Why does Microsoft Outlook ask me to sign in via Google?
Very occasionally, we’ve had customers switch to our mail service from Google and then have trouble setting up a new account in the Microsoft Outlook software program. The problem happens after they enter their email address and Outlook prompts them with a custom Google sign-in box instead of the normal configuration settings; it looks like this:
If this happens to you, you can probably work around it by repeatedly clicking the “X” in the top-right of the box to close the Google window:
You may have to do this two or more times. Eventually you’ll see this behind the Google boxes:
When you see this, click Change Account Settings. You’ll then see:
Change the server to mail.tigertech.net in both cases so it looks like this:
Then click Connect. It should then work.
The Google popup won’t close. Is there another way?
It may be possible to get to the setup screen a different way:
- Close the Outlook program completely
- Click the Windows Start menu, scroll down the apps to the “Windows System” folder, then click Control Panel to open the control panel app
- Search the control panel app for the word mail
- Click the Mail (Microsoft Outlook) result (it may be worded slightly differently, but you’re looking for “Outlook”)
- Click the Email Accounts... button
- Click New...
After doing this, you will see the same screens used to set up the older Outlook 2013, even if you’re using a later version of Outlook. You can then follow the instructions starting from step 2 on our Outlook 2013 setup page.
Why does this happen? Technical details
This issue is not related to the MX records or other DNS records. Instead, before Outlook checks any of those things, it sends a request to their own servers at https://prod-autodetect.outlookmobile.com/detect to ask if Microsoft already knows, or wants to override, the email provider. (Despite “mobile” in that domain name, desktop versions of Outlook do the same thing.)
If the domain name previously had email service with Google, Microsoft will sometimes respond with something like this:
... even though email service has since moved to our company. Outlook then uses “Google” for any account configuration.
Technically advanced users can test this on their own by running this command:
curl 'https://prod-autodetect.outlookmobile.com/detect?services=office365,outlook,google,icloud,yahoo&protocols=rest-cloud,rest-outlook,rest-office365,eas,imap,smtp' -H 'x-email: email@example.com' -k
Note that this can take up to a minute to complete and show output. If you’re not sure how to run that command, you can contact us and ask us to test it for you.
The command should show a result with mail.tigertech.net in it. If it instead shows a result with imap.gmail.com in it, Microsoft has “hard-coded” the domain name to use Google as the provider.
Unfortunately this isn’t anything we can fix on our end. If you really need it fixed, rather than just working around it as described above, we’ve been told that Microsoft customers can contact Microsoft or login to the admin portal on the Microsoft website and request a support call with a technician who can help resolve the issue. If you’re one of our customers in this situation, we recommend forwarding this support page to any Microsoft technician you’re working with, since it includes all of the information needed to reproduce and verify the problem.
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