Microsoft imposes service restrictions on Office 365 to cope with demand

by Anmol
March 24, 2020

The Novel Coronavirus outbreak has forced employees to work from home which has increased the stress on different service providers. We recently saw companies like Netflix and YouTube reduce the streaming quality to take some weight off the infrastructure.

Now, Microsoft has sent out an advisory notifying Office 365 tenants of imminent changes to reduce the load on the servers. The Office 365 notification “MC207439” has been sent out to tenants today and it details the following changes to Microsoft Office 365.


  • OneNote in Teams will be read-only for commercial tenants, excluding EDU. Users can go to OneNote for the web for editing.
  • Download size and sync frequency of file attachments has been changed.
  • You can find details on these and other OneNote related updates as


  • We are rescheduling specific backend operations to regional evening and weekend business hours. Impacted capabilities include migration, DLP and delays in file management after uploading a new file, video or image.
  • Reduced video resolution for playback videos.


  • People timeline has been disabled for newly uploaded videos. Pre-existing videos will not be impacted.
  • Meeting recording video resolution adjusted to 720p

Microsoft has seen an exponential rise in the use of Teams and that has impacted associated Microsoft Office apps like OneNote and SharePoint. Recently, Microsoft shared that they saw a 500% increase in the usage of Teams meetings, calling, and conferences in China. They also saw a 200% increase in Teams usage on mobile devices. Last week Microsoft announced changes to Teams which included the reduced video resolution and removal of certain features. All these changes were aimed at reducing the server load so the app could work as intended.

As a part of our commitment to customers and Microsoft cloud services continuity during these unprecedented times, we’re making temporary adjustments to select capabilities within Microsoft 365.

Last week, we shared details about adjustments in Microsoft Teams, such as how often we check for presence, the interval in which we show when the other party is typing, and reduced video resolution.

– Microsoft

It is not clear when these restrictions will be lifted or if Microsoft is planning to impose new restrictions as the company tries to keep the services running. For now, the new restrictions will apply to all the Office 365 users.

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