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  • Outlook indicates offline all the time

    Home Forums AskWoody support Microsoft Office by version Office 2016 for PC Outlook indicates offline all the time

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      • #2313320
        AskWoody Plus


        I have two computers, each running either Windows 10 2004 or 20H2.  Each has MS Office 2016 installed and both use Outlook client for email.  Everything was working fine until a few days ago when both (not at the same time) went into an “Offline” mode.  They both say disconnected and the Offline clickable button is greyed out.  It does nothing.

        Here’s the other weird thing, one of these computers will receive and send emails but still shows “Offline”.  The other computer will not send or receive emails.

        Finally, I checked email directly using the website and I can verify that the email servers are working via the web.

        Any ideas ?

        Thanks, Mike

        • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Mike.
      • #2313325
        AskWoody Plus

        Check the Outlook settings carefully.  Has something changed at the ISP end?  For example, does the connection now require Secure Password Authentication?  Have the server port numbers changed?   Go to your ISP’s website (or contact them) and check the email requirements.  Have your logonid or password details somehow been changed?  In the Change Account Settings window, try changing some of the parameters and then test them by setting “Automatically test account settings”, which will try to log on to your mail server and send a test email message, and will tell you if these operations completed or failed.

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 20H2

      • #2313326

        If your ISP mail is controlled by OAuth (AOL, Yohoo, and more) they may require a creation of a 16-character passkey to be used instead of your email password when you use what OAuth considers an insecure email client. Some of the insecure clients are Outlook, Thunderbird, and others. You should check with your email provider to see if this is what’s happened in your case.

        What happens is, you can access your email with your normal password if you go through a browser and log in on your email provider’s server. But, if you use a email client on your PC, you have to substitute the 16-character passkey in place of your password.

        See this thread and post #2302344 and the ones linked in the post for more information.

        • #2313538
          AskWoody Plus

          I can confirm the OAUTH thing in the case of Yahoo Mail.  When the email arrived from Yahoo advising of the change, I did as advised for Outlook, i.e. created the passkey to be used in place of my old password.  That worked OK, but I am also a MailWasher user and Yahoo’s advisory did not mention MW.  So I contacted MailWasher support to ask what changes would be needed, and was advised that so long as OAUTH was enabled, MW would still be able to retrieve Yahoo mail.  This was indeed the case, even after the change had been made in Outlook, until one day when MW was not seeing emails from Yahoo.  This was unfortunate, because unwanted emails were then appearing in Outlook which should have been filtered by MW.  The trick was to replace my password with Yahoo’s passkey, and to disable OAUTH.

          Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 20H2

      • #2313488
        AskWoody MVP

        Working offline usually is a choice. Returning to an online work mode is a simple process.

        In Outlook, on the Send/Receive tab, choose Work Offline to reconnect.

        Working offline option on the Send/Receive tab


        If the background of the Work Offline button is shaded (as shown in the image above), you’re not connected. But if the background is clear, you are connected.

        On the Send/Receive tab, choose Work Offline, and check your status bar. If the status shows Working Offline, repeat the action until the status changes to connected.

        Switch from working offline to online

        Windows 10 Pro version 21H1 build 19043.985 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

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