Known issues with sensitivity labels in Office

This document details the known issues and workarounds with the sensitivity labeling feature in Office and will be kept updated as new issues are discovered and known issues are fixed.

Last updated: January 16, 2019 

Issue

Affected Applications

Workaround

The Sensitivity button is not available.

All

The Sensitivity button is available if the user account that is signed into Word, Excel, or PowerPoint is an Office 365 subscriber and has labels published in the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center.

Important: Sensitivity labels must be configured in the Office 365 Security & Compliance center to be available in Office applications. If your organization has sensitivity labels configured in the Azure Information Protection portal, they need to be migrated.

In addition, if you have multiple accounts in Outlook, the Sensitivity button is only available if the user account that is signed in to Word, Excel, or PowerPoint applications matches the account from which you're sending the message. 

Sign out of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Sign back in with the account you'd like to use for sensitivity labeling.

The first time you select a sensitivity label configured for encryption in any Office application, you are asked to sign in.

All

Sign in.

You shouldn't be asked to sign in again in the future when you select sensitivity labels configured for encryption.

You are not required to apply a Sensitivity label to your documents or emails even when your organization has enabled the "Require users to apply a label to their email or documents" label policy setting.

All

None at this time. 

The label policy setting "Require users to apply a label to their email or documents" is not yet supported in this version of Office.

Email message drafts are not autosaved when there is no connection to the Internet, and your organization has a default label policy configured to apply encryption-enabled labels to all new messages.

Outlook

If your organization has configured a default sensitivity label policy to automatically apply a sensitivity label with encryption enabled to new email messages, you will need Internet connectivity for your drafts to be saved.

If you need to author email messages offline, ask your administrator to disable your default label policy or change it to apply a label that has encryption disabled.

Labeled email messages that were delivered before the sensitivity labeling feature was enabled may not display the label.

Outlook

Remove your account from Outlook for Mac and re-add it. This will cause mails to be downloaded again, and sensitivity labels should be displayed.

Headers or footers are not added to labeled emails even when your organization has enabled those label settings.

Outlook

None at this time. 

This functionality is not yet supported in Exchange Online and will be added soon.

If your workbook has an image in the header, and you apply a sensitivity that is configured to apply a watermark, then the image in the header will be replaced by the watermark.

Excel

After applying the sensitivity, remove the watermark and insert the previous image into the header.

Issue

Affected Applications

Workaround

The Sensitivity button is not available.

All

The Sensitivity button is available if the user account that is signed into Word, Excel, or PowerPoint is an Office 365 subscriber and has labels published.

Sign out of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Sign back in with the account you'd like to use for sensitivity labeling.

You are not required to apply a Sensitivity label to your documents or emails even when your organization has enabled the "Require users to apply a label to their email or documents" label policy setting.

All

None at this time. 

The label policy setting "Require users to apply a label to their email or documents" is not yet supported in this version of Office.

If your workbook has an image in the header, and you apply a sensitivity that is configured to apply a watermark, then the image in the header will be replaced by the watermark.

Excel

After applying the sensitivity, remove the watermark and insert the previous image into the header.

Issue

Affected Applications

Workaround

The Sensitivity button is not available.

All

The Sensitivity button is available if the user account that is signed into Word, Excel, or PowerPoint is an Office 365 subscriber and has labels published.

Sign out of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Sign back in with the account you'd like to use for sensitivity labeling.

Even when the Sensitivity button is available, I still see IRM policy templates available in the Restrict Permissions menu.

All

None at this time.

IRM policy templates should be hidden from the Restrict Permissions menu when the Sensitivity button is available (since most organizations prefer that Sensitivity be used to apply IRM policy templates as necessary instead of relying on their users to apply  IRM policy templates manually).

On Office for iOS, these IRM policy templates are not hidden in version 2.21, but they will be hidden in a future update (in cases where Sensitivity is available).

You are not required to apply a Sensitivity label to your documents or emails even when your organization has enabled the "Require users to apply a label to their email or documents" label policy setting.

All

None at this time. 

The label policy setting "Require users to apply a label to their email or documents" is not yet supported in this version of Office.

If your workbook has an image in the header, and you apply a sensitivity that is configured to apply a watermark, then the image in the header will be replaced by the watermark.

Excel

After applying the sensitivity, remove the watermark and insert the previous image into the header.

Note: The Sensitivity button is not available in Office Online yet.

This section describes the known issues working with documents in Office Online that have been labeled in other applications.

Issue

Affected Applications

Workaround

An error like the following is shown when you open a labeled & encrypted document.

Sorry, Word Online can't open this document because it's protected by Information Rights Management (IRM). To view this document please open it in Microsoft Word.

Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Click Edit in Word, Edit in Excel, or Edit in PowerPoint to open the document in the desktop version.

The following error is shown when you open a workbook that is labeled & watermarked.

To edit in the browser, a copy of the file will be created without the following features. To edit this workbook with all of its features, click Cancel and open it in Excel.

Excel

  1. Click Edit a Copy to remove the watermark and edit a copy online.

  2. Edit the workbook in the desktop version of Excel.

If you encounter an issue that is not listed here, please submit feedback!

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