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Mail app email push notification stopped working for particular Microsoft account only

    Question

  • Windows 8.1 Mail app push email notification for Outlook account stopped working yesterday (it was working for one year). I haven't changed anything. Note it stopped working on two different devices at the same time. The only way to get new email messages is manual synchronization by the Sync button now. No error messages in Event log, I also tried to reinstall all three apps, no change. Note that calendar push notifications still works (on both devices).

    It seems to be my Microsoft account specific issue.

    Short summary:

    • My MS account until 20 Jan 2016 - connection to snt000-m.hotmail.com - notifications/synchronization worked
    • My MS account from 21 Jan 2016 - connection to dub407-m.hotmail.com - notifications/synchronization does not work
    • Other MS account - connection to col403-m.hotmail.com - notifications/synchronization still work

    I used Fiddler debugging proxy to capture communication between the livecomm.exe process and Microsoft dub407-m.hotmail.com server. It has confirmed that new email notification does not arrive from the server (while the calendar event updates does).

    EDIT 2: please see my update to the issue 5 Feb 2016.

    Thanks for any help.


    • Edited by Petr Vones Friday, February 05, 2016 10:45 AM
    Friday, January 22, 2016 9:33 AM

Answers

All replies

  • Hi Petr,

    Admittedly, your analysis is reasonable.

    Since two different devices appear same situation at the same time and you don’t change any settings, it indicates that Mail app should be normal. As you said, I suspect Hotmail server have some trouble either.

    Have you try use website outlook mail? Please have a try by the following link.

    http://www.outlook.com

    If you log in by your Microsoft account and get the same result, I suppose that you may need to wait for reparation or feedback this condition to the Hotmail server for assistance.

    Hope my clarification is clear.


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    Monday, January 25, 2016 8:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Have you try use website outlook mail? Please have a try by the following link.

    http://www.outlook.com

    If you log in by your Microsoft account and get the same result, I suppose that you may need to wait for reparation or feedback this condition to the Hotmail server for assistance.


    Yes, I checked it via web interface (getting redirected to https://dub128.mail.live.com/ now while it was https://snt151.mail.live.com/ before the 20 Jan 2016) and notifications in Inbox folder works via the web interface (only). But this is a different case.

    All three Windows 8.1 apps (Mail, Calendar and People) use (via livecomm.exe process) the same communication channel to Microsoft server. While calendar events and people updates comes immediately, new mail notifications don't since 20 Jan 2016. I use the mail notifications on tablet in connected standby mode so another workaround to switch to IMAP protocol is not a good option anyway. And again, all of this had worked fine for one year.

    So my question is where to report it and get my account verified ? Or is there any way to re-assign my account to a different node than the dubNNN ? I can also provide Fiddler debugger log of communication between the livecomm.exe process and Microsoft server.

    I can understand that this is a temporary issue (a wrong setting of my account after the server node switch from snt to dub or so at Microsoft side) but I'd like to get it confirmed with an estimated time for the fix. My MS account is also connected to MSDN subscription and related Azure services so changing it to a new one (to get it work again) wouldn't be a trivial task.

    Thanks, Petr

    • Edited by Petr Vones Monday, January 25, 2016 8:13 PM
    Monday, January 25, 2016 10:41 AM
  • Hi Petr,

    To contact Hotmail Customer Service, we could:

    Log in to Hotmail – ideally with the account you have a question on, but any account will do.

    Click on Help, in the upper right corner of the Hotmail page.

    Click on View other Help suggestions or contact us near the bottom of the left hand side of the resulting page.

    Select Other – Contact MSN Hotmail in the Category drop-down list.

    Fill out the contact form.

    The following link can also help you to make it.

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/outlook-help

    Beast regards,

    Teemo Tang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016 1:39 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks, I finally found it. Lets wait 24 hours.
    • Edited by Petr Vones Tuesday, January 26, 2016 11:37 AM
    Tuesday, January 26, 2016 10:05 AM
  • It looks like I am being stuck in infinite loop. The support replied that they can't help with Windows OS (?)

    My question remains, where to get support for Windows 8.1 Mail app and communication with Microsoft server related to particular Microsoft account ?

    Wednesday, January 27, 2016 9:38 AM
  • Hi Petr,

    In my opinion, you may need to explain to server support that your Microsoft account meets with trouble rather than Windows Mail app.

    Let them assist you verify your account and tell them you have tried through website outlook.

    Best regards,

    Teemo Tang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, January 29, 2016 1:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Petr,

    In my opinion, you may need to explain to server support that your Microsoft account meets with trouble rather than Windows Mail app.

    This is exactly what I am trying to explain. I have rechecked the issue, still persists.

