Overcoming sticky logouts with Office 365, Azure, or Windows Intune in a web browser

​As an IT type, I find it required more often than most to be able to log out cleanly from various Microsoft services, or log out so I can then log in as another user.

Typically sessions on services like Office 365 seem “stickier” than most, particularly in NTLM-enabled (Windows Login) browsers such as Internet Explorer escalating through steps like:

– Clicking the logout button
– Clearing your browsers cache
– Closing and restarting your browser
– Cursing through gritted teeth

At the bottom of this post are 5 methods listed on Microsoft Support. You can mix and match and try but between all 5 of these you should be able to achieve a consistent, clean logout. The 1-2-3 steps described directly below should do it for you (not to mention having your Intranet Sites/Trusted Sites security settings configured properly is essential for a bunch of other reasons!)

(my) Winning 1-2-3 logout combo:

What I’ve found works solid every time is the following. The details for the Methods described can be found at the bottom of this post.

1. Perform the steps in Method 2: Add sites to the “Local intranet” and “Trusted sites” zones in the web browser 
2. Using the two links provided in Method 4: “Sign out of all Microsoft Online service”, add a link in your web browser favourites to provide quick access to the logout links. As most people would rather not reset all cookies and close out all browsers all the time, this method is ideal as it simply forces a logout to all Microsoft Online Services.

To install these bookmarklets simply right click and select “Add to Favorites” or drag the link below to your favorites bar to create a bookmarklet that will give you quick access to sign out any time.

Microsoft Online – Sign Out

Microsoft Live – Sign Out

You can also just click “Sign Out” under your username in the top bar of the Office 365 web application.

3. Close all instances of your browser as per Method 3: Close and Reopen all Web Browsers

That’s it, you should have a clean slate as far as authentication against Office 365/Azure/Intune at this point!

*Note: When you are logged into your Office 365 account and click “Sign Out”, it may seem like it does nothing but a page refresh. You may still seem to be logged in. If you close and re-open all instances of your current web browser after you’ve followed the previous 3 steps, this shouldn’t be an issue: once the browser is re-opened you should be kicked back to the login page as desired.
Office 365 logout

Method 1: Sign out and then sign in to https://mail.office365.com (https://mail.office365.com/) to access your mailbox

If you’re receiving the “We’re having trouble signing you in” error message, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:


“We’re having trouble signing you in” message when you try to access your mail in Office 365

Method 2: Add sites to the “Local intranet” and “Trusted sites” zones in the web browser

  1. Click Start, type Control Panel, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.Note If Control Panel is set to Category view, click Network and Internet, and then click Internet Options.
  3. Add sites to the “Trusted sites” zone. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Trusted sites, click Sites, and then click Advanced.
    2. In the Add this website to the zone box, for the following addresses, type each address, and then click Add:
    3. Click Close.
  4. Add sites to the “Local intranet” zone. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. On the Security tab, click Local intranet, click Sites, and then click Advanced.
    2. In the Add this website to the zone box, for the following addresses, type each address, and then click Add:
      • *.microsoftonline.com
      • *.sharepoint.com
      • *.outlook.com
      • *.office365.com
      • *.office.com
      • *.lync.com
      • *.microsoftstream.com
      • *.sway.com
      • *.powerapps.com
      • *.yammer.com
    3. Click Close, and then click OK two times.

Note: If you’re using single sign-on (SSO), your SSO addresses should also be added to the “Local intranet” and “Trusted sites” zones.

Method 3: Close and reopen all web browsers

Close all web browsers and then reopen them.To end the task for your browser, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the taskbar, and then click Task Manager.
  2. Click the Details tab, and then do one of the following:
    • If you’re using Internet Explorer, find iexplore.exe in the list, right-click it, and then click End task.Note Make sure that you end the Iexplore.exe task. Do not end the Explore.exe task.
    • If you’re using Mozilla Firefox, find and right-click firefox.exe in the list, and then click End task.
    • If you’re using Apple Safari, find and right-click safari.exe in the list, and then click End task.
    • If you’re using Google Chrome, find and right-click iexplore.exe in the list, and then click End task.


