Last reviewed on April 16, 2013   —  No Comments

I'm starting to hear from Outlook 2013 users who are having problems connecting or staying connected to Outlook.com account types.

Usually it is possible to connect by setting Outlook offline then back online, but that gets old fast. In some situations it will not connect at all. My Outlook 2013 simply will not connect to the outlook.com account. A repair attempt results in an error message on the "Establishing network connection" step.

The error message users receive is as follows:

Outlook cannot discover settings for your account because a network connection could not be established. You may need to turn off Work Offline to automatically configure this account.

This is usually the result of a proxy server you are connected to configured to time out connections after a period of inactivity. This disconnects Outlook.com accounts from the server and makes it appear to be offline.

While this is more often a problem in corporate networks, it can happen with any Internet connection.

To fix this issue, you need to add a PushDuration to the registry.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\EAS
DWORD: PushDuration
Value: between 5 and 59 (for minutes between sync intervals)

Note: if the EAS key does not exist, you need to create it.

Do it for me

If you'd rather not edit the registry yourself, you can download and run the following registry file to set a value of 59 minutes.

59 minute PushDuration

Use this vbscript to open the registry editor to the EAS key so you can set a value other than 59 minutes:
Open regedit to PushDuration

How to edit the registry

  1. Close Outlook.
  2. Press Windows key + R to open the Run command.
  3. Type regedit and press Enter to start Registry Editor.
  4. Browse to the following registry key.
  5. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\software\microsoft\office\15.0\Outlook\
    

  6. Right click on the Outlook key and choose New > Key. (If this key exists already, skip to Step 7.)
  7. Type EAS and press Enter.
  8. Right click on EAS and choose New > DWORD
  9. Type PushDuration and press Enter.
  10. Right click on PushDuration and click Modify.
  11. Set Base to Decimal.
  12. Type an whole number between 5 and 59 for the number of minutes between sync. Click OK.
  13. Close the Registry Editor and re-start Outlook for the change to take affect.

Comments

    • Diane Poremsky says

      How long has it been a problem? There are connection issues with outlook.com the over the last week or so.

  1. Christian Flury says

    Hi Diane,
    Thank you for your expert advices! I have set-up Office 2013 with Outlook.com for calendar/contact sync acording to your instructions. It is "somewhat" working, meaning that most calender entries are getting synced but not every. It fact, Outlook is showing always the "disconnected" status, even after applying the registry patch. Wenn going offline/only it quickly connects, say "waiting for server response" and then it falls back to disconnected; the entire cycle not taking more than 2 seconds. Pressing F9 doesn't bring-up the connection.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      There are currently connectivity issues with outlook.com - it's been off and on for about 2 weeks to the best of my recollection - so your problems could be the result of server side issues.

  2. randall says

    I am having the exact same problem. I just set up this computer and email 2 nights ago and today it is not working as described. I tried the registry patch -- no help. I am hoping it is sever side issue that will be resolved soon. today's date 8/14 through 8/15/2013

  3. Brian says

    The issue is definitely on the outlook server end they have a problem with their authentication probably to do with the migration of accounts I have tested on multiple networks it has nothing to do with proxy server settings. If you look at the connector in the bottom right it reports the authentication error even though the email test works and you can access the account through the account change settings. When you run repair it doesn't work because the routing on the Microsoft side is not working correctly so once they close their connection you are locked out and the only way is to reauthenticate the entire setup by reading the account but this is very time consuming as you have to reload your entire email and diary again because the connector does not allow the opportunity to change to the original pst or ost file.

  4. Nerdface Killah says

    It's now 2014 and this still happens to me even with the registry patch and the send/receive set to check every 5 minutes. Is this just something we have to live with?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Possibly. SP1 will be out in a few weeks and it is supposed to have improvements that should help, but i can't verify it because I've never had this problem with Outlook.com accounts.

      Is your account a new account or was it originally a Hotmail account and you changed the address? Are there any messages in the Sync Issues folder? Have you ever tried making a new profile to fix it? (If not, try a new profile.)

  5. John Gray says

    This problem has haunted me ever since I installed Office 365 last year and it's driving e to despair. It seems to regularly make all of my Outlook 2013 folders empty out and then I cannot retrieve them and then get the continuous "disconnected" indication. I have tried the registry fix and also the deletion of the outlook.com profile including the deletion of the .OST files and setting up a new one and that doesn't work either. It is strange that the problem exists across all of my platforms; Android Phone using Microsoft EAS to connect with my outlook.com email address, my Win7 Desktop with Office 365 - Outlook 2013 click-to-run installed and my Win 8.1 Laptop also running Office 365 - Outlook 2013 click-to-run and yet on all of these devices I run a business EAS email account that is working just fine!

