Exchange Users Unable to Connect with Outlook 2010

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a rash of Exchange users who are unable to connect using Outlook. They don’t get an error message; Outlook just spins its wheels forever. If they try to set up a new Mail profile via the Control Panel app, it will connect to the server to verify the account, but then freeze trying to configure the local profile. The user can log in and send/receive email in OWA and on other computers, so it’s not an account-related issue.

These are the steps I tried to resolve the problem:

  • Delete the Mail profile and the cached Outlook data under %appdata%\Microsoft and %localappdata%\Microsoft. (Never worked.)
  • Repair the email account from within Outlook. (Never worked.)
  • Repair Microsoft Office. (Never worked.)
  • Completely uninstall, then reinstall Microsoft Office. (Worked about 50% of the time.)
  • Create a new local Windows profile for the user. (Worked 100% of the time I tried it.)

I haven’t been able to pin the source of the problem down to any particular change, whether something on our network or a Microsoft update, but the hit-or-miss nature of the problem, and the apparent corruption of the user’s Windows profile points a couple of fingers at a Microsoft update. I just don’t know which one.

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