Home How-To-Guides 5 Ways to Fix the 'Cached Credentials Have Expired' Error in Microsoft Office

5 Ways to Fix the 'Cached Credentials Have Expired' Error in Microsoft Office

Posted: November 26, 2023

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In the modern digital environment, 'cached credentials' are an essential component utilized by Microsoft Office applications to maintain seamless user authentication. These stored authentication data allow users to stay signed in to their Microsoft 365 applications, eliminating the need for continuous username and password inputs. This boosts productivity by allowing swift access to Office applications like Word, Excel, Outlook, and more.

However, there are instances when users encounter an issue dubbed "cached credentials have expired." This error usually pops up in shared environments such as SharePoint, where multiple users interact with the same uploaded and downloaded files.

Understanding the "cached credentials have expired" Error

This error indicates that the passwords associated with the stored authentication data, or 'cached credentials,' on your device have become obsolete or have hit their expiration duration. While your cached credentials are permanently stored in your device, their corresponding passwords have certain lifetime limits, after which they expire. The exact duration for this password expiration varies, depending on which Microsoft application you are using and whether you are utilizing the Web or App versions.

Why does this error occur?

Several reasons can trigger the "cached credentials have expired" error. This error arises when the application's cache becomes corrupted or outdated, leading to a failed validation of the user's authentication details. Microsoft Office users commonly encounter this error when saving their work on applications like Word, Excel, etc. Moreover, the shared nature of environments such as SharePoint increases the likelihood of this error presenting itself. Other potential causes include incorrect time and date settings and network issues, necessitating thorough problem-solving approaches to counteract the issue.

Method 1. Sign Out and Sign In to Your Microsoft Account

One of the simplest solutions to mitigate the "cached credentials have expired" error is signing out of your Microsoft Office account and signing back in. This method is especially effective when experiencing issues with applications like Outlook. The process refreshes your account credentials and potentially clears any glitches causing the issue.

How to Sign Out of Your Microsoft Office Account

Depending on the specific Office application and its version, the sign-out steps might slightly differ. The general process, however, is as follows:

  1. Open your Office application and click the 'File' option in the top left corner.
  2. Click on 'Account Settings' from the dropdown menu to open the related settings.
  3. Click on 'Account Settings' again in the new menu that appears.
  4. Select the account experiencing issues and click 'Remove.'

How to Sign Back Into Microsoft Office Account

After successfully signing out, you can sign back into your Microsoft Office account by simply entering your username and password again. You can also follow the below steps:

  1. Open the Office application you signed out from.
  2. Navigate to 'File' > 'Account.'
  3. Under 'User Information,' select 'Sign in.'
  4. Enter your username and password to sign back into your account.

By refreshing your login, you're effectively generating new cached credentials, which might solve the "cached credentials have expired" issue.

Method 2. Disable Office Sync with OneDrive

Another proven method to resolve the "cached credentials have expired" in Microsoft Office involves disabling the sync feature between Microsoft Office and OneDrive. This can often solve the issue if the error stems from problems with OneDrive's file collaboration features.

How to Disable Syncing Between Microsoft Office and OneDrive

Sync issues between OneDrive and your Office apps often trigger the cached credentials error. Correcting this necessitates disabling the use of Office apps to sync files opened on OneDrive. Here's how to do this:

  1. Right-click the OneDrive icon on your Taskbar.
  2. Click the gear icon in the top right corner and select the 'Settings' option.
  3. Click on the 'Office' tab at the top.
  4. Uncheck the box that says 'Use Office 2016 to sync Office files I open' (or similar, depending on your version).
  5. Click the 'OK' button to save the changes and close the dialog.

Finally, exit all active Office apps and relaunch them to see if the issue persists. Disabling Office sync disables live editing support, but it allows OneDrive to handle the syncing process independently, which often rectifies the expiring cached credentials issue.

Method 3. Clear Microsoft Office Credentials

Another effective remedy for the "cached credentials have expired" error involves clearing the cached credentials linked to your Office applications. This approach is often successful when Windows continuously retrieves saved credentials, causing authentication failure despite accurately entering your credentials.

How to Delete Cached Credentials for Office Apps

You can clear the Office cached credentials from the Windows Credentials Manager through the following steps:

  1. Close all active Microsoft Office apps.
  2. Press the Windows key, type 'Control Panel,' and press Enter.
  3. Select 'User Accounts' from the list of options.
  4. Choose 'Credential Manager' from the available options.
  5. Select 'Windows Credentials.'
  6. Under the 'Generic Credentials,' locate all credentials related to Office applications.
  7. Click 'Remove' in front of each Office credential.

Re-entering Credentials after Clearing Them

After successfully removing the Office credentials, relaunch the relevant Office apps and sign in again. To do this:

  1. Open the Office app for which you just cleared the credentials.
  2. t should prompt you for login details. If not, navigate to 'File' > 'Account' and click 'Sign in.'
  3.  Enter your account details and sign in.

This method should ideally resolve the error by clearing old cached credentials and establishing new, active ones when you log back in, preventing any expired authentication data conflicts.