Outlook is a personal information manager included in the Microsoft Office Suite. It is mainly used to retrieve emails. What makes Outlook unique is that it offers the ability to save notes, a calendar, and a diary. Despite its use, customers sometimes face the difficulty of Outlook cannot connect to the server error. This article will go through all of the potential causes of this problem, as well as various solutions.



What prompts the Outlook cannot connect to the server error?

Outlook is essentially a stand-alone program. It, occasionally, tries to connect to mail servers. Outlook also has an offline mode of operation. Outlook works by storing all emails locally and allowing you to access them from your computer. This, however, may not function if the program is unable to connect. The following are some possible causes for this to occur:

1. Poor internet connection:

We cannot overlook the apparent reason why you may be unable to connect to Outlook. If you have a poor/no internet connection, you will be unable to connect to the internet.

2. Allows users to work offline:

Outlook has a feature called ‘Work Offline’ that enables users to remain away from the internet while still using the full functionality of the program. Outlook will not connect to the internet on activation of this function.

3. Third-party Outlook Add-ins:

Like other Office applications, Outlook enables users to integrate third-party add-ins. While these add-ins may be beneficial to you, they have been known to create many problems with the program.

4. Corruption of the account:

Issues in the account could trigger the issue of Outlook can not connect to the server. When this occurs, the program will be unable to connect to the mail server using your account.

5. Data corruption:

Another intriguing cause we discovered was that the Outlook data files were corrupt. This situation happens often, particularly in cases when Outlook was unable to fully update its data due to an unexpected shutdown.

6. Regular updates:

Microsoft modifies the required Office applications, featuring security fixes, on a regular basis, through updates. Additionally, these upgrades address any bugs that may be affecting the program.

7. Office installation error:

Outlook is a component of Microsoft Office/Office 365. The office is a collection of applications that includes Word, Excel, and others. Outlook will be unable to connect to the internet if the installation is faulty Although this is an uncommon occurrence, we have seen instances when the machine itself was in an incorrect condition. Typically, correctly power cycling the computer resolves the issue.



How to intelligently fix the Outlook cannot connect to server issue?

Before we proceed with the solutions, ensure that you are signed into your computer as an administrator. Additionally, you should be familiar with the passwords for your Outlook account, as well as the webmail server URL. Begin with the most difficult option and work your way down the list, which is ordered by difficulty and efficacy.

1. Restart the computer and verify the internet connection

A simple system restart may sometimes work miracles! It is capable of resolving Windows and other application-related problems. Therefore, begin by restarting your computer. After that, verify your internet connection and launch Outlook.

2. Reboot the router

Restart the router fully to clear any incorrect settings that may exist. These devices, occasionally, enter an incorrect state as a result of a failed update or an abrupt shutdown.

  1. Routers, in particular, enter error states and continue to remain so until power cycling occurs. Before continuing, ensure that you have saved your work. Turn off your computer and router so for further process.
  2. Now disconnect the main power source and hold the power button for about 2-3 minutes. Then, wait about 5-8 minutes before reconnecting the power source and powering up your gadgets.
  3. Now, reconnect to the network once it has begun broadcasting. Then, verify that the problem has been fixed and that you can connect to Outlook without incident.

3. Confirmation of Internet Connection

Another thing to verify before we begin with technological solutions is that we have a functional internet connection. If the problem with the network exists or if it is unavailable, you will be unable to connect to any servers. In this solution, we will discuss the internet functioning issues and also how to reset your router.

  1. To start with, connect another device to the same network and see whether the problem persists. If the device has Outlook, attempt to start it and verify that it functions correctly.
  2. Access your browser and go to the mail provider’s website to check if you can recover your mail there. If there is a problem there and you are unable to connect, it is most likely due to a server fault.
  3. If you are currently connected to a corporate or public network, it is suggested that you upgrade to a private network. Typically, open and public internets have restricted access, causing certain apps to fail to function properly.

4. Switching Work Offline

Outlook has an offline mode of operation. This comes t use when users don’t have an internet connection. This way they can still use Outlook to review old emails or work on their workspace. Outlook will not connect to any servers or retrieve any emails when in Offline mode, even if the internet is accessible. In this method, we’ll go to Outlook settings and disable the Work Offline option.

  1. On your PC, open Outlook.
  2. Now, click the Send/Receive tab and search for the Work Offline option.
  3. The greyed-out choice indicates the currently active mode. To disable it, click it once. Reconnect and check to see whether the problem has been fixed or not.

5. Deactivate Add-ins

Outlook add-ins that are incompatible with or malfunctioning may block or interrupt Outlook’s connection to the Exchange server. To verify a defective add-in as the root cause of the issue, do the following steps:

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box, enter Outlook /safe, and then press Enter or select ‘OK.’ This will start Outlook in a secure mode.
  2. Navigate to File > Options.
  3. Select ‘Add-Ins’ and then the ‘Go…’ option next to Manage: COM Add-Ins.
  4. Clear the checkboxes for all Add-Ins and then click ‘OK.’
  5. Restart Outlook in its default state.

6. Analyzing the Website for Updates

Prior to repairing your Outlook account and resetting the data files. We will check to see whether any Outlook or Windows updates are available. Updation of Office 365 happens automatically on the new version release. Office updates are automatically included in Microsoft Updates, and you are not required to take any action.

Outlook, on the other hand, will not be upgraded to the newest version if you cancel the impending update or manually delay it. All programs, whether created by Microsoft or otherwise, have bugs. Addressed existing problems through updates can sort the issue possible updates in both Outlook and Windows in this solution.

7. Outlook Account Repairing

If none of the steps above prove successful, we will attempt to fix your Outlook account on your computer. An Outlook account is used to refer to the information you’ve entered in the program about email addresses or servers.

These settings disruption at times results in a variety of problems, including the program failing to connect. We will go to the Outlook Account settings and try to restore your account manually in this method. Outlook will automatically resolve any issues that arise.

  1. Start Outlook and go to the File tab in the top-left corner of the screen.
  2. Now, click on Info, and then on the drop-down menu, choose your account. Now, choose Account and Social Network Settings, followed by Account Settings.
  3. Select the Email Address, creating the problem. Then, click the Repair button, seen on the top-left side of the screen.
  4. Now, you’ll have to enter or confirm your information. You will have to delete and re-enter the password. This eliminates the chance that you typed the password incorrectly.
  5. Next is the appropriate button. Now, Outlook will automatically connect to the server and identify any errors.


Outlook can not connect to server can occur due to several reasons. You have to test the router, updates, add-ins, and several other factors for the same. If the problem continues to trouble you, you can contact us from our Outlook support number. We have capable resources to fix the issue of Outlook cannot connect to the server. 


Tom Wilson

I am Tom Wilson, an Customer Services Help Executive.


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