Friday, April 20, 2018

Portal and Administration


by Brett

Microsoft recently updated the Administration  portal to include a new feature – unattended  password reset for administrators.  This feature has been a LONG time coming and I’m sure the support staff at Microsoft is happy about it. Until now, you had to call Microsoft tech support to get the admin password reset.

Here’s how the password reset works.

The administration portal now has a new field for administrator’s – alternate email address:

 To start the process, you can request a password using the sign in page by clicking on Forget your password?


This link has been present since the release of Office 365 but just went a page that said you need to contact support.

Also, you can encounter this link if you try to sign in too many times with the wrong password. This is new as well:


Clicking on Forgot your password takes you to:


If you are not an administrator, you see a page message that says to contact your administrator. So this feature only works for Office 365 admins. Let's hope that adding this for users is on the roadmap.

Next you prompted to provide your email address and solve one of those fuzzy-number-and –letters-jumbled-up-so-you-can-almost-not-make-it-out puzzles. They kind of went wild on this one with an 8 character puzzle and case seems to matter as well. BTW, check out the audio puzzle. It’s interesting.


You’ll get an email sent to your alternate email address.

There is evidently a short timeout on the provided link so reply promptly or you have to start again.

Now we see part 2 of the reset plan. “Have your mobile phone ready, you will receive a text message for resetting your password”. Where do they get the mobile phone number?  All users have a mobile phone field in the user settings in the Office 365 portal. So take a note: THE MOBILE PHONE FIELD FOR ADMINSTRATORS MATTERS.

After entering the Security Code sent to you phone via Text message, you are allowed to change your password.


After this you are back to the login page and can now sign in with your new password. Yeah!

Thanks Microsoft for continuously rolling out improvements. They continue to add value and that’s a good thing  for everyone. But I must add that it’s kind of bittersweet to say “hey, the self service password is a great new feature of Office 365” -  as it begs the question,  “you mean you couldn’t do that ?”

by Brett

Scenario: You deployed users as <domain> but now you want to change to custom domain.
This video, created for, illustrates what happens when you have deployed users with a domain such as the default domain, and then add a custom domain. Some reconfiguration is required in this situation. Included are setting up a desktop, setting the user's default domain, and other best practices along the way. This is a good example of the kind of topics I'll be covering on so let me know what you think.


Brett Hill

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