  6. jkdean says

    I seem to have solved my problem of Outlook 2013 repeatedly disconnecting from outlook.com by (1.) enabling UPnP Service and (2.) disabling SPI Firewall on my router (running DD-WRT). I'm not sure which of the two changes fixed the problem, but I'm not messing with it since Outlook 2013 now remains connected to outlook.com.

  7. Chris Holmes says

    Whilst trying to discover why my contacts only synchronise occasionally and even then only one or two at a time, I select FILE - ACCOUNT SETTINGS - REPAIR and get the dreaded message "Outlook cannot discover settings for your account because a network connection could not be established."

    The bar at the foot of the Outlook window frame says 'All folders are up to date' and 'Connected'. Selecting and unselecting 'Work Offline' makes no difference. Creating a new Outlook account makes no difference either. I am using the 'Push Duration' registry settings recommended above.

    My computer is a new Dell convertible laptop with Windows 8.1.

    Did Microsoft ever fix the server issues mentioned above? What else can I try?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      I believe it was fixed in an update, possibly SP1. Do you have all updates installed? Is the computer always online? I've seen issues with outlook.com reconnecting after going back online or coming out of sleep.

  8. Tahir Khan Shinwari says

    when ever i connected to my Microsoft hotmail account using LAN, i can't access my contacts to send an email to someone. but when i disconnect the LAN and connect to WIRELESS , then every thing become ok. Can anyone Help me.

    Thanks

    • Diane Poremsky says

      It sounds like the lan is blocking access to outlook.com. What version of outlook are you using? Older versions have connection settings for each account - it could be set to use a specific connector.

  9. Carol Maurer says

    After reading all the conversations above I still do not know how to fix this "disconnected" problem. Can anyone give me step-by-step? I'm using Microsoft 2010 on WIndows 7 Home Premium with SP1 installed.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      The only fix I know is to remove the account and add it back or to create a new profile. The Disconnected message seems to go away when i send mail too.

  10. Hobel says

    Holy Toledo, I think creating a new profile finally made it work. I'm running Windows 7 Professional and Outlook 2013. I set up (following slipstick's step-by-step instructions) my outlook to sync to my outlook.com account for calendar only (so that I can sync to my android smartphone.. All was working fine until 12/13 when only the calendar went to "disconnected" but all my email accounts sync'd just fine. My fix was to close Outlook, go to control panel, search for Mail, copy the current profile (in my case it was "Outlook") and created a new one called "Outlook2" and made it the default profile. I restarted Outlook and presto, it was CONNECTED.

    Now I the message at the bottom of the Outlook window says, CONNECTED, ALL FOLDERS ARE SYNCED, and "waiting on server response." I'll work on that problem next.

  11. Pascal says

    I had to reformat my laptop entirely. I'm now in the process of re installing all softwares. Like many others I'm stuck with this EAS server connectivity issue. I believe that I have tried all tricks above (incl. PushDuration to 59 minutes and new profile). I'm on Office 365 (with automated updates on) and my Windows Update shows no update available. I set my Outlook.com mail account into Outlook 2013 via the automated setting. Outlook 2013 starts synchronizing during, say, 20 minutes. I can see the contacts appearing gradually (3 by 3) until suddendly I get the disconnected warning sign.
    I remember that I had this issue previoulsy but I can't get remember how it was solved.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      I hate that error. :) Actually, I hate EAS in Outlook - it's just not designed for big desktop clients. Do you get any errors if you log into outlook.com and go to Contacts?

      Does it reconnect if you do a manual send and receive or reconnect on it's own later? Does it reconnect if you send a new message or add a new contact?

  12. Pascal says

    Thanks for your note.
    My answer, and queries, in two parts:

    A/ I did try multiple manual sends, re-starts of Outlook 2013 and of PC. No success. But, several hours after my post, EAS sync suddendly worked. No more server connectivity issue (well, keeping fingers crossed). Pure mystery to me! Has the PushDuration finally done its job (value eventually moved to 30 minutes)? If it happens to me again, I'll try to remember your suggestion to log into Outlook.com and go to Contacts (or to send a new message or add a new contact within Desktop Outlook)

    B/ I also hate EAS. It is definitely not 100% reliable. EAS tends to get lost in upload to Outlook.com especially when moving a lot of appointements or tasks around on Desktop Outlook (on the other hand I believe it works well downloading changes made on web app). What is your best suggestion if I do wish to reliably sync my calendar, people and tasks? Is it to move to some non-free plan with "real" Exchange? If yes, which one(s) would you consider? I work on my own, I have no big IT infrastructure around me.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      A/ I think it just starts to resync after a awhile.

