Solving ‘Outlook Working Offline’ Error: Quick Guide

Solving ‘Outlook Working Offline’ Error: Quick Guide

/ Sed Galope

Outlook is an email application that works as a personal information manager developed by Microsoft Corporation. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite and it is primarily used to manage personal information such as email, calendar, contacts, and tasks.

If you’re using this for school, work, or leisure, it is important to note that there can be several issues you can encounter while using MS Outlook and one of which is the Outlook working offline issue. The most common causes of this offline error are as follows:

  • Internet connection issues: One of the most common reasons for Outlook getting stuck in offline mode is a poor or lost internet connection. This can prevent Outlook from connecting to the Exchange server and syncing email, calendar, and other data.
  • Account settings: Another common reason is that Outlook is configured to work offline by default. This setting can be changed in the account settings, but it’s possible that it was changed by accident or by someone else.
  • PST file corruption: Outlook’s PST file can become corrupt or damaged due to various reasons like hard drive failure, software bugs, power outages, etc. When the PST file is damaged, it can prevent Outlook from functioning properly, causing it to get stuck in offline mode.

9 Quick and Easy Methods to Resolve Outlook Stuck in Offline Mode Error

Users may experience an issue where Outlook is stuck in offline mode, preventing them from sending or receiving emails. Below are the most common fixes for Outlook work offline mode errors:

Switch from working offline to online

click on the work offline option

In this section, we will guide you through the process of exiting Offline mode in Outlook. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Open the Outlook desktop application.

2. Go to the Send/Receive menu and select the option to disconnect from Work Offline.

3. If the Work Offline button appears shaded, this indicates that your internet connection is currently offline.

4. Additionally, you can check the status of your connection by looking at the Quick Launch Taskbar. If there is a red cross on the Outlook icon, it means that the application is currently offline.

5. Another way to check the status is by looking at the status bar located in the bottom right corner of the interface. If it displays a “Connected” status, you are online

Missing “Work Offline” Button

use cached exchange mode

The switch button to toggle between offline and online mode may be missing from your Outlook window. This can occur if your email account is not compatible with Microsoft Exchange.

However, even if your email account can work offline, the Work Offline button may still be missing. In this case, you can follow these steps to fix the button:

1. From the main Outlook window, navigate to the File -> Info Menu -> Account Settings -> Account Name and Sync Settings.

2. Click on the More Settings button in the Account Name and Sync Settings window.

3. In the pop-up window, go to the Advanced tab and select the checkboxes for “Use Cached Exchange Mode” and “Download shared folders”. This should enable the Work Offline button.

Reset the Work Offline status

click on the work offline option

To reset the work offline status mode in Outlook, follow these steps:

1. Open the Outlook application.

2. On the ribbon section, hover over the Send/Receive tab.

3. Click on the Work Offline button to toggle the status to online or offline.

4. To confirm your current status, you can check the status bar located in the bottom right corner of the Outlook interface. It will display “Connected” if you are online or “Working Offline” if you are disconnected.

Check and Install Pending Updates

update now option in outlook

It is important to ensure that both Windows and Outlook are updated to their latest versions before attempting to resolve any issues. Microsoft Office typically updates automatically; however, if you have disabled or canceled updates manually, Outlook may not be running on the latest build or version.

To ensure that you are running the latest version of Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Outlook application.
  2. Click on the “File” option.
  3. Select “Office Account” and then “Update Options”.
  4. If updates are available, download and install them immediately.

Updates not only provide new features but also fix existing bugs. By making sure you are running the latest version of Outlook, you may be able to resolve the issue you are experiencing.

Create a New Profile

show profiles

Another solution to resolve the issue of Outlook being stuck in offline mode is to create a new Outlook profile. Here’s how:

1. Open Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, or 2019.

2. Navigate to File >> select Account Settings >> look for Manage Profiles and select.

3. Press on the Show Profiles option >> select Add.

4. Create and enter a name you desire to have for the new profile >> click OK.

5. To switch to this profile, navigate to File >> Account Settings >> Change Profile. This will close Outlook, re-open it again, then choose the new profile name from the dropdown.

Start Outlook in Safe Mode

outlook safe command

Outlook Safe Mode is a useful tool for troubleshooting and resolving the issue of Outlook being stuck in offline mode. It prevents any add-ins from interfering with normal Outlook operations. To implement Safe Mode, follow these steps on Outlook:

1. Close Outlook.

2. Press the Windows+R keys on your keyboard, type Outlook.exe /safe, and press ‘Enter.’ This will launch Outlook in Safe Mode.

3. Press the Send/Receive button.

4. Finally, check the status bar. The changes made should update Outlook from offline to online.

Recreate OST File

data files and open file location button

If the previously mentioned methods have not been successful in resolving the Outlook stuck in offline mode error, there may be an issue with the Outlook OST file. This can prevent Outlook from connecting and syncing mailbox items with the mailbox server.

In such cases, you can recreate the OST file or use third-party software such as Stellar Converter for OST to convert the problematic OST file to a PST format that can be imported into Outlook. Start implementing by following the steps below:

1. In Outlook, click on File >> Account Settings >> Account Settings and click ‘Data Files’.

2. Choose the Outlook profile >> click ‘Open File Location’

3. Copy the OST file to a safe location you can access later on. Quit Outlook.

4. Delete the OST file and restart Outlook. This will create a new OST file and fix the Outlook stuck in offline mode error. Additionally, it will sync all mail items from the server.

Repair PST file

outlook inbox repair tool

If the Outlook offline error persists despite attempting the previous solutions, it may be due to a damaged PST file. In such cases, it is essential to repair the PST file and recover the data from it. One solution for this is using a tool like Stellar Outlook Repair, which can repair the PST file without causing damage to the rest of your Outlook data.

To use Stellar Outlook Repair, download it from its official website and follow these steps:

Add PST file

  1. Launch Stellar Outlook Repair.
  2. On the Home tab, select Outlook PST
  3. Click on “Browse” to add the PST file, then click on the “Repair” button.

Repair the PST file

Allow the completion of the software repair process.

Preview and save

1. Once the repair is done, you can preview the restored Outlook mailbox data in the left pane.

2. Choose the mailbox data by selecting individual folders, then click on the “Save Repaired File” option from the Home tab.

3. For the file format, select PST >> click “Browse” and press “OK”. This will save the restored PST file on your PC.

Manually Setup Exchange Server Account

manually setup exchange server account

Another solution to resolve the issue of Outlook being stuck in offline mode is to configure the Exchange account settings manually. This allows you to connect to the network and control the connection state. Here’s how:

  1. Open Outlook, navigate to File >> Account Settings
  2. Search and select your Microsoft Exchange Server account under the Email tab.
  3. Click on the ‘Change’ button, and then click on the ‘More Settings’ button.
  4. In the new window, select the option to “Manually control connection state” and choose the option to “Connect with network.”
  5. Click OK, Next, and Finish to complete the wizard and close the window.
  6. Finally, click the ‘Close’ button to exit the Account settings window.


In conclusion, the ‘Fix Outlook Working Offline’ issue can be caused by several factors. If one method doesn’t work, take the time to try another or even combine 2 or more methods to resolve the issue. Explore more articles on our website for additional guides and how-tos!

Sed Galope
Meet the author

Sedfrey is an experienced writer and editor. He's also a PC hardware and gaming enthusiast. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about the latest innovations in the PC market and finding fixes to hardware and software errors.