How to Fix Outlook Email Cannot Connect to Server Easily

You will learn how to resolve Outlook email cannot connect to server in ten useful methods on this page. And it will show you an easy-to-use Outlook backup solution for security.


By Jonna Updated on December 21, 2023

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User Case: Outlook Cannot Connect to Server


Some years ago I added a work Microsoft 365 email account to Outlook 365, set as IMAP via 'Control Panel > Mail (Microsoft Outlook) > Account Settings > Add'). All has been OK since, until recently...Randomly, the work email account didn't connect to the Microsoft Exchange Server. Over a few days, this problem has progressed to permanent; I.E. the work email account no longer connects to the Microsoft Exchange Server. Any assistance in resolving this matter is most welcome.

Outlook uses the Exchange Server to send and receive email messages. However, there are instances when Outlook encounters difficulties in connecting to the server. No worries, if you're going through an Outlook email cannot connect to server error. Continue reading to find out the reasons and several ways to get out of this issue.

Why is Outlook not Connecting to the Exchange Server?

Outlook connection to server failed may be caused by various reasons, such as:

  • Network connection issues
  • OST file corrupted
  • Add-in is incompatible or defective
  • Outlook profile corrupted
  • Mailbox removed or disabled from Exchange server
  • Corrupted Microsoft Office or Outlook program files

How to Fix Outlook Email Cannot Connect to Server with Ease

Now, let’s take a look at the solutions to fix cannot connect to email server on Outlook.

👉 Method 1. Restart Computer and Ensure Internet Connection
👉 Method 2. Keep the Software Updated
👉 Method 3. Make Sure Outlook is Online🔥
👉 Method 4. Check Microsoft Exchange Server Connection
👉 Method 5. Disable Add-ins🔥
👉 Method 6. Use SSL Encryption Method
👉 Method 7. Repair Your Outlook Account🔥
👉 Method 8. Add the Account Again
👉 Method 9. Rebuild Outlook Data File🔥
👉 Method 10. Troubleshoot Microsoft Office
👉 Tip: Backup Outlook Emails Regularly to Keep Them Safe🔥

Method 1. Restart Computer and Ensure Internet Connection

Sometimes, a simple restart of your computer or mobile device can resolve Outlook connectivity problems by clearing temporary issues.

Also, due to improper internet connectivity, Outlook may stop working. So, check the internet speed. Try a different service provider or different connectivity option to see if the Outlook cannot connect to server problem is solved.

Method 2. Keep the Software Updated

Microsoft always comes up with new updates. Keeping the application updated can avoid minor bugs and errors like Microsoft Outlook cannot connect to server.

1. Run Outlook, select File, and go to Office Account.

2. Head to Update Options and click on Update Now.

Outlook Update Options

Method 3. Make Sure Outlook is Online

Sometimes, issues with the offline settings may cause Microsoft Outlook not connecting to server. So you should make sure that your Outlook is working online. You can disable Offline mode in Outlook to resolve cannot connect to Microsoft Outlook server by following these steps:

1. Open Outlook, and navigate to the Send/Receive tab.

2. Tap on Work Offline to reconnect with the server.

Work Offline

Method 4. Check Microsoft Exchange Server Connection

If Outlook cannot connect to server but internet is working, you can next check your Microsoft Exchange service connection using the steps below:

1. In Outlook, navigate to File > Info > Account Settings > Account settings.

Account Settings

2. Look at the icon beside your Exchange account; if there is an issue with the connection, it will be orange. If not, it will be blue.

Account Status

Correct the Microsoft Exchange server connection if it is orange and re-launch Outlook to see if it fixes Outlook can't connect to server error.

Method 5. Disable Add-ins

While Outlook provides users with the ability to enhance functionality through add-ins, there are situations where faulty or incompatible add-ins on your Outlook may restrict your Outlook profile from connecting to the Microsoft Exchange Server. You can disable add-ins to solve cannot connect to Outlook mail server using the below steps:

1. Launch the Run command box by the Window+ R key, type "outlook.exe /safe" and press the OK button.


2. Navigate to File > Options.

3. Click Add-ins in the left pane. In the Manage section, select COM Add-ins and click Go to open the add-ins on your Outlook.

