If the browser refreshes do not work, check there are no updates waiting for your:

  1. Browser

  2. Operating system (e.g. Windows)

  3. Office applications

Microsoft in particular causes a lot of pain if you have software updates waiting to be installed, this can affect your browser loading properly, if you can login to services ( user credentials i.e. who you are, and your passwords), network traffic to services etc.


So check:

  • your browser version installed and run update.

in Edge/Chrome go to the Settings > Help > About

  • Windows Updates for any outstanding updates

open any Office app and go to: File > Accounts > Office Updates > Update Now

  • Office apps installed and run update

click Windows-key > type in "Check for updates" > click "check for updates"


Important: If your company manages your computer – check your software updater or call your IT desk to ask how to check this.


In all cases, if there are pending updates run the the installer and let them complete. For good-measure, when updates have completed - restart your machine/device.


Fourth - Check you permissions and access


Background:

Accessing content held in Microsoft 365, is governed by the permissions and controls on the repository it is held in - invariable this is SharePoint Online (whether you know it or not). In fact even sharing from OneDrive for Business files is really just using SharePoint.


(OneDrive service is a re-badged version of what was called a 'MySite' in older versions of SharePoint)


Identity, your access groups and memberships are nearly always derived from Azure Active Directory, which underpins the Microsoft 365 services for Authentication and Authorization.


Validating access and permissions


Navigate to the SharePoint site, underneath your Microsoft Team, or Channel Files tab.


Microsoft Teams channel menu showing SharePoint option
click the ellipsis for the menu options

Check to see if you can actually access the site.

If you can't, you should

  1. ask the Owner of the site (or Microsoft Team), about why (or if) you permissions changed

  2. raise a ticket with your support about access and permissions.

Alternatively get the site Owner, or you SharePoint administrator, to check on site and validate your permissions.


If there's been a change, and its a mistake, it can be changed back


If a check on your permissions comes back 'ok', then there maybe an issue Microsoft AAD authorising your access. See option


Finally - there are things you can check, but you cant fix


A number of issues can be caused by Microsoft's own services having failures (Incidents), or update-issues (Advisories), but other common sources of problems can stem from your device (hardware), to networking in your location (LAN, wireless) to how you manage your applications (software).


If you've followed the checks in the troubleshooting 101 article with no-joy resolving the issue, then my advice is to raise a support ticket with your IT provider, or Microsoft (if you know how to do this).


For more on the underlying root-causes check-out part 1, and for troubleshooting issues part 2 of the series.


If you want to talk about getting understanding troubleshooting with Microsoft 365 and SharePoint, contact us at: hi@timewespoke.com


About the author: Jonathan Stuckey