How to fix Working Offline Problem in Microsoft Outlook

As we all know, Outlook has a feature called Work Offline that can be used to work in Outlook, when you are not connected to the internet, Say you are on a flight and you want to work, you can do that. All the work that you have done, will be stored in Offline files and will be synced when you are connected back to the internet.

However, at times, the Working Offline option gets stuck. You will notice a message at the bottom saying Working Offline


Working Offline


Also, you can see a red cross mark on the Outlook icon.


Outlook Icon


Potential Reasons for this issue are :

  • No connectivity to the Internet.
  • The application is not up to date.
  • Outlook Files have been corrupted.

If you are facing this issue, then don’t worry. We have curated a list of fixes that can be used to solve the Working Offline Issue in Outlook

Fix 1: Disable Working Offline Option

Step 1: Open MS Outlook Application

Step 2: Go to the Send/Receive tab

Step 3: Click on the Work Offline Option as shown below.


Disable Working Offline


Step 4: You should see the message disappearing.

In case this does not help, try the next fix.

Fix 2: Sign out and Sign-in to Outlook

Step 1: Open any Office application.

Step 2: Click on the File menu option.


File From Menu


Step 3: Choose Office Account from the left-hand side.

Step 4: Click on Sign out on the right side, underneath your account.


Office Account


Step 5: Close Outlook and Reopen it.

Step 6: You will be prompted to enter your credentials.

NOTE: In case you are not prompted, repeat Steps 1, 2 and then click on Sign-in.

Fix 3: Update the Outlook application

Step 1: Open the MS Outlook Application

Step 2: Click on File from the top menu.


File From Menu