How to log in to Microsoft’s websites (MSDN forums, Azure Portal, SharePoint Online) when you get a “Bad Request” error?

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Every now and then, something like half of Microsoft’s websites will suddenly stop working – this applies to Azure Portal, SharePoint Online sites, MSDN forums and probably a thousand of other sites. The error is most of the time something like this:

Bad Request - Request Too Long
HTTP Error 400. The size of the request headers is too long.

Or like shown below:

Azure Portal error

Azure Portal throwing an error, when checking for existing authentication

This effectively blocks you from accessing the site. Most typically, I’ve encountered this on MSDN forums or Azure Portal – I’ve just faced a very blunt, unfriendly and quite useless error message, like above.

Yet once again, the solution is almost stupidly simple.

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A cautionary tale of relying on the automatic backups in SharePoint Online

Microsoft Stores Backups For 14 Days, But Restores Them in 15

So Microsoft keeps 14-day rolling backups of your SharePoint Online sites. That’s awesome – no need to take backups anymore, right?

Not so fast. It’s not always so easy, and by just relying on these backups, you risk losing your data. Forever, I might add.

This cautionary tale is about SharePoint Online, but I’d say you’ll need to take caution anytime you’re dealing with Microsoft’s automatic backups. The story starts with the client doing something unwise – a prime example would be them removing the root web of their classic SharePoint Site Collection (don’t do that!).  Continue reading