Several users have been getting the “We can’t connect to the Microsoft family right now” error when trying to set up a family account. Some users have reported that this issue started occurring after they added another family member that was not showing inside the Family & other people tab. There’s seems to be a slight variation of this error, other users reporting that the error message that they see is “We can’t connect to Microsoft family at the moment“. The issue is mainly reported to occur on Windows 10.
What is causing the “We couldn’t connect to Microsoft family right now” error?
We investigated this particular issue by looking at various users reports and the repair strategies that they used to fix or circumvent the issue. Based on what we gathered, there are several common scenarios that will trigger this particular error message.
- The user is signed in to a local account – This error message is reported to occur in those instances where the users are signed in with a local profile. In this case, signing in to a Microsoft account and repeating the procedure should resolve the issue.
- Microsoft Family glitch – A lot of users seem to point towards a glitch that was supposedly present since the launch of Windows 10. Although Microsoft claims to have patched this vulnerability, some users are still encountering this problem even on the latest builds.
- Corrupted system files – Some users have only been able to resolve the issue after they used the Automatic Repair utility or after they performed a clean install/repair install. This suggests that the issue might also be caused by system file corruption.
- Broken Outlook account – We have been numerous reports of users managing to resolve the issue after repairing their Outlook account. This suggests that a broken Outlook account might also be responsible for this particular error message.
Method 1: Running the Internet Connections troubleshooter
Before you try anything else, we encourage you that you start by running the Internet Connections Troubleshooter. Some of the issues that we will address via the methods below might get automatically resolved by this particular troubleshooter.
Here’s a quick guide on how to run the Internet Connections troubleshooter:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “ms-settings:troubleshoot” and press Enter to open the Troubleshooting tab of the Settings app.
- Inside the Troubleshoot tab, scroll down to the Get up and running section, click on Internet Connections and then click on Run the troubleshooter.
- Wait to see if the initial scan reveals anything. If it doesn’t, click on Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet.
- If the troubleshooter manages to discover any problems, click on Apply this fix to enforce the recommended repair strategy.
- Once the procedure is complete, restart your computer and see if the error message has been addressed.
If you’re still encountering the “We can’t connect to the Microsoft family right now” error when visiting the Family & other users tab, scroll down to the next method below.
Method 2: Switching to a Microsoft account
Several users struggling to resolve the same error message have discovered that the reason why they were unable to connect to Microsoft family was that they were using a local account.
A lot of affected users have reported that the “We can’t connect to the Microsoft family right now” error was resolved after they signed it with a Microsoft account. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:
- Press the Windows key to open up the Start menu. Then, click on your account icon and select Sign out.
- From the welcoming screen, choose your Microsoft account and provide the pin/password to log in.
- Press Windows + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “ms-settings:otherusers” and press Enter to return to the Family & other people screen.
- Once you get there, see if you’re still seeing the same error message.
If the “We can’t connect to the Microsoft family right now” error is still persisting, move down to the next method below.
Method 3: Fixing the Outlook account
A couple of users have reported that they managed to resolve the error message after navigating to their Outlook account settings and used the Fix it features on it. This seems to suggest that the “We can’t connect to the Microsoft family right now” error can also be caused by an Outlook account problem.
If this scenario seems like it might be applicable to your current situation, follow the methods below to fix your Outlook account in order to get rid of the We can’t connect to the Microsoft family right now error:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “ms-settings:emailandaccounts” and press Enter to open up the Email & app accounts tab of the Settings app.
- Inside the Email & app accounts window, see if you have an Outlook account under Email, calendar, and contacts. If you do have one, click it to expand the menu.
- If you do have a problem with your Outlook account, you will see a Fix button next to Manage. Click it to open the Fix menu for this account, then provide your password and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the procedure.
Note: If you do not see the Fix button, skip directly to the next method below.
- Restart your computer and return to the Family & other people tab at the next startup. If the error was occurring due to a faulty Outlook account and the fix was successful, you should no longer see the error message.
If you’re still encountering the “We can’t connect to the Microsoft family right now” error, move down to the next method below.
Method 4: Running the Automatic Repair utility
Some affected users have reported that the issue was finally resolved after they ran the Automatic Repair utility to repair the computer that was misbehaving.
But keep in mind that in order to perform the Automatic Repair procedure, you’ll need to get a hold of your Windows Installation media (CD or USB). If you don’t have an installation media for your Windows version, you can follow this article (here) for Windows 7 or this one (here) for Windows 10.
Once you got an installation media at the ready, follow the steps down below to fix the “We can’t connect to the Microsoft family right now” error using the Automatic Repair utility:
- Insert the installation media and restart your computer. During the beginning of the next startup sequence, press any key to boot from the Windows installation media.
- Inside the Windows setup, click on Repair your computer.
- From the next menu, click on Troubleshoot, then click on Advanced options.
- In the Advanced options menu, click on Startup Repair.
- Wait for the utility to launch, then choose your main account and provide the required credentials and click Continue.
- Wait until the Automatic Repair utility is finished diagnosing your PC. Based on the problems it manages to identify, it will automatically apply a repair strategy that fits your particular scenario.
- Once the process is finished and the next startup is complete, press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “ms-settings:otherusers” and press Enter to open up the Family & other people tab of the Settings app.
- Once you get there, see if you’re still seeing the “We can’t connect to the Microsoft family right now” error.
If the same error is still occurring, move down to the next method below.
Method 5: Performing a repair install or clean install
If all of the methods above have proven to be ineffective, there are two avenues that you can explore that will surely resolve the error message.
The most convenable method would be to perform a repair install. This reinstallation strategy will refresh all Windows related components without affecting your personal files. This means that all your images, music, documents, games and applications will be left untouched by this procedure. Just keep in mind that this procedure might not be available if you have an older Windows version.
If a repair install is not applicable or you’re looking for a way that will get rid of everything, you should do a clean install. This Windows reinstallation strategy will delete everything including any rich media, applications and every user setting that you previously established on this PC. If you decide to follow this strategy, make sure to back up your important data before starting the procedure.