Reasons & Solutions for Outlook Connection Failure Error

MS Outlook is one of the most popular and widely used email clients, which facilitates sending and receiving of emails. It can also be used for messaging, managing calendars, notes, tasks, etc in an efficient manner. It is considered to be a highly professional tool used by many organizations. MS Outlook can be used as a stand-alone application or works in collaboration with MS Exchange server. However, MS Outlook comes in the package of MS Office suite.

Ever since Microsoft launched it, there are various versions that have been introduced. Each version has some improvements from the previous version. However, the database file format across all the version of MS Outlook remains same. MS Outlook uses a PST file format to store the user mail items. Some of the outstanding features of MS Outlook include the following:

  • Facilitates quick and efficient communication within and outside an organization
  • Offers various functions like Calendaring, to organize your daily routine
  • Set up meeting features with your teammates or other coworkers
  • Manage Notes, Tasks, etc.
  • Easy to use interface.

Apart from the aforementioned features, MS Outlook has various other features to cater communication needs of a user. However, there are certain issues associated with the tool as well. You can face some problem either while using MS Outlook as a stand-alone application or while working in synchronization with MS Exchange server.

Consider a scenario where you are working in MS Outlook in collaboration with the MS Exchange server. So, in order to work with MS Exchange server, you need an uninterrupted connection between the MS Outlook and MS Exchange Server. However, MS Outlook fails to establish a connection with the MS Exchange server. In such a situation, MS Outlook would not be able to synchronize the information with the MS Exchange server. Such a situation is often frustrating for a user, as he would not be able to access any incoming mails, as there is no connection.

Such problem related to connectivity could arise due to a number of reasons. In any case, you need to overcome such a situation to start accessing your new incoming mails. Since, there is no such dedicated resolution to fix this Outlook problem; however, you could try doing few things at your end to resolve this issue. Many users hesitate performing such manual steps due to lack of adequate technical knowledge. In reality, the steps do not require any advanced technical knowledge and can be performed by anyone with the basic computer knowledge.

You can try following the below mentioned steps to resolve the connectivity issue and fix Outlook errors.

Note: In order solve connectivity issues of MS Outlook quickly and without much hassle, please follow the steps in the sequence as it is mentioned.

Uncheck the Offline mode

The first and the easiest way to check connectivity issue is to see if the Offline mode is accidently checked. A checked Offline mode option would not allow connection between the MS Outlook and MS Exchange server. Unchecking the Offline mode might resolve the issue.

Note: There are different ways of unchecking the Offline mode, depending upon the version of Outlook being used. In case you are using MS Outlook 2010, you need to follow the below mentioned steps.

  1. Start MS Outlook
  2. Go to the Send/Receive tab.
  3. Uncheck the ‘Work Offline’ button if it is checked.

If you are using MS Outlook 2007 or any earlier version of the MS Outlook, you need to follow the below mentioned steps.

  1. Start MS Outlook.
  2. Go to the ‘File’ menu option.
  3. Uncheck the ‘Work Offline’ option if it is checked.

Once done, you can try reconnecting to the MS Exchange. If the problem was with this ‘Work Offline’ option, this would resolve the connecting issue.

Restart the Outlook/System

In case the above-mentioned step does not work, you can restart the Outlook and see whether the problem persists. If the problem remains same, you can try restarting the system. This would probably resolve the issue if there is no networking issue.

Rebuild Outlook database file

If the above-mentioned step fails, you need to rebuild the Outlook database file. Personal Storage Table (PST) and Offline Storage Table (OST) are the two database files used by MS Outlook. Outlook uses PST file as a database file when working as a stand-alone application and uses OST file as a database file when working in synchronization with the MS Exchange server. However, Outlook data files are always prone to several issues, which can result in loss of connectivity between MS Outlook and MS Exchange.

More often such data files get corrupted, which can be fixed by rebuilding the database. There are different techniques to rebuild an Outlook database file. The most common and the easiest way is to use the inbuilt scanpst.exe tool. You can follow the below mentioned steps to rebuild database files of MS Outlook.

  1. Close all applications using Outlook database file
  2. In the Control Panel, click on the Mail icon
  3. A ‘Mail Setup –Outlook’ dialog box appears
  4. Click ‘Data Files’ to choose a data file from the list
  5. Click ‘Open File Location’ tab
  6. Rename the file with an .old extension
  7. Close all the windows
  8. Launch MS Outlook

However, in case you are using a PST file as the database file, scan it using the scanpst.exe file. Scanpst.exe is an inbuilt utility, which gets installed along with the MS Outlook. However, the location of the scanpst.exe file totally depends upon the version of MS Outlook being used. Check, if you are bale to connect to MS Exchange or not.

Repair Installation

If all the above-mentioned steps fail, you are left with an MS Office installation repair option. You need to follow the below mentioned steps to repair MS Office installation.

  1. In Control Panel click ‘Programs and Features
  2. Right-click on ‘Microsoft Office’ and click ‘Change’
  3. Choose ‘Repair’
  4. Click ‘Continue’
  5. Wait until it gets completed
  6. Restart your system
  7. Launch Outlook

With above points you should be able to resolve the issue. In case it does not work, the problem might be due to some problem in Exchange server or DNS.

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