Cannot connect to the server is one of the most common errors encountered while using Outlook. Since the error not only prevents you from sending the error but also stops receiving the emails. This article guides you with a few simple manual methods that help you fix the error Outlook cannot connect to the server without any trouble.
To send or receive any emails from Outlook, you must connect to the Outlook Exchange Server. However, when you are unable to connect to the server, you cannot synchronize the folders with the server either. In such situations, Outlook throws an error stating “Outlook cannot connect to the server. If you continue to receive this, content the server administrator or ISP“.
Table of contents:
Reasons why Outlook won’t connect to the server
How do I get Outlook to connect to the server?
Why Outlook Cannot Connect to the Server?
If you are wondering why Outlook keeps disconnecting with the server when working offline, here are a few reasons why Outlook may fail to connect with the server.
- OST synchronization errors
- Damaged Outlook data files
- When a mailbox from the Exchange server is deleted or disabled, it is possible to encounter connectivity issues with the server.
- Damaged Microsoft Office or Outlook program files
- Corrupt Outlook profiles or incompatible/faulty add-ins can lead to Microsoft Outlook unable to connect to the server.
Irrespective of the causes, it becomes important to fix the error before time to get access back to your Outlook mail. Without wasting too much time, let us see how we can fix the Outlook error and connect to the server.
How to Fix the error Outlook Cannot Connect to the Server?
Before moving ahead with methods, here are some of the basic fixes that can help you troubleshoot Outlook connectivity issues.
Basic troubleshooting methods to fix Cannot Connect to the Server
Verify your account credentials or Exchange server name
Check the Computer and Network Connection
Disable the Extension or Add-ins
Basic Fix 1: Verify your account credentials or Exchange server name provided are correct
If the account details or exchange server name are incorrect, Outlook cannot connect to the server when you run the software. Follow the below steps to make sure your account credential in Outlook is correct.
Step 1: Open Outlook on your computer. Go to File > Info > Account settings
Step 2: Click on the account from the dialog box > remove the existing account > re-enter your correct account credentials
If you are still encountering the error, check with the internet connectivity.
Basic Fix 2: Check the Computer and Network Connection
If there is a problem with a network or it isn’t working, then you won’t be able to connect to any server. In such cases, you need to ensure that your internet connection is working and your system is connected to that network.
- First, try to connect another device to the same network. If the Outlook is opening in the other device, it can be concluded that network has no problem.
- Next, try to access your browser, check if you can receive your emails. If you are unable to connect, then it means that there is a problem with a server.
- If you are using a public network, try using a private one and verify if the connection is right.
Basic Fix 3: Check Outlook is Online
There are few indications to check whether Outlook is online or offline. You can start with, Outlook status bar at the bottom- If it says Working Offline or Disconnected, your Outlook isn’t connected to the server. Try to connect it by following the steps:
Open Outlook >> Go to the Send/Receive tab >> Select the Work Offline option to reconnect.
Basic Fix 4: Use SSL to connect to Exchange server
SSL certificate is used to verify the authenticity of the Exchange Server and allow you to connect securely with the server.
To use SSL to connect the Microsoft Exchange server, follow the below steps:
Step 1: Open Outlook. Go to File > Info > Account settings
Step 2: Select your email account >> click on Change > More Settings > Advanced tab
Step 3: Now, select SSL as a type of encrypted connection and click Ok.
Basic Fix 5: Disable the Extension or Add-ins
If the reason could be any faulty add-ins or disabled extensions. In such cases, all you can do is to disable each extension and then try to connect.
Step 1: Open Outlook. Go to the File > Options > Add-ins from the left bar
Step 2: Click on the Go button, uncheck all the extensions, and hit on the Ok button.
Now, restart your Outlook to check whether the problem is resolved.
The above mentioned are a few basic connectivity troubleshooting methods. If you are still encountering the error Outlook cannot connect to the server, this may be caused due to a problem in Outlook. Try the next methods to connect Outlook with the server.
4 Methods to Connect Outlook to the Server
Below mentioned are the methods that help you fix the Outlook connectivity with server:
Verify the connection with proxy server
Fix Corrupt Outlook data File (OST, PST)
Method 1: Configure a Connection to a Proxy Server
If you’re using a proxy server for internet access, then you have to take additional connection configuration steps to fix the problem.