    • Edited by Petr Vones Friday, January 29, 2016 6:33 PM
    Friday, January 29, 2016 3:34 PM
  • It is hopeless. The support says that if new emails are delivered into mailbox and visible via Outlook.com web interface (it does), they can not provide futher support because the issue is between the Windows 8.1 Mail app and its server side. Basically I am being redirected to Microsoft answers forum, where I have already started.

    It looks like there is no solution to this issue.

    • Edited by Petr Vones Monday, February 01, 2016 5:13 PM
    Monday, February 01, 2016 4:34 PM
  • Hi Petr,

    The situation seemed unoptimistic, I am afraid that I just can say sorry.

    Could you please try another free Microsoft email product which named Windows Live Mail?

    Many users also use this product to deal with mail work, it’s convenient to get it from here.

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-live/windows-essentials-help#v1h=tab4

    Thanks for your understanding

    Best regards,

    Teemo Tang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, February 03, 2016 1:40 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Petr,

    Could you please try another free Microsoft email product which named Windows Live Mail?

    No, I need the Mail app because of connected standby (sleep) notifications. I tried another, much more complicated steps, that have revealed weird behavior of my Microsoft account. Note it is not related to the server anymore:

    I completely removed my Microsoft account (name it: accountA @ outlook.com) from the computer and deleted all profile files. Then I added it again, without synchronizing any settings to have a fresh profile. Email push notification for the default Outlook email accountA @ outlook.com still does not work, when an email is sent to accountA @ outlook.com. Only manual synchronization works, despite it displays "Up to date" in the top-right corner. Note that Calendar new event automatic synchronization works immediately, it is the same ActiveSync protocol.

    Now I created completely new Microsoft account for verification purposes (name it: accountB @ outlook.com) and added it to the same computer as new user account that I can log on/off between them. When logged as (accountB @ outlook.com) user, email push notifications works for this new account when an email is sent to accountB @ outlook.com, as expected. No problem here, it confirms the Windows installation on the computer is not corrupted etc.

    The mystery starts here: logged as (accountB @ outlook.com) user, I added the first email account (accountA @ outlook.com) as another Outlook account to the Mail app and also set the "As items arrive" option, so the Mail app receives emails from both accountA and accountB email accounts. Now the push notifications works when an email is sent to accountA @ outlook.com. Weird. Note that there are still two separate HTTPS connections from livecomm.exe process to different xxx-m.hotmail.com servers because accounts are on different nodes. It is still connected to the same dub407-m.hotmail.com server that does not work when logged as (accountA @ outlook.com) but works here, why ?

    Is there any way to fix my original Microsoft account (accountA @ outlook.com) to get the email notifications work again, when logged as (accountA @ outlook.com) user ? It must be a wrong setting/data hidden on the Microsoft server probably caused by the server node switch because re-creating the account/profile on computer(s) does not help to resolve it. There is nothing, no server setting etc., to set in the Mail app because it is the default non-removable Outlook email account.

    The same behavior is on two different computers, accountA @ outlook.com push notifications does not work anywhere when I am logged as accountA @ outlook.com user so it is the default non-removable email account in the Mail app. I have attached many things including MSDN and Azure subscriptions to the Microsoft accountA so I can not get rid of it easily and switch everything to accountB.

    Thanks for any help, I can provider the "accountA @ outlook.com" information for further investigation.



    • Edited by Petr Vones Friday, February 05, 2016 11:07 AM
    Friday, February 05, 2016 10:38 AM
  • I tried to debug it by Wireshark and Microsoft-Windows-PushNotifications-Platform event log. I found the issue.

    The Mail application use two different ways of notifications:

    • EAS ActiveSync Direct Push
    • Azure Push Notifications

    For the default Microsoft account email/calendar/contants it uses Azure Push Notifications for all notifications despite of the EAS protocol also supports that. You can see that in Event log and also because the connection to the server does not persist.

    For another added account (including Outlook.com ones) it uses EAS protocol exclusively without the Azure Push Notifications.

    Because configuration on server is broken for my account after the 20 Jan 2016 caused by the server switch, Azure Push Notifications are not sent for new emails (only for calendar/contact events), that's why it does work as a second account only - mystery is solved.

    Now, how to get it fixed ?


    • Edited by Petr Vones Sunday, February 07, 2016 10:06 PM
    Sunday, February 07, 2016 6:48 PM
  • The support replied they did not find any issue. It seems to be impossible to fix other than create new Microsoft account and lose the 30 GB OneDrive bonus available till end of January only.

    I can reproduce the issue with fresh new Windows installation as well. What else do I have to prove that the issue is on Microsoft server infrastructure ?

    Frustrating ...


    • Edited by Petr Vones Wednesday, February 10, 2016 12:36 PM
    Wednesday, February 10, 2016 11:58 AM
    • Marked as answer by Petr Vones Saturday, February 13, 2016 1:42 PM
    • Edited by Petr Vones Saturday, February 13, 2016 1:43 PM
    Saturday, February 13, 2016 1:42 PM