Outlook 2010 Always Opening in "Work Offline" Mode

Posted on January 3, 2011 9:21 PM

When I am away from the office I often set Outlook to “Work Offline.”  This allows me to have Outlook open for access to the cached information and it doesn’t try to connect and update all the folders whenever I establish a VPN back to the office.

At some point, Outlook started resorting to Work Offline every time it started.  This was troublesome as I might go for hours at a time not realizing I was Working Offline and as a result, not receiving email messages.  Before this problem, Outlook would start in whatever state (Connected or Work Offline) it was in whenever it was shut down.

In researching the problem I found many references to this problem which go all the way back to Outlook 2003.

Microsoft’s solution is to create a new Outlook profile, as the existing profile has somehow become corrupted.  I really wanted to find a “cause and effect” fix, but never did.  So ultimately, I created a new profile and the problem is solved.  It seems as though this is a work around rather than a solution, but I am now Online.

To create a new Outlook profile go to Mail (32 bit) in the Control Panel (Windows 7).

  • Click on the Show Profiles button under Profiles.
  • Click on the Add button.
  • Give the new profile a different name from your existing profile.
  • Follow the instructions and Outlook will connect to the Exchange server and automatically create a new profile.
  • With a new profile, you can now have Outlook prompt you regarding which profile you want to use when Outlook starts.  You can also specify one of the profiles for Outlook to use automatically.
  • If you specify a profile, be sure you specify the new one you just created.  This will ensure Outlook will start up and look for a connection to the Exchange server rather than ignore the Exchange server and Work Offline.

Related Posts


Comment by Bianca

July 13, 2011 3:13 AM

You acutally don't have to create a new profile. Just ensure that your outlook profile is the default, ie control panel >> Mail >> show profiles and that's it done Smile

Comment by outlook help

August 18, 2011 4:50 PM

ohh thanks i just thought my internet was always being glitchy. useful post thanks

Comment by Chris

March 13, 2012 8:13 AM

I had the same issue Outlook 2010>Corporate Exchange fine over VPN prior to reboot. Always in offline mode after reboot.
I have a ton of rules so I didn't want to have to create a new profile so I just copied my profile and set it to the default and it worked.

Comment by Tech Support

March 14, 2012 10:00 AM

Absolutely right.. If you still need to send the email that got stuck, you have several options. You can try resending the message, or sending it using another email account.. and If the message contains an attachment, you can try compressing the attachment before resending the message.. As a last resort you can try recreating the message from scratch, in case there is something wrong with the message item itself.

Comment by Stefano

November 20, 2012 4:35 AM

Check if you have comunicator open (like Lync or other stuff).
Is so, close it.
Then go to File - Account Settings - Account Settings
Change - More Settings
under the general Tab select "Manually control Connection state" and "Connect with the Network"
Ok - next- next - finish.
Close outlook, and try again.

Comment by Sam

January 31, 2013 5:00 AM

Thanks Stefano! That worked!

Comment by John

March 2, 2013 4:37 PM

I have no clue how Lync can cause Outlook to default to Work Offline, but Stefano's solution worked like a charm.

Comment by Ranji

March 3, 2013 11:32 PM

Thanks Stefano...worked like a charm

Comment by Rob

March 4, 2013 11:20 AM

Thank you Stefano. I like your solution. Worked like a charm

Comment by QOOL

July 4, 2013 1:13 AM


Comment by Ken

August 15, 2013 7:37 AM

Thanks Stefano!

My guess why Lync, MS Messenger, etc needs to be closed too is because they use the same network settings. If they are open, the setting cannot be truly saved. Just a guess though.

Comment by Marilyn

September 23, 2013 8:12 AM

Thanks Stefano! Your solution also works for me. Smile

Comment by stevo

October 17, 2013 8:17 AM

turn off caching, close and open outlook, it should connect to exchange, turn caching back on, close and open outlook and it should connect.

Comment by ofir

January 21, 2014 9:55 AM

Thx Stefano

Comment by UnderCoverGuy

February 15, 2014 11:24 PM

I had the same issue (with Office 365). In the Control Panel applet (unlike Outlook 2007/2010), there is no setting to control the connection state. STEVO had the right idea (thanks!!). My Outlook 365 kept starting up in Offline mode. So I exited Outlook and Lync, turned off caching within the profile, started Outlook (which forces it to start in Online mode since there is no caching), then exit Outlook and turn caching back on. No reboot required. Now Outlook starts up Online every time again.

BTW - the issue with Outlook starting in Offline mode started after I started to add another account to my profile but I canceled it and didn't finish the addition.

Maybe there is a registry hack that tells Outlook how to start up.

Thanks again STEVO - didn't want to create a new profile...

Comment by tercio

June 4, 2014 6:19 PM

Proceed as recommended and it worked fine. I got a first aborted attempt to start outlook, but it was succssfully in a new start. Thanks a lot.

Comment by Udhay

August 28, 2014 7:28 AM

Thanks Stefano.... surprised It worked for me ur simple solution..

Comment by mike

October 9, 2014 4:13 PM

It took me a while to figure out, but I finally did. In Outlook 2013, do the following:

+ select the send/receive tab
+ on the send/receive groups dropdown, select define send/receive groups
+ make sure the all accounts group name is selected in the list box and click on edit
+ make sure the check box is selected for include the selected account in this group
+ click ok and then click close
+ restart outlook

Add Comment

[b][/b] - [i][/i] - [u][/u]- [quote][/quote]