Step 1: Open Outlook. Click on the File > Info > Account settings
Step 2: Select your account and click on the Change> More Settings > Connection tab.
Step 4: Choose Connect to Microsoft Exchange using the HTTP option.
Step 5: Click on the Exchange Proxy Settings to specify a proxy server. Then, enter a URL to connect to a proxy server. Select Connect using SSL only.
Step 6: Select Only connect to proxy servers that have this principal name in their certificate then enter must: URL
Step 7: Under Proxy authentication settings, select the authentication type: Basic authentication or NTLM authentication and hit Ok.
If your Outlook is unable to connect to the proxy server, click here to know the various methods that can help you solve it.
Method 2: Repair Outlook Account
Outlook account refers to the info associated with servers or email addresses that you have entered in Outlook. Repairing an Outlook profile could fix the problem.
Step 1: Open Outlook. Click on the File > Info > Account settings
Step 2: Now, select your account and hit on the Repair button
Step 3: You will be asked to enter your account details, confirm your account.
Step 4: Hit on the Next button. This, in turn, enables Outlook to automatically make a connection with the server and diagnose the problem if there is any.
The method should help you fix the problem. If you still encounter the problem try the next method.
Method 3: Rebuild Outlook Data file
You can even try to rebuild the whole Outlook data file to resolve Outlook errors that cannot connect to the server.
Step 1: Open the Account Settings in your Outlook.
Step 2: Click on the Data Files tab, choose the Email account. Then, click on the Open File Location.
Step 3: Now, you can rename the file or you can move it to another location. launch Outlook again and it will automatically try to recreate your data file.
Method 4: Fix Corrupt Outlook Data File
If the problem Outlook cannot connect to the server is caused due to damaged or corrupt data files in Outlook, you can easily fix this. If the problem is in OST files, you can either convert OST to PST file and repair PST file.
To fix this, you can run built-in repair utilities like ScanPST, as this utility can fix minor corruptions. But if the corruption is severe, consider using third-party tools to repair your corrupted PST files.
SFWare PST repair is the most recommended repair tool to fix the Outlook data file corruption. This tool can help you restore the entire mailbox data like contacts, emails, tasks, and more. What’s more? You can save verified data as PST or other formats as well.
Steps to Repair Outlook Data File
Step 1: Download and install the SFWare PST repair tool on your computer and launch the application. You could see three option on the main screen:
1: Open PST file: Select if you know the location of the PST file
(you will be taken to next screen that allows you to browse the PST file)
2: Find PST file: Select if you are not aware of the location of the PST file
3: Select Outlook Profile: Use this option to find the PST file for a profile. When you have multiple Outlook profiles.
Step 2: Once the PST file is selected, click Normal Scan and select a location to save the repaired PST file, then click the Repair button
Step 3: Once the file is repaired, you can Preview the PST file along with recovered emails and finally, Save the repaired PST in any desired location
If none of the above methods helped you fix the error Outlook cannot connect to the server. You can try reinstalling Outlook. This method should help you fix any Outlook errors.
Above mentioned are the few workarounds that should help you fix Outlook cannot connect to the server. If the problem is due to any damage in the Outlook data file, you can easily rely on the SFWare PST repair tool to fix any errors.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to do when Outlook Mac cannot sync with the server?
To fix Mac Outlook cannot connect to the exchange server, all you can do is verify if the Outlook is in offline mode, rebuild the Outlook in Mac. Click here to know more on how to fix Outlook Mac not synchronizing with the Exchange server.
Why does my Outlook not connect to the server?
There are various reasons for Outlook not to connect to the server, most common reasons are OST files working in offline mode, damaged Outlook data files, internet connectivity issues and more. Irrespective of the reasons, you can fix the error using all the above-mentioned methods in the article.
How do I fix the Outlook connectivity error?
If you are looking at the connectivity issues with Outlook and server, you can refer to the methods explained above. The basic check includes, verifying the Outlook account or Exchange server name, checking the internet connectivity and resolving the work offline mode. Also, you can add the SSL to the server and disable the faulty add-ins.