Com Add Ins

4. Uncheck all the extensions and hit on the OK button to deactivate them. Then, restart Outlook to see if the Outlook is not connected to server error is resolved.

Uncheck Add ins

Method 6. Use SSL Encryption Method

You can look to use the encryption method as SSL/TLS to fix the Outlook unable to connect to server issue. Follow the steps below:

1. Access Outlook and tap on the File menu. Go to Account Settings and choose Server Settings.

2. From the dropdown menu, select the Encryption Method as SSL/TLS.

Encryption Method

Method 7. Repair Your Outlook Account

To fix Microsoft Outlook cannot connect to the server error, repairing the account you are using with Outlook is worth a try. This option works most times to fix not only connection issues but a lot of other Outlook-related problems like Outlook cannot send email.

1. Open the Outlook application. Navigate to File > Info > Account Settings > Account Settings in turn.

2. Now go to the email tab, and select the email account. Tap on Repair.

Repair Email Account

Method 8. Add the Account Again

You can also try re-adding your credential to fix Outlook mail not connecting to server:

1. Run Outlook to access Account Settings.

2. Select the Email tab in the Account Settings window. Then, select the target email account and click on the Remove button.

Remove Account

3. To add your account again, go to the File tab and click on Add Account. Then, enter the email address, click the Connect button, and type your password.

Method 9. Rebuild Outlook Data File

The mailing app saves all its data on the application's data files. If these files become corrupt or faulty, they can lead to Outlook not to connect to server error. If you delete this file, Outlook considers it as data loss and tries to rebuild the data file from scratch.

1. Access Account Settings in the Outlook app with the foregoing step.

2. Go to the Data Files tab, choose the problematic email account, and tap on Open File Location.

Data Files Location

3. You can either rename the file or move it to another location. Then, relaunch the Outlook application and it will generate the new data file automatically.

Method 10. Troubleshoot Microsoft Office

If none of the above methods were of no use for resolving email cannot connect to server in Outlook and you still face the issue, you can opt for troubleshooting Microsoft Office with the given steps below:

1. Open Control Panel on your computer and select Uninstall a program under Programs.

2. Locate Microsoft Office app > right-click on it > Change.


3. Choose Quick Repair > Repair.

Quick Repair the Office Program

If the problem does not go away even after a repair, you can uninstall and reinstall the program.

Tip: Backup Outlook Emails Regularly to Keep Them Safe

There is no doubt that Outlook contains plenty of important data, including email messages, contacts, tasks, and notes. To ensure you always have complete access to them, it is suggested to backup Outlook emails regularly, so that even if there is any problem, you can use the email backup to restore it. The best Outlook backup software - AOMEI Backupper Professional offers many powerful features to protect your Outlook data safely in all aspects.

Its Outlook Backup feature can help you back up any items inside Outlook including emails, attachments, calendars, contacts, etc.
It has the ability to auto backup Outlook emails to external hard drives, USB drives, network or NAS devices, cloud drives, etc. at daily, weekly, monthly, etc. intervals.
By default, it will backup only changed files in a scheduled task with incremental backup. It also provides other two backup methods: full backup and differential backup.

Download and install this reliable Outlook backup software, and then back up your Outlook emails by following the graphic tutorial.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

1. Open Outlook, and log in to it with the account containing messages you want to backup.

2. Run AOMEI Backupper Professional. Select Backup and then Outlook Backup.

Outlook Backup

3. Tap on Add Outlook data, expand the target account, and choose the email messages you want to back up. Then click OK.

Add Outlook Data

4. Click the destination box to specify a local path, network or NAS location, or cloud drive to save your Outlook emails.

Select a Backup Location

5. Click Schedule Backup to set up Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, or USB plug in intervals to automate the backup task, and click Start Backup to finish this process.

Schedule Daily


Outlook email cannot connect to server is a troublesome issue when you want to use Outlook client and get access to certain email messages. The ten solutions provided on this page can help you troubleshoot connectivity issues in Outlook easily. Moreover, it gives you a simple Outlook backup option - AOMEI Backupper that can automatically back up Outlook emails, attachments, notes, and other data to various locations.

Also, you can use this tool as Toshiba SSD cloning software for easy transfer of all data from HDD to the target SSD. Try it now to discover more now!

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.