Resolve the We Are Unable to Connect Right Now Outlook Error

Published by John on Last Updated On :

We Are Unable to Connect Right Now

Outlook is a free email application from Microsoft that’s used by thousands of people worldwide. However, common errors and glitches frequently occur on it. Users commonly find Outlook displaying ‘We are unable to connect right now.’ It occurs when Outlook cannot communicate with the Exchanger Server of Microsoft. The most common cause behind this error is a poor internet connection. Apart from that, those who use Outlook in VPN also face this issue. But there are quite a lot of different ways to overcome it. Here are some easy and advanced fixes for you to employ.

Why Do You Face ‘We Are Unable to Connect Right Now’ Issue?

Before using the troubleshooting, it is wise to understand the causes behind this error. They will help you to troubleshoot quickly.

  • Your internet connection is poor.
  • The VPN is causing issues.
  • There is some problem with your Outlook or PC.
  • The registry settings are incorrect.
  • You haven’t installed updates in your Office client or Windows OS.
  • The SSL certificate is not valid.
  • Outlook extensions are causing issues.

Quick Fixes to TroubleshootOutlook Connectivity

Now you can begin employing some easy fixes to get rid of the problem immediately. Use these measures one by one. Firstly, you can try to open Outlook application in safe mode.

Fix internet connection issues

First, see that you are connected to the internet by going to a website. If you aren’t connected, follow these points.

  1. Turn on the Wi-Fi.
  2. Choose ‘Start‘ followed by ‘Settings.’
  3. Now, go to ‘Network & Internet.’
  4. Here, switch on ‘Wi-Fi.’
  5. Go to ‘More Options’ and choose ‘Show available networks.’
  6. Choose the available network and select ‘Connect.’
  7. Restart the modem, router, and device.
  8. Now, reconnect to the Wi-Fi.
  9. Turn off and on the Wi-Fi to solve connection issues.

Turn off VPN

A VPN software also results in users seeing Outlook unable to connect right now message. So, disable it and check if you face the problem.

  1. On Windows, you can go to ‘Settings‘ followed by ‘Network & Internet.’
  2. Now, choose ‘VPN‘ on the left.
  3. Choose the VPN connection to disable and tap ‘Disconnect.’
  4. On macOS, choose the Apple icon on the home screen.
  5. Now, opt for ‘System Preferences‘ followed by ‘Network.’
  6. Choose ‘VPN‘ and then tap ‘Disconnect.’

Restart your computer.

Restarting the computer is the easiest fix to implement. When you restart the device, it clears the random-access memory. While the device is on, you tend to close and open many apps. It creates many temporary caches and logs in the background process. These things hog the resources of the device, which are stored in RAM. It, in turn, causes a memory leak and various glitches like this one.

Restart MS Outlook.

Similar to the one above, restarting Outlook apart from the PC is also good for fixing the Outlook connection status. You can do so through the Task Manager on Windows.

  1. Hold down the Alt and Control keys together. Then, hit the ‘Delete’ key.
  2. In the new screen, tap ‘Task Manager.’
  3. You will see a window displaying a list of applications on your computer.
  4. Right-tap on Outlook, and choose ‘End Task.’
  5. This will close Outlook.
  6. Now you can restart it.

Disable ‘Work Offline.’

Outlook gives its users a ‘Work Offline’ mode. Through it, you can access your emails even while offline. But if the Work Offline mode is left turned on, it results in various Outlook errors.

To turn off this mode, just open Excel and go to the ‘Send/Receive‘ tab. Here, remove the checkmark present beside the Work Offline button.

More Fixes for We Are Unable to Connect Right Now Outlook Error

The fixes mentioned above are simple and work quickly to resolve this issue. But if you still face this connectivity error, try the following troubleshooting.

Employ Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant

Running Outlook diagnostics is a great way to eliminate several issues in the application. Before running this utility, ensure that your Outlook files are backed up.

  1. Install Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant by going to the official website of Microsoft.
  2. Run the application.
  3. Select ‘Outlook.’
  4. Tap’ Next.’
  5. You can choose any of the two options that appear. The first option will be about Outlook hanging frequently, and the second will be about Outlook stopping to work.
  6. Let the process finish.
  7. After that, tap ‘OK.’

Review Registry settings

An issue with the Registry settings often makes you notice the ‘unable to connect to Outlook’ error. So, check the settings and resolve the issue. Use these steps to examine it.

  1. In the search bar, write ‘regedit.’
  2. The Registry Editor result will show up. Click it.
  3. When the Registry Editor opens, check the value of ‘EnableActiveProbing.’
  4. Ensure that the value of it in this key is configured to 1.
  5. When you set the value to 1, it gets enabled. It is also the default setting and identifies the status of network connectivity.
  6. You can now use Outlook and see if it shows the same error message again.

