Tip 225: Can't Connect to Exchange Server?

A popular query goes something like this:

"I recently installed Outlook and when I open it, it says it can't connect to Exchange Server and closes down. What is Exchange server and why can't it find it?"

For whatever reason, Outlook is configured to use an Exchange server account in the profile. You need to delete this account, unless you are connecting to an Exchange Server, in which case you should know what it is. (Exchange server is a corporate email server and home users rarely use it as their mail server.)

To delete the account, close Outlook. Go to Control Panel, Mail applet (It's in the User category, if you use Category View). You can either click the Profiles button and delete the profile and create a new one or click Email Accounts button and View or change existing accounts (Outlook 2003). Select the Exchange server account and click Remove.

Add the correct type of email account to your profile and Finish the dialog, and then restart Outlook. The error should be history.

Update: If you use Outlook 2007 or 2010, the process is the same, however, when you open the control Panel, Mail dialog and click Email accounts, your accounts are listed on the Email tab.

A video tutorial is available at How to remove and recreate accounts in your Outlook Profile (slipstick.com)

Published Feb 1 2005

  • AB Krishna

    I have saved my outlook files to xxxx.pst on my old computer. The new company I work is using gmail, but my laptop has MS office loaded including outlook 2007. Can I setup outlook just to read my old .pst files

  • AB Krishna

    I do not have exchange server at new location .
    I have my old .pst files and I would like to setup Outlook 2007 to read them

  • http://www.slipstick.com/ D Poremsky

    You can. If you aren't adding the gmail account to outlook, set up a no mail account and open the pst files in it. When you set up the profile, cancel the add account wizard.
    Screenshots and instructions are here - http://www.outlook-tips.net/beginner-user/create-no-mail-account-outlook/

  • http://www.slipstick.com/ D Poremsky

    Are you receiving an error message that outlook can't connect to exchange? if so, you have the wrong account type set up. Delete the account from your profile and use the auto account setup wizard to add it back.