Outlook.com accounts are disconnected in Outlook

Last reviewed on April 16, 2013   —  28 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.

About Diane Poremsky

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlook forums by Slipstick.com.

28 responses to “Outlook.com accounts are disconnected in Outlook”

  1. Jas

    This didn't help. It still says Disconnected down in the status bar at the bottom.

    1. Diane Poremsky

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

  2. Christian Flury

    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.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      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.

  3. randall

    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

    1. Diane Poremsky

      It's probably outlook.com - they are having problems with all of the Microsoft services, off and on for the last week or so.
      You can check service here - https://status.live.com/

  4. Brian

    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.

  5. astro

    Hi

    Today, DISCONNECTED. Same as i can read here. And status are okay.
    Some new troubles on server side?

  6. Nerdface Killah

    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?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      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.)

  7. John Gray

    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!

  8. jkdean

    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.

  9. Chris Holmes

    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?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      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.

  10. Tahir Khan Shinwari

    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

    1. Diane Poremsky

      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.

  11. Carol Maurer

    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.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      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.

  12. Hobel

    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.

  13. Hobel

    FOLLOW-UP - my outlook calendar synced!!! THANKS, DIANE!

  14. Joe Dickson

    Followed your directions exactly and it worked perfect. Thanks,

  15. Pascal

    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.

  16. Pascal

    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.

  17. Pascal

    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!

  18. Pascal

    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.

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