One of the most common issues for users who are unable to send or receive mail is that outlook is currently “offline”.  If Outlook loses its connection to the Exchange server for a while, it may go into Offline mode. As long as Outlook is set to work offline, you will not be able to send and receive messages in the background – you will have to hit the Send/Receive button.

  1. To see whether Outlook is working online or offline, look in the lower right corner of the screen. If you are connected to Exchange, it will display either “Connected to Microsoft Exchange” or “Online”, if you are working offline, it will display “Offline”.
  2. To remedy the problem, click the arrow to the right of “Offline” and uncheck the Work Offline option.
  3. In Outlook 2010 the process is slightly different, click the “Send/Receive” tab at the top left corner of outlook

Then click “Work Offline” which is on the far right of the ribbon, this toggles outlook on and off from being connected to the mail server.