    • If more than one browser is listed, end the task for each browser.
    • If you’re using a different browser than those that are listed here, end the task for that browser

Method 4: Sign out of all Microsoft online services

You may be signed in to another Microsoft online service, and this may be preventing you from signing out. If this is the case, sign out of all Microsoft online services. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to https://login.microsoftonline.com/logout.srf

    , and then sign out (if you aren’t already signed out).

  2. Go to https://login.live.com/logout.srf

    , and then sign out (if you aren’t already signed out).

Method 5: Clear cookies from the web browser

Clear cookies from the web browser, and then try signing out again. The steps for doing this vary, depending on the browser that you’re using. For more information, see the following resources:


Getting started with Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket Add-In for Excel (CTP3)

The Azure DataMarket is perhaps one of the less well known services offered as part of Windows Azure. The DataMarket contains both free and paid-for data subscriptions that can be accessed using a variety of tools.

The DataMarket does not appear anywhere on the Azure portal. To access it you need to create a separate account. You do that at https://datamarket.azure.com/ . Once you have established an account you can subscribe to any of the various data that have been published.

Of course there’s a whole slew of ways to create and consume applications & data in the DataMarket. The About page will get you started on the basic’s and direct the hardcore geeks to where they need to be, check the end of this post for more info on Developing for the DataMarket.  In this post i’ll share a simple integration point that comes in form of a (Community Technology Preview) plugin for Excel.

Microsoft Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket Add-in for Excel (CTP 3)

This Excel plugin provides a simple experience allowing you to discover datasets published on the Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket or in your instance of Microsoft Codename “Data Hub” right within Excel. Users can browse and search for a rich set of datasets within a tool they already use.

With only a couple of clicks, the user can query their datasets and import the data as a table into Excel. Once in the workbook, the data can be visualized, joined with other data sources (including owned/on premise data) or exported to be used in other applications.

How to Use the Plugin

  1. Signing-in and browsing your datasets

The add-in got installed as extension to Microsoft Excel. During the installation process a button with the title “Import data from DataMarket” got added to the “Data” tab in the Excel ribbon:

By clicking on the button the following sign-in experience/window is brought up:

This window introduces the DataMarket, Data Hub (the private information marketplace) and offers links to various resources:

  • Learn More: Opens the browser with more information about the Marketplace and Data Hub.
  • Privacy statement: Opens the browser showing the privacy statement for this add-in.

The main purpose of this window is to help you sign-in to your list of subscribed datasets. When you click Sign In or Create Account, a browser window will appear that will allow you to sign in with your Live ID and connect to the DataMarket to allow access to the add-in. If you don’t have a Live ID, you may sign up for one at this time and create a DataMarket account.


Once you have signed in and given consent to allow access to your account, the add-in load your subscribed datasets. The window turns into a view similar to the one below:

  1. Browsing and buying datasets (applies only when connected to DataMarket)

The window that displays all of your subscribed datasets exposes a “Browse” button. Clicking that button opens the DataMarket marketplace in a browser window:

In this window you find a list of all the datasets that are available through DataMarket. Additional it allows filtering them by category and to search for specific datasets by providing free-form text in the search box.

Once you have found a dataset that you would like to explore further you can click on the title of that dataset.

After clicking the link a page is shown that exposes details of the dataset and allows also buying the dataset.

  1. Importing data into the workbook

Each of your subscribed datasets exposes an “Import data” link. Clicking that link opens the querying/import experience window.

The top of the window hosts a drop down box where you can select what subset of the dataset you are interested in. Lots of datasets expose a multitude of sets or functions from which you can choose.

