Has your forum post has been closed, moved, deleted or edited?

If you are reading this because your request for help on the forum has been altered by a moderator, this could be for several reasons described below.

What to expect from public forums

The public forums are for general help from experts and others who may be able to advise on specific problems, when given enough clear detail about your issue. Community moderators DO NOT have access to customer information. You cannot get help on public forums in relation to a customer support number, unless a genuine representative of Microsoft asks you. This would normally be done through direct contact or email, not exchanging of details in a public forum. 

Edited posts (for your protection)

Forum moderators will often remove personally identifiable information from public forum posts. This is to protect you from scammers and identity thieves, who may be able to use identifiers or configuration details to steal your identity and potentially gain access to your finances and family accounts. If an email, phone number, support code or anything deemed personal is redacted from your post. The moderator is trying to protect you, so please do not take offence. Below are the correct channels you should be using for such queries, instead of the public forums.

Removing unnecessary URLs and other product placements

To discourage spammers, moderators are encouraged to remove any URLs or product mentions that are not crucial to the problem. This is an unfortunate necessity in response to increasing spam across all forums. We all very much regret that we have to waste time and frustrate you by doing this. Please understand we do not want to waste our time doing this, or upsetting law abiding community members as you no doubt are. So please help us by accepting the change, understanding why have to do this and help us enforce it by reporting posts that post web links, advertisements or product placements of any kind that are not vital to the query..

Deleted posts

If your post has been deleted, then the moderator attaches a reason to the action, which company forum administrators can see. If you feel the action is incorrect, please use the contact channels listed below, to appeal for an inspection of the history and issues that triggered the action. There are many reasons a post could have been deleted, but they will all fall into one of the categories listed in the Terms and Conditions page for the forum. At the bottom of every page is a link to the Ts & Cs, which at the time of writing directs us to the "Microsoft Developer Agreement" - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/mdsa. By using the forums, you have agreed to abide by these rules, even if you do not consider yourself a developer. These rules cover general use of the platforms, which use Microsoft's "Application Programming Interfaces" (APIs) to provide data that is loaded into the webpages. Some rules are very specific, but your post may have been deleted if your actions are perceived simply as "helping others to break the rules". As above, if you are not also banned, then it is not a direct accusation, but rather just to help enforce the rules and educate those who did not know of the rule in the first place.

For more information about why posts are deleted, read this article from a very long time ago -  https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/jledgard/2005/06/30/msdn-forums-moderation-deleting-posts/

Moved posts

If your post was moved to another forum, this is because the moderator is trying to help you get a resolution as quickly as possible, by moving your post to the forum which is most relevant to the technology you are asking about. Sometimes moderators make mistakes and you can raise your objections in the thread if you wish to move back.

Locked posts

If your post is locked, this can be for several reasons. If you take issue with this action or any of the other actions discussed here, you can discuss your concerns in the forum support channels, such as here: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home?forum=reportabug. As the forum explains, this is NOT the place for product support. However you will find this is where customers are raising forum use problems, not just forum bugs.

Forum spam 

The forums are a precious resource to many seeking advice and we like to keep our house tidy and organised. Some spammers place codes in their posts, so as to identify them, such as bot number or their client id (the company they are spamming on behalf of). If this has happened to you, please do not take this as a direct accusation of spamming, unless you are actually banned at the same time. If the redacted code does not help the issue (or could be misused as explained above) then redaction of these codes is just one of the ways that moderators use to discourage real spammers from clogging up the forums. Again, I your account is not banned, it is not an direct accusation, just part of keeping a tidy house for everyone to use.

Official support options

Some of the main pages for direct support from Microsoft are listed below. These are the channels you should use if your have a support ticket number or need to discuss your accounts, and product keys.

Welcome to Microsoft Support - main landing page for all Microsoft product help

Several of the support pages above have a virtual assistant which is an official means of beginning a support query that is more than general technical discussions.

OST/PST converters, exporters, etc

It should be fairly obvious that if you use third party software to access your mail files, there is a reasonable chance that same software could steal your identity, passwords and contact lists. Thus providing the same people who spam the forums a fresh list of victims to email spam using your identity.

Protect your privacy and identity

Never allow untrusted applications to access to personal information that can be used to identify you, others, or the computer you are using. No matter how professional and believable the box art looks.

If you upload diagnostic information to a public forum, there is the potential for someone to extract information that may help them compromise your home or work security and gain access to personal, or financial information.

Some users masquerade as official support personnel on public forums, to gain your trust and scam you for money, identity or contacts. There is a section in every user's profile called "affiliations". If you look through some posts by Microsoft employees, you will see the difference. Anyone can put "Microsoft" in their user name, but the hyperlinked affiliations section is generated by the forum and tied to the official standing of that user. If you see users pretending to be official reps of Microsoft, we ask you to report them to fissues@microsft.com.

DO NOT use untrusted software with your crown jewels - identity and contact lists. Never install untrusted software on a home or office network.

If none of the world's biggest software companies provide software to do what you want, there is probably a very good reason for that.