Switch from working offline to Online in Outlook 2010 / 2013 / 2016

Last Updated on May 14, 2020 by Next Century

In Microsoft Outlook, you might occasionally find that it goes in to offline mode with your mail server and you stop receiving any emails.  The most common cause of this is due to loss of internet while Outlook is open.

How do you know when you’re working offline or online in Outlook? There are visual cues, starting with the status bar at the bottom of your Outlook window. If either of the following status indicators are shown, it means Outlook isn’t connected to your mail server.

Outlook 2013 / 2016 / Office 365 Notification

Office 2010 Notification

Returning to an online work mode is a simple process.

Guide For Outlook 2013 / 2016 / Office 365

  • Click on the Send/Receive tab, choose Work Offline to reconnect


    • 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.
    • If you don’t see the Work Offline button and your email account is a Microsoft Exchange Server account or an Office 365 account, Cached Exchange Mode might be turned off.  Contact the person who manages the Exchange server for your organization.

Guide For Outlook 2010

  • Click Send/Receive

    Note: That when Outlook is set to Work Offline, the button is highlighted

  • Click Work Offline to return to working online

    Note:  After you reconnect to the server, the Work Offline button has a plain background

Still no luck? If you can use that email account with a website, such as Outlook.com, see whether you can receive and send new mail using that site. If you can’t, call your technical support or your email service provider for help.

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