Additional for each of the sets/functions you have the following options (where all of them are optional):

  • Filter results: Add conditions to filter the data that is being imported into the workbook.
  • Sort results: Specify how the results should be sorted before being imported into the workbook.
  • Limit number of results: Allows you to limit the number of rows that should be imported into the workbook.
  • Specify returned fields: Limit the number of fields that are being imported. Some datasets expose a large number of fields and in some scenarios you might only want to import a subset of them.

At the bottom of the window is an “Import data” button. Clicking this button will download the data and import it into your Excel workbook.

Finally, just in case you think I forgot the really fun stuff:



The Windows Azure™ Marketplace enables developers to easily discover, purchase, and manage premium data subscriptions for both trusted public domain and premium commercial data through a common security, billing, auditing and authentication model. Easily consume information using a single, consistent REST based API for all data and/or leverage the benefits of selling through Microsoft to accelerate ROI and reach new customers by selling your application on the Marketplace.

Learn More
Using Marketplace Data in your Application
Developing an Application to Sell on the Marketplace
Developing an Application using the Microsoft Translator Service
Check out the latest Marketplace Code Samples

vSharePoint February Presentation – SharePoint External Login Access: Forms Auth vs Azure ACS

Here are the assets from my presentation last Thursday at the Victoria SharePoint user group, vSharePoint. In addition to our meetup.com site, be sure to also check out our  Office 365 hosted site at www.vsharepoint.com, which has all past Presentations available for download.

Thanks to everyone for coming out, Kelly Marshall for doing the prizes and tweetage, and Sean Wallbridge for hosting.

Windows Azure new features: SQL Server Always On Support and Notification Hubs, AutoScale Improvements + More

Scott Guthrie announced the release of some nice new features for Windows Azure:

  • SQL Server AlwaysOn Support:

    General Availability support with Windows Azure Virtual Machines (enables both high availability and disaster recovery)

    You can now use SQL Server AlwaysOn within Windows Azure Virtual Machines to
    achieve high availability and global business continuity.  As part of this
    support you can now deploy one or more readable database secondaries
    which not only improves availability of your SQL Servers but also improves
    efficiency by allowing you to offload BI reporting tasks and backups to the
    secondary machines.

  • Notification Hubs:

    General Availability Release of Windows Azure Notification Hubs (broadcast push for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS and Android)

    Notification Hubs enable you to instantly send personalized, cross-platform,
    broadcast push notifications to millions of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and
    Android mobile devices.

  • AutoScale: Schedule-based AutoScale rules and richer logging support

    It’s now easy to know and log exactly what AutoScale has done for your service: there are four new AutoScale history features with today’s release to help with this.

    First, Azure has added two new operations to Windows Azure’s Operation Log capability: AutoscaleAction and PutAutoscaleSetting. Azure records each time that AutoScale takes a scale up or scale down action, and include the new and previous instance counts in the details. In addition, Azure records each time anyone changes autoscale settings – you can use this to see who on your team changed autoscale options and when.  These are both now exposed in the Operation Logs tab of the new Management Services node within the Windows Azure Management Portal.

  • Virtual Machines: Load Balancer Configuration and Management

    Every Virtual Machine, Cloud Service, Web Site and Mobile Service you deploy in Windows Azure comes with built-in load balancer support that you can use to both scale out your app and enable high availability.  This load balancer support is built-into Windows Azure and included at no extra charge (most other cloud providers make you pay extra for it).

    Today’s update of Windows Azure includes some nice new features that make it even easier to configure and manage load balancing support for Virtual Machines – and includes support for customizing the network probe logic that our load balancers use to determine whether your Virtual Machines are healthy and should be kept in the load balancer rotation.

  • Management Services: New Portal Extension for Operation logs + Alerts

    Previously “Alerts” and “Operation Logs” tabs were under the “Settings
    extension in the Windows Azure Management Portal.  With today’s update, we are
    moving these cross cutting management and monitoring functionality to a new
    extension in the Windows Azure Portal named “Management Services”. The
    goal is to increase discoverability of common management services as well as to
    provide better categorization of functionality that cuts across all Windows
    Azure services. We will continue to enrich and add to such cross cutting
    functionality in Windows Azure over the next few releases.