      B/ It's great with lightweight clients, but I'm not sure if they messed up adding it to Outlook or if they didn't want to disable Outlook features that are not supported and that is causing problems. The real Exchange is definitely a better choice but you need your own domain name (which isn't a bad idea in itself) and $5 a month. They are working on fixing Outlook.com problems and while they haven't told me how they are fixing it or when, signs point to a workable solution possibly as early as this summer. On the other hand, it's microsoft... they might find a way to mess it up more. :)

  13. Pascal says

    Thanks a lot for feedback.
    A/ Yes, at the end of the day, connectivity issues might simply disappear when one is patient enough... and I'm rather impatient.
    B/ Let me try to be patient and wait until September to see if workable and reliable solution finally shows up. I'll set a reminder in Outlook!

  14. Pascal says

    Hi Diane,
    I did give Exchange a try, I even 'purchased' a domain. As far as sync to other devices is concerned my tests aren't 100% finished. However I'm already happy to report that it does work much better tan EAS.
    Now I seem to hit another issue: is Exchange compatible with BCM (Business Contact Manager). I'm synching my contacts between Outlook client and BCM (on the account in Outlook that is linked to Exchange). BCM seemed to work initially with Exchange account but now both add-ons (loader and BCM) are disabled. I get an error when trying to re-enable them and Outlook shuts down.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      BCM will work with Exchange but BCM is kind of buggy and I'm guessing something else is causing the error.

      Find the BCM addin listed under this key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins - is the loadbehavior set to 3?

      Do you get any error messages when you start outlook?

  15. Pascal says

    When re-enabling both add-ons I get twice a message like: "The Business Contact Manage did not manage to finalize latest action(s). Please try again." I guess that I get it once for each add-on.
    When re-enabling only the BCM add-on, I can access my database while Outlook still open. When restarting Outlook, BCM does not show any longer.
    Sometimes I get a message about something like a "C Visual runtime Error".

    LoadBehavior of HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\Microsoft.BusinessSolutions.eCRM.OutlookAddIn.Connect.5 is set to 0 in hex

    LoadBehavior of HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\Microsoft.BusinessSolutions.eCRM.OutlookAddIn.NativeConnect.5 is also set to 0 in hex

    Which one should I set to 3? And is it in hex or in decimal? (or does it not matter?)

    Note 1: I realize that I have recently implemented a DWORD called "DoNotIncludeNickNameCacheInSearch" in registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook. Aim was to avoid multiple wrong instances of contacts when doing a search. I'm not sure even it helped. So I erased that Dword, Unfortunately my BCM issue did not become any better.

    Note 2: in my search to get BCM working I disabled Outlook social connector 2013 (since I do not know what it is intended for). No improvement either on the BCM side.

    Last oddity: I'm 99.99% certain that I installed latest version of BCM as x64 as both my Windows and my Office are 64bits. Yet in Outlook options/ add-on menu, both add-ons (BCM loader and BCM) are indicated as located in c:\winbdows\system32\BCMMS32.dll

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      The first key should be set to 3. The location of the bcm dll doesn't mean it's not 64bit - the BCM install should pick up on the wrong version and refuse to install.

  16. Pascal says

    Hi,
    An add-on as I managed to have a screen-shot of the 'Visual C' errror message:
    (header) Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Library
    (Inside text) Runtime error!
    Program: C:\...
    R6025
    - pure virtual function call
    and: on task bar, the icon for this error message shows the Outlook logo
    note: no program name visible in message

    I tried various forums and nearest that I could find is https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/307590/ja
    where culprit was Office 2000 Small Business... maybe not that far from current Business Contact Manager

  17. Pascal says

    I was about to shout "alleluia" but today is Good Friday. The LoadBehavior set to 3 seems to have 'resurrected' my BCM. I restarted Outlook twice after the registry fix. BCM is still around and still linked to my hosted exchange account, which in turn syncs nicely with my phone. Let's hope this will last more than 3 days.
    Thanks a lot for your help.
    I wonder where you get all these tricks from.

    side note related to my previous comment: most probably Office 2000 Small Business has nothing to do with BCM. I initially focussed only on the 'Business' part of the name. So far I have not seen the Visual C error message again, but anyways it popped up only once a week or so.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      Correct, Outlook 2000 Small business is not part of BCM. It was an Outlook version that had some additional features - I forget offhand exactly what it did though. :)

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