Common Connectivity Issues Between Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook

By | November 24, 2016

Microsoft Outlook is the most popular and the recommended email client for users who use Microsoft Exchange Server as their email service. Microsoft Outlook offers convenient connectivity data synchronization with your Exchange Server and Microsoft Outlook uses Outlook Storage Table and Personal Storage Table (file extensions .ost and .pst respectively) data file types to store email, calendar, contacts, tasks, etc. that synchronizes from the server. However, some connectivity issues may arise while establishing data synchronization between the server and the client due to transitioning problems while linking Exchange server along with Outlook.

Let us discuss some of the most common Outlook connectivity issues that must be fixed in order to ensure smooth synchronization and working of MS Exchange Server with Outlook.

Common Issues with Connectivity

  1. The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable.
  2. Having difficulties in connecting your Microsoft Outlook account to Exchange account.
  3. Receiving error messages similar to “The action cannot be completed. The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action.”
  4. Receiving error messages similar to “The name cannot be resolved. The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable.”

Quick Workarounds to resolve connectivity issue

Whenever you have any such issues as above, try the below workarounds to fix the issue

  1. First of all, check the accuracy of your account credentials or the Exchange server name used while logging into the account. If that’s the case, enter correct server name and password to authenticate your account login attempt.
  2. Another possibility may be your Microsoft Outlook settings – it is likely that Microsoft Outlook is set to work in offline mode. You can find out this by looking at the status bar at the bottom of the program.
    Working Offline

    Microsoft Outlook – Working Offline

    If this turns out to be the problem, resolve it by changing it to “Online” instead of “Offline”.

    Work Offline

    Microsoft Outlook Work Offline

  3. Check the availability of your Internet connection. If it is not well-connected, your connection to the server won’t be established.
  4. Ctrl + Right click on Outlook icon in your notification area and select Connection Status. See if the status is Established. If not, click Reconnect.
    Select Connection Status

    Select Connection Status

    Connection Status

    Outlook Connection Status

  5. Check the internet proxy settings in your network.
  6. If you’re unable to send/receive emails in your account, it might be due to synchronization problems between Outlook and the Exchange Server as a consequence of data file corruption issues. This can be resolved by emptying the Outlook cache and allowing it to download the mailbox items from the Exchange server associated with that account.
  7. Contact the nearest Exchange Administrator who can help you out with fixing this issue.

The Final Note

Though the issues and fixes discussed in this blog have helped you resolve most of the errors encountered while linking Exchange Server and Outlook, it is ideally recommended for IT professionals including administrators to deploy some 3rd party solutions in case they experience such issues frequently.

One such software is Kernel for Exchange Server that possesses the capacity to recover corrupt Exchange databases while also generating the preview of all recovered mailboxes to ensure smooth email communication. The demo version of the software is available for free. To know more and request for trial version, visit

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.