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Microsoft 365 Web App Account Switching for Browsers Coming This Month

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it's adding the ability for Microsoft 365 Web app users to switch their accounts within browsers, which will be available in the next few months.

With this feature, Microsoft 365 Web app users can stay within a browser and switch between a work account, which might use Azure Active Directory for authentication, and a personal account, which might use the Microsoft account for authentication. Users are able to switch accounts via a toggle switch, without needing to sign out of one account and then sign into another.

One scenario for the Microsoft 365 Web app account switching might be a consultant working for a client. The consultant will be able to switch from using Web apps managed by the consultancy to Web apps managed by the customer.

Microsoft is planning to roll out the account switching feature for Microsoft 365 Web apps worldwide, which will start happening sometime between April and June for subscribers. It'll just be available for some Web apps initially, namely:

  • Excel
  • Microsoft 365 Admin Center
  • Office.com
  • OneDrive for the Web
  • Outlook for the Web
  • PowerPoint for the Web

Support for additional other Microsoft 365 Web apps is planned for the near future, Microsoft added.

User Controls
The account switching happens via an "account manager" toggle, which is located in the upper right corner of a browser. When clicked, it'll show a drop-down list of accounts to choose from. In Microsoft's example this account manager showed a picture of the user.

The browser that's used, doesn't appear to matter, although it won't work "if third-party cookies are disabled in a browser." Microsoft recommends "keeping tracking prevention to Balanced (Default) for Microsoft Edge, and third-party cookies enabled for other browsers."

If a user switches browsers, the accounts that they were using in the other browser don't show, "unless the user explicitly adds them there or the account is joined to the device," Microsoft explained.

Account Switching Feature Can't Be Blocked
IT pros who administer Microsoft 365 accounts won't be able to turn off the account switching feature for Microsoft 365 Web apps using a control, the announcement indicated. Organizations wanting greater control should "look at tenant restrictions functionality from Azure Active Directory," Microsoft advised.

The announcement indicated that the account toggling retains the account access permissions and privacy settings that were set up by IT pros. "In other words, each account will continue to only have access to the data they have permissions for," the announcement explained.

The account switching feature is unavailable for "Microsoft 365 Government and Germany" tenancies. It's also not available to 21Vianet (China) users.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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