  • Disaster Recovery

    of a on-premises SQL Server using Windows Azure

    In addition to enabling high availability solutions within Windows Azure, the
    new SQL Server AlwaysOn support can also be used to enable on-premise SQL
    Server solutions
    to be expanded to have one or more secondary replicas
    running in the cloud using Windows Azure Virtual Machines.  This allows
    companies to enable high-availability disaster recovery
    – where in the event of a local datacenter being down (for
    example: due to a hurricane or natural disaster, or simply a network HW failure
    on-premises) they can failover and continue operations using Virtual Machines
    that have been deployed in the cloud using Windows Azure.

Cloud SharePoint for Developers : Office 365, Azure, Amazon AWS & CloudShare

Here’s a quick round up of our four top picks for getting your SharePoint Development going on in the cloud. Why develop in the cloud instead of perhaps using a local dedicated or virtual development environment?    Here’s ten reasons:

1. Scalable Add as many machines as you need.
2. Open and Flexible Choose development platform and programming model.
3. Secure Secure and durable technology platform with industry-recognized certifications and audits.
4. Fast Deployment Time Deploy applications without waiting for hardware to arrive.
5. Highly Available Highly reliable services and multiple fault-tolerant Availability Zones.
6. Quickly Adjust to Business Change: Running SharePoint in the Cloud allows you to add capacity as needed, without long lead time. You can easily scale up, or down, as business demands change. Stay ahead of the curve by adjusting capacity in minutes and hours, not days or weeks.
7. No New Hardware to Buy: All four options offer low, pay-as-you-go pricing, which eliminates hardware acquisition costs and allows you to pay only for the capacity you need. We do all of the hardware management, so you can focus on higher-value activities than replacing hard drives.
8. Shift Capital Expense to Operating Expense: While reducing both. You no longer need to plan, procure, manage, and depreciate your IT infrastructure.  You can replace large up-front expenses with more predictable costs that scale with your business.
9. Utilize Existing Skills and Software: Leverage your existing investments in IT skills and software assets, enabling your company to roll out new applications more quickly.
10. Low Cost Pay only for cloud resources used.

SharePoint Development on Office 365

Use an Office 365 Developer Site as a development and testing environment to shorten your setup time and start creating, testing, and deploying your apps for Office and SharePoint. Deploy the “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools to this preconfigured SharePoint site and you also get a head start on developing SharePoint-hosted apps, and apps for Office documents and mail items, without installing Visual Studio 2012 and Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 on your development computer. With an Office 365 Developer Site, you get an isolated app domain for SharePoint-hosted apps, preconfigured to use OAuth, so that you can use the Windows Azure Access Control Service (ACS) for authenticating and authorizing provider-hosted apps for SharePoint that are deployed to this site.


Next steps

After you have a development environment and an Office 365 Developer Site, you can start creating apps for Office and SharePoint.

Next steps for working with “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools

Next steps for working with apps for SharePoint

Additional resources

SharePoint Development on Azure

Microsoft SharePoint Server provides rich deployment flexibility, which can help organizations determine the right deployment scenarios to align with their business needs and objectives. Hosted and managed in the cloud, the Windows Azure Virtual Machines offering provides complete, reliable, and available infrastructure to support various on-demand application and database workloads, such as Microsoft SQL Server and SharePoint deployments.

While Windows Azure Virtual Machines support multiple workloads, this paper focuses on SharePoint deployments. Windows Azure Virtual Machines enable organizations to create and manage their SharePoint infrastructure quickly—provisioning and accessing nearly any host universally. It allows full control and management over processors, RAM, CPU ranges, and other resources of SharePoint virtual machines (VMs).

