February 07, 2008
Problems Sending or Receiving Mail in Outlook

Have you ever looked at the bottom of your Outlook screen and seen the words 'Offline' or 'Work Offline'?

Or, maybe you've noticed 'Work Offiline' checked under the File menu?

You think--I didn't do anything, how did that happen? Why did it happen? What does it mean?

When Outlook is set to Work Offline, email you write will not send automatically and you won't receive any new email--even when you're connected to the network--unless you select Send/Receive in the Tools menu. Once set to 'Work Offline,' Outlook assumes that there is no network connection and, therefore, no automatic checking or sending of email. When you're actually in a location with no network connection, the Work Offline setting can be convenient because you can reply to emails but not send them until the next time you're on a network. 'Work Offline' ensures that you don't get error messsages or computer slowdowns from trying to send messages that can't be sent.

So why does it seem that sometimes your Outlook application gets set to 'Work Offline' with no intervention from you?
When you have a weak, intermittent or non-existent network conenction, Outlook will sometimes automatically switch over to 'Work Offline' and then not switch back when your network connection comes back up. So if you've had a network outage in your office, it can pay to check this when the network is back up.

How do I fix this?
Click on the File menu, then click on 'Work Offline.' This is a toggle so if it's checked, it will be unchecked when you click on it and vice versa.

Posted by dcoates at February 07, 2008 03:37 PM