New Outlook Profile: The Connection to Microsoft Exchange is Unavailable

When setting up a new Outlook profile (in 2010 & 2013, at least), sometimes you’ll see this error:

The action cannot be completed. The Connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action.

The action cannot be completed. The Connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action.

The action cannot be completed. The Connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action.

This is almost never because Exchange is unavailable or because Outlook is offline. The problem is because something has gone wrong with the Autodiscover process or…who knows what. In any case, one of two things will fix this problem almost every time.

1. Bypass Autodiscover by using the manual setup process. Be sure to configure the Exchange proxy settings.
2. Set up the Mail profile with caching turned off. Once it’s connected to Exchange, turn caching back on.


FYI, if you use Microsoft Outlook every day, you should check out this book from Michael Linenberger:

One response to “New Outlook Profile: The Connection to Microsoft Exchange is Unavailable”

  1. Colin says:

    Wow, thank you! I’ve been dealing with this issue for hours with one of my employees. Three million gold stars for you.

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