Carry out Windows clean boot.

Running a clean boot on the Windows system will help you find out if this error is a result of any third-party app. You can perform a clean boot by signing into your PC as an admin. After that, adhere to these pointers.

  1. In the ‘Search‘ box, input’ msconfig.’
  2. Now, choose ‘System Configuration‘ from the results that show up.
  3. In the ‘Services’ section, pick the option to ‘Hide all Microsoft Services.’
  4. Now, select the ‘Disable All‘ option.
  5. After that, choose ‘Apply.’
  6. On the system configuration’s ‘Startup‘ tab, choose ‘Open Task Manager.’
  7. Now, on the ‘Startup‘ tab present in the Task Manager, select the item for every ‘Enabled‘ startup item. Then choose ‘Disable.’
  8. After that, exit the Task Manager.
  9. On the ‘Startup‘ tab present in System Configuration, choose ‘OK.’
  10. Now, when you restart your PC, it will operate in a clean boot environment.

Turn off Outlook add-ins.

The process above will help you determine whether the ‘Outlook says trying to connect‘ error is because of add-ins. If it is due to these add-ins, you can disable them. These third-party extensions often cause Outlook not to function optimally.

  1. In Outlook, choose the ‘File‘ option present on the menu bar.
  2. Now, from the sidebar, choose ‘Options.’
  3. Choose the ‘Add-ins’ option on the sidebar.
  4. Now, hit the ‘Go‘ button. It is present on the page’s lower part.
  5. Remove the tickmark from all the extensions present on the page.
  6. After that, hit ‘OK.’
  7. Now, start Microsoft Outlook again. You won’t find this error message displaying on the screen.

Turn on the NSCI

NSCI stands for Network Connectivity Status Indicator. It facilitates Windows to find if the system is linked to the internet. If you turn it off, you will invariably encounter this specific error.

  1. Trigger the Run window. Hit the Windows key and R at the same time to open it.
  2. Copy this path. Then paste it into the address area of the Registry Editor. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NlaSvc\Parameters\Internet
  3. Make sure that you have set the value of EnableActiveProbing DWORD entry to 1.
  4. To change the value, double-tap ‘EnableActiveProbing.’
  5. In the dialog box of Value data, input ‘1’ and choose ‘OK.’
  6. It will allow the Network Connectivity Status Indicator on your PC.
  7. Now, copy and paste the following into the address area of the Registry Editor and hit Enter. HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\NetwrokConnectivityStatusIndicator
  8. Now, configure the value data of NoActiveProbe to 0.
  9. You can change the value by double-tapping on the entry.
  10. Finally, launch Outlook again and see if you can use it properly.

Change the startup type of the Network List Service.

The Network List service allows Windows to find networks that your computer links to. It also alerts applications of modifications in the network properties. So, if there’s any issue with this service, you will see the Outlook unable to connect right now error message. There is also a chance of the Outlook certificate expired, so some users face this error.

The best option is to restart and change the startup type of this service.

  1. Exit MS Outlook.
  2. Now, hit the Windows key and R.
  3. In the search box, input services.msc.
  4. Hit Enter.
  5. Now, find the ‘Network List Service’ option and double-tap it.
  6. Look at the ‘Startup‘ type option. Set it to ‘Manual.’
  7. Choose ‘Apply‘ and then select ‘OK.’
  8. Now, you need to right-click the option ‘Network List Service.’
  9. After that, choose ‘Restart.’
  10. Open the Outlook application and see if you can link your Outlook account without any interruptions.

Rebuild the data file of Outlook

Often, the Outlook data file gets corrupted. When it does so, you get the ‘Outlook says trying to connect’ prompt. You can rebuild the corrupt data file and see if it hinders the error message from showing up.

  1. Launch the ‘File‘ menu in Outlook.
  2. Go to the ‘Info‘ area.
  3. Choose ‘Account Settings‘ and the same option after that.
  4. Navigate to ‘Data Files.’
  5. Opt for your account and pick ‘Open file location.’
  6. Shift the Outlook data file to another location on your PC.
  7. Close and open MS Outlook. It will make a new data file which will stop the error prompt from displaying on the screen.

Final Words

Use these simple and advanced measures when you notice the ‘we are unable to connect right now’ Outlook error. Implement the quick fixes above related to checking the internet and restarting your PC and Outlook. Then use the advanced measures for deeper troubleshooting. If you need more assistance with resolving this specific error, contact the professionals of an expert email technical support service.

Written By


John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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Categories: Outlook


John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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