How To Resolve When Outlook Cannot Connect To Server

MS Outlook is a popular email service provider, which can exhibit connection problems periodically. To use your Outlook profile and check emails, you need to connect it with the Exchange server. Sometimes, the Outlook application can fail while connecting to the server. 

As a consequence, you may not be able to access your Outlook mails if there is any server issue. However, it is quite common for Outlook users to face such server errors. Luckily, you can fix this issue with some simple troubleshooting hacks. 

Steps to Fix if Microsoft Outlook Cannot Connect to the Server

A few effective troubleshooting tips can solve this Outlook issue for you. With these solutions, you can fix the error without any professional help in no time. 

Check if Outlook is in Offline Mode

Your Outlook application can face connectivity issues if you’ve accidentally enabled the Offline mode. So, to resolve the error, you must check and disable the Offline mode. In case you’re using Outlook 2007 version, then click on ‘File’. Now, uncheck the box next to the ‘Work Offline’ option.

If you are using Outlook 2010 or other fresh versions, then we suggest you follow these instructions:

  1. Identify the ‘Send/Receive’ option and click on it. Now, tap on the ‘Work Offline’ button.
  2. Thereafter, click on the ‘Offline’ option.

Once done, you will find a ‘Trying to connect’ message at the bottom of the screen.  If it fails to connect, move on to the next solutions.

Repair Microsoft Office Install

In case the Outlook cannot connect to server, make some rectification in Microsoft Office Installation. Here’s how you can perform the crucial  repairs:

  1. Click on the ‘Control Panel’ of your computer. Now, go to the ‘Programs and Features’ options. 
  2. Locate the “Microsoft Office Installation” option and click on it. 
  3. After this, right-click on the option and choose the ‘Change’ option. A new window will appear on your computer screen. 
  4. Find the ‘Repair’ option and click on it. Next, click on ‘ Continue’. Wait for some time until the entire repairing process is complete. 

Once done, restart the device. When the computer is on, launch the Outlook application and check if it connects properly to the server. 

Rebuild Data File

Outlook application consists of two crucial files. These are ‘.ost’ and ‘.pst’ files. Hence, any issues in these files can trigger connectivity error in Outlook. So you might need to rebuild these files to resolve the issue. To perform this solution, you need to go through the following steps:

Step 1

Before you begin the steps, close down the Outlook application on your device. Now, go to the ‘Start’ menu. Thereafter, click and open the ‘Control Panel’. 

Step 2

After this, locate the ‘Mail’ icon and tap on it. A window will now appear on your computer screen. From there, choose the ‘Data Files’ option. Now, look for the file that has a name similar to your Outlook email address.

Step 3

Then, click on ‘Open File Location’. So, if you have a ‘.ost’ file, then you need to rename it to ‘.OLD’. To rename it, you just need to right-click on the file. However, if you have a ‘.pst’ file, then do not apply any changes to it.

Step 4

When you complete the previous steps, close down all the windows and open Outlook once again. Outlook will now begin to rebuild all your existing data files. 

This can be quite a long process. So, you might have to wait for as long as 10 minutes or even an hour to let the process complete.  Make sure to keep running the Outlook application during this period.

Use the Logging Feature

Did you know that Outlook comes with a unique logging feature? This feature can be extremely useful in situations like this. It enables you to understand why you’re experiencing server connection issues with Outlook. 

Using this feature, you can know how to fix the Outlook server issue. To turn on this feature, you must follow these steps:

Outlook 2007

First, go to the ‘Tools’ menu and click on ‘Options’. Now, from the ‘Others’ tab, go to ‘Advanced Options’. Click on the checkbox next to ‘Enable Logging(troubleshooting)’. Finally, tap on the OK button and relaunch Outlook.

Outlook 2010 and 2013

If you are using Outlook 2010 and 2013, then first open the application and click on ‘File’. Now, click on ‘Options’ and choose the ‘Advanced’ button. Thereafter, click on the checkbox next to the ‘Enable Troubleshooting Logging’ option. Finally, click on OK and give your device a restart. 

To successfully resolve the problems when Outlook cannot connect to server, you can follow these simple hacks. We hope after applying the solutions discussed above, Outlook will connect to the server without any error.