Overcoming sticky logouts with Office 365, Azure, or Windows Intune in a web browser

​As an IT type, I find it required more often than most to be able to log out cleanly from various Microsoft services, or log out so I can then log in as another user.

Typically sessions on services like Office 365 seem “stickier” than most, particularly in NTLM-enabled (Windows Login) browsers such as Internet Explorer escalating through steps like:

– Clicking the logout button
– Clearing your browsers cache
– Closing and restarting your browser
– Cursing through gritted teeth

At the bottom of this post are 5 methods listed on Microsoft Support. You can mix and match and try but between all 5 of these you should be able to achieve a consistent, clean logout. The 1-2-3 steps described directly below should do it for you (not to mention having your Intranet Sites/Trusted Sites security settings configured properly is essential for a bunch of other reasons!)

(my) Winning 1-2-3 logout combo:

What I’ve found works solid every time is the following. The details for the Methods described can be found at the bottom of this post.

1. Perform the steps in Method 2: Add sites to the “Local intranet” and “Trusted sites” zones in the web browser 
2. Using the two links provided in Method 4: “Sign out of all Microsoft Online service”, add a link in your web browser favourites to provide quick access to the logout links. As most people would rather not reset all cookies and close out all browsers all the time, this method is ideal as it simply forces a logout to all Microsoft Online Services.

To install these bookmarklets simply right click and select “Add to Favorites” or drag the link below to your favorites bar to create a bookmarklet that will give you quick access to sign out any time.

Microsoft Online – Sign Out

Microsoft Live – Sign Out

You can also just click “Sign Out” under your username in the top bar of the Office 365 web application.

3. Close all instances of your browser as per Method 3: Close and Reopen all Web Browsers

That’s it, you should have a clean slate as far as authentication against Office 365/Azure/Intune at this point!

*Note: When you are logged into your Office 365 account and click “Sign Out”, it may seem like it does nothing but a page refresh. You may still seem to be logged in. If you close and re-open all instances of your current web browser after you’ve followed the previous 3 steps, this shouldn’t be an issue: once the browser is re-opened you should be kicked back to the login page as desired.
Office 365 logout

Method 1: Sign out and then sign in to https://mail.office365.com (https://mail.office365.com/) to access your mailbox

If you’re receiving the “We’re having trouble signing you in” error message, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

2912643

“We’re having trouble signing you in” message when you try to access your mail in Office 365

Method 2: Add sites to the “Local intranet” and “Trusted sites” zones in the web browser

  1. Click Start, type Control Panel, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.Note If Control Panel is set to Category view, click Network and Internet, and then click Internet Options.
  3. Add sites to the “Trusted sites” zone. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Trusted sites, click Sites, and then click Advanced.
    2. In the Add this website to the zone box, for the following addresses, type each address, and then click Add:
      https://*.microsoftonline.com
      https://*.sharepoint.com
      https://*.outlook.com
      https://*.lync.com
      https://*.office365.com
      https://*.office.com
      https://*.microsoftstream.com
      https://*.sway.com
      https://*.powerapps.com
      https://*.yammer.com
    3. Click Close.
  4. Add sites to the “Local intranet” zone. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. On the Security tab, click Local intranet, click Sites, and then click Advanced.
    2. In the Add this website to the zone box, for the following addresses, type each address, and then click Add:
      • *.microsoftonline.com
      • *.sharepoint.com
      • *.outlook.com
      • *.office365.com
      • *.office.com
      • *.lync.com
      • *.microsoftstream.com
      • *.sway.com
      • *.powerapps.com
      • *.yammer.com
    3. Click Close, and then click OK two times.

Note: If you’re using single sign-on (SSO), your SSO addresses should also be added to the “Local intranet” and “Trusted sites” zones.

Method 3: Close and reopen all web browsers

Close all web browsers and then reopen them.To end the task for your browser, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the taskbar, and then click Task Manager.
  2. Click the Details tab, and then do one of the following:
    • If you’re using Internet Explorer, find iexplore.exe in the list, right-click it, and then click End task.Note Make sure that you end the Iexplore.exe task. Do not end the Explore.exe task.
    • If you’re using Mozilla Firefox, find and right-click firefox.exe in the list, and then click End task.
    • If you’re using Apple Safari, find and right-click safari.exe in the list, and then click End task.
    • If you’re using Google Chrome, find and right-click iexplore.exe in the list, and then click End task.

    Notes

    • If more than one browser is listed, end the task for each browser.
    • If you’re using a different browser than those that are listed here, end the task for that browser

Method 4: Sign out of all Microsoft online services

You may be signed in to another Microsoft online service, and this may be preventing you from signing out. If this is the case, sign out of all Microsoft online services. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to https://login.microsoftonline.com/logout.srf

    , and then sign out (if you aren’t already signed out).

  2. Go to https://login.live.com/logout.srf

    , and then sign out (if you aren’t already signed out).

Method 5: Clear cookies from the web browser

Clear cookies from the web browser, and then try signing out again. The steps for doing this vary, depending on the browser that you’re using. For more information, see the following resources:

 

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