The error message “Outlook cannot connect to the server” appears while checking your Outlook messages. When it happens, you can view the old messages but might be unable to view the recent messages. Also, there are issues sending new messages.
Generally, it happens because of a weak internet connection, and connecting to a stable internet solves the issue.
But, since various factors like corrupt add-ins, working in offline mode, damaged outlook profile, etc., can cause the above issue, you might need further troubleshooting and additional fixes.
Table of Contents
How to Fix “Outlook Cannot Connect to the Server”?
Before moving on to the more technical fixes, make sure the Outlook service is up and running.
If it isn’t operational, you would have to wait for it to be functional. You can check it on the Microsoft office’s official status site.
Meanwhile, check if you can connect to the server using the Outlook web version.
Fix Slow Internet Connection
You can encounter the above error if you aren’t connected to the Internet. Or if your internet connection is extremely slow or isn’t stable.
Therefore, consider changing your network connection/ Wi-Fi and connecting to a strong one. You can also try restarting your router to speed up the network connection.
Use the Correct Credentials
You could be using the wrong credentials (email, password), or perhaps you made a mistake while typing the details.
So, ensure you have chosen the right account and all the details you entered are correct. You can check it in your account settings.
- Open the Outlook app.
- Click File in the top-left corner.
- Select the Info tab.
- Click Account Settings and select the Account Settings option.
- Under the Email tab, see if you are using the correct email. If it isn’t the right one, click Change to edit it from the top bar. Alternatively, click New to add another Outlook account.
- Once done, restart the Outlook app and see if your problem has been resolved.
Using the old version of Outlook can cause connection issues on Outlook. Due to it, you could face problems like not being able to connect to your mailbox. Also, you might be prompted to enter your password multiple times but still not connect to the server.
So, to resolve all these issues, you can update Outlook to the latest version.
- Launch the Outlook application.
- Click File in the top-left corner of the window.
- Then, select Office Account in the left sidebar.
- Next, click Update Options and select the Update Now option.
Disable the Work Offline Mode
When working in offline mode, you won’t be able to send/receive new emails on Outlook and can encounter a server connection issue. If enabled, you will notice a cross symbol along with Working Offline status at the bottom bar.
To disable it,
- Open the Outlook app.
- Click the Send/ Receive menu.
- Next, click the Work Offline button.
- Check if the status has changed to Connected. If it’s not, click the button again.
- See if you can connect to the server.
Run the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant Tool
To resolve various kinds of Outlook issues, Microsoft has provided a tool called Microsoft Support and Recovery Tool. You can run to diagnose your connection issues and perform the suggested fixes.
- First, download the tool from the Microsoft official site and install it as per the instructions mentioned on the site.
- Launch it, select the Outlook app you are having problems with, and click Next.
- Under the Select the problem you’re having section, choose one of the options that best describes your situation.
- Follow the on-screen instructions and apply the suggested fixes.
- Check if your issue has been resolved.
While add-ins are quite useful in extending certain functionalities on Outlook, they can cause connection issues. Generally, it happens when you have faulty add-ins that start to interfere with the Outlook app.
You can disable or even remove Outlook to resolve connection issues. But before doing so, you can run Outlook in safe mode, which loads the app without the add-ins.
- Launch Outlook and select File > Options.
- Click the Add-ins tab.
- Now, select COM Add-ins next to Manage Field and click the Go button.
- Uncheck each add-in to disable. Alternatively, click Remove to uninstall them from the Outlook app.
- Exit and relaunch the app. See if it’s working as expected now.
Repair the Outlook Profile
In case your Outlook profile has been corrupted, you could face connection issues on Outlook. Generally, the profile gets corrupted when its pst files (outlook data files) are damaged.
You can repair the pst files with the SCANPST tool inside the “Program Files” folder. Alternatively, you can repair the profile or create a new one if required.
- Launch Outlook and click the File menu in the top-right corner.
- Then, click Account Settings and choose Account Settings.
- Now, under the Email tab, click the Repair button above it and see if it resolves the issue.
If repairing didn’t help, you could create and use a different Outlook profile as follows.
- Press Windows + R, type
control, and click OK.
- Search for “mail” in the search bar and click Mail (Microsoft Outlook).
- On the Mail Setup window, click the Show Profiles button.
- On the Mail window prompt, click Add to create a new profile.
- On the New Profile prompt, enter the new profile name.
- Follow the on-screen instructions and provide the additional details (email, password) if required.
- Once the new profile is created, select it under Always use this profile in the Mail window.
- Click the Finder icon on the bottom dock and navigate to Applications.
- Then, right-click on Microsoft Outlook and click Show Package Contents.
- Next, navigate to Contents > SharedSupport.
- Now, open the Outlook Profile Manager folder.
- On the Outlook Profile Manager window, click the plus icon in the bottom-left corner to create a new Outlook profile.
Repair the Outlook App
The Outlook application could be experiencing some issues due to bugs or glitches. So, you need to repair it.
Since it is usually integrated as a part of Microsoft Office, you need to repair the whole office.
- Press Windows + R, type
- Click OK to view all the installed applications in the control panel.
- Select the Microsoft Office <version> you use and click Change in the top bar.
- Next, choose Quick Repair, and click Repair. Additionally, you can also choose the Online Repair option, which requires an active internet connection.
- Wait for the repair process to complete.
- Relaunch the Outlook app and see if it’s working as expected.