The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable, Outlook must be online or connected

Microsoft Outlook, at times, is known to give an error saying — The action cannot be completed. The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable, Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action. In this post, we will show how you can fix this problem and get back it to working as usual.

The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable, Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action

The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable, Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action

The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action

There are two ways to fix tjis issue. First, create a new default profile. Second, Delete the default profile. Not many have multiple Outlook profiles is not always an option. So use the second method as follows:

  1. Delete Default Profile
  2. Create a New Outlook Profile
  3. Update or create your Outlook profile with RPC encryption
  4. Disable the encryption requirement on all CAS servers
  5. Deploy a Group Policy setting to update existing Outlook profiles with RPC encryption

The first, three can be configured by the end-user, while the last two are only for Servers.

1] Delete Default Profile

Change Default Outlook Profile Windows 10

  • Launch Outlook, and then click on Info > Account settings dropdown > Manage Profile
  • It will open the Mail Setup window. Click on Show Profiles button.
  • Delete the default profile by clicking on the Remove button.
  • Restart Outlook.

When you remove the profile, all offline cached content for its account will be removed. However, you can backup the OST profile to reuse it.

When you relaunch Outlook, you will have to create a new profile, and then go through the setup process again.

2] Create a New Outlook Profile

Create New Outlook Profile Windows 10

If you do not want to delete, you can create a new default profile. At the Mail Setup > Profiles section, you can click on the Add button, and then give a name to the profile. Next, you need to add the email accounts you want to add. Make sure to properly configure the email account, so the error doesn’t reappear. Also, make sure to set that as the default profile.

3] Update or create your Outlook profile with RPC encryption

create your Outlook profile with RPC encryption

Most of the users have all email accounts under one single profile. One of the email accounts may be having trouble with that is running Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, or Microsoft Exchange Server 2016. These are usually corporate accounts that haven’t been configured properly.

  1. Launch Outlook, and then click on Info > Account settings dropdown > Manage Profile
  2. Click on E-mail Accounts > select the email which is configured with Exchange Server, and then click on Change > More Settings
  3. In the Microsoft Exchange window, switch to Security tab
  4. Select Encrypt data between Microsoft Office Outlook and Microsoft Exchange. 
  5. Click Ok and exit

It should fix the issue if it were because of RPC encryption error.

4] Disable the encryption requirement on all CAS servers

This part is specifically for IT admins who can disable encryption requirements. Microsoft warns that it should be only used where you cannot immediately deploy the necessary RPC encryption settings on your Outlook clients. Run the following command in the Exchange Management Shell:

Set-RpcClientAccess –Server <Exchange server name> –EncryptionRequired:$False

You must run this cmdlet for all Client Access servers that are running Exchange Server 2010 or later version. Rerun this command for each Exchange server that has the Client Access Server role. Also, make sure to disable RPC encryption, which we talked about in the above step.

However, make sure to enable it back again after deployment with changes to the RPC requirement on the Outlook.

5] Deploy a Group Policy setting to update existing Outlook profiles with RPC encryption

Enable RPC Encryption Policy Settings

You can also change RPC settings on the server-side by using Group Policy. Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Office “Version number” > Account Settings > Exchange.  Locate policy Enable RPC encryption and disable it.

We hope these methods helped you to resolve Outlook connected issues with Microsoft Exchange.

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.

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