Windows Azure Virtual Machines mitigate the need for hardware, so organizations can turn attention from handling high upfront cost and complexity to building and managing infrastructure at scale. This means that they can innovate, experiment, and iterate in hours—as opposed to days and weeks with traditional deployments.

Step-by-Step: Build a FREE SharePoint 2013 Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services


The following is required to complete this step-by-step guide:

  • A Windows Azure subscription with the Virtual Machines Preview enabled.   DO IT: Sign up for a FREE Trial of Windows Azure   NOTE: When activating your FREE Trial for Windows Azure, you will be prompted for credit card information.  This information is used only to validate your identity and your credit card will not be charged, unless you explicitly convert your FREE Trial account to a paid subscription at a later point in time.
  • Completion of the Getting Started tasks in the following article:   DO IT: Getting Started with Servers in the Cloud
  • This step-by-step guide assumes that the reader is already somewhat familiar with configuring Windows Server Active Directory, SQL Server and SharePoint Server in an on-premise installation. This guide focuses on the unique aspects associated with configuring these components on the Windows Azure cloud platform.

Additional Resources:
How to: Deploy SharePoint Server 2010 on Azure
SharePoint 2013 on Azure Infrastructure

SharePoint Development on Amazon Web Services

Amazon EC2 running Windows Server is a secure and dependable environment for customers to deploy Microsoft SharePoint quickly and cost  effectively. The Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance program  allows Microsoft volume license customers to use their existing Windows Server applications licenses, including SharePoint Server, on AWS  without paying any additional Microsoft licensing fees. Take advantage of the benefits that the AWS Cloud offers such as pay-as-you-go pricing,  scalability, and data integrity to run your SharePoint workloads today.

The Get Started section below has more detail about all of the available technologies and resources for Microsoft on AWS, including pricing,  documentation, whitepapers, templates and sample code. If you have questions about SharePoint on AWS please visit the FAQ page for more info.

Get Started with AWS for Free
Sign Up Now »

AWS Free Tier includes 750 hours of Linux or Windows Micro Instances each month for one year. To stay within the Free Tier, use only EC2 Micro instances.

View AWS Free Tier Details »

Additional Resources

Microsoft and AWS     Overview of the relationship between the Microsoft and AWS, with technical resources, case studies, videos and more.

>     Learn More

Windows on the Amazon Cloud     Learn about pricing on Amazon EC2 for Windows Server and SQL Server, or find out about the Free Tier.

>     Learn More

SharePoint Reference Architecture White Paper     General concepts and technical guidance for setting up and running a SharePoint Server farm on AWS.

>     Read White Paper

Security for the Microsoft Applications on AWS White Paper Guidance, best practices, and available controls and capabilities within the AWS platform to run Windows Server-based applications securely on the AWS cloud.

Read White Paper

SharePoint Development on CloudShare

CloudShare provides an unmatched solution for SharePoint development and testing. Build a single server or multi-server SharePoint farm in minutes. With a few clicks, you can collaborate with other developers, demo for prospects, and deploy your solution to a production farm.

  • Explore the full functionality of SharePoint
  • Develop on virtual machines with sole server administration access
  • Select from development templates pre-configured with Visual Studio, Office, and various versions of SharePoint
  • Leverage tools including Team Foundation Server to store your solution code
  • Share your SharePoint solution across your organization

Try now using these top templates

SharePoint 2010 with SSRS 2012›
SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Small Farm›
SharePoint 2010 with Project Server›

CloudShare Free  Trial›


Each of these services has it’s strong points. With Microsoft’s Azure offering now set to price match against Amazon AWS, things are really heating up. CloudShare is an fantastic company with a super-simple deployment model – it’s possibly the simplest way to roll out a new development scenario.  Office 365 is rock solid, if you don’t need to actually manipulate server-side stuff and are focused on the Apps model.  I’m always interested to hear from other developers on their experiences with these different offerings.