Microsoft website fails to log you in with an error: “Unable to service request”

This post was most recently updated on December 11th, 2019.

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Okay – so this one is going to be a simple blog post. I’ll be explaining an apparent fan favorite – MSDN forums, MSDN subscriber downloads or other Microsoft web properties are not letting you sign in, but rather throw the following error:

Unable to service request

Why do you get an error like this? How to resolve it?


I was recently reading Joanne C. Klein’s blog, and she gave a great tip about blogging: look into the search queries, that keep bringing people to your site, and see what are the questions people have, and you’re not answering.

Well, quite clearly, MSDN-related topics have been one of mine!

MSDN-related queries in my Google Search Console data. There's quite a few...
MSDN-related queries in my Google Search Console data. There’s quite a few…

These are just a few of MSDN-related keyword combinations that bring people on to the site – so let’s try to clear a couple of things out, shall we?


Different solutions to different things people come looking for – hope this helps:

Login fails with “Unable to Service request”

Boringly enough, the solution to this issue is exactly the same as the solution to “Bad Request – Request Too Long”. Clear cookies. My earlier blog post (linked below) explains how:

References & Other useful links

Some other links and references for your perusal:

  • MSDN Subscriptions
    • Looking for the MSDN subscriptions page? You can find that here.
  • MSDN Subscriber Downloads
    • Are you looking for MSDN Subscriber Downloads instead? Weirdly enough, they’re now under Visual Studio Online. I guess it kind of makes sense – they empower your dev workflows after all, right? Downloads are here.
    • Similarly, a list of your subscriptions can be accessed also under a Visual Studio Online link, here.
    • If you don’t see all downloads, such as Windows Server installation images, verify that you are logged in with the right account. Since the site automatically logs you in with existing cookies, you could be using your Xbox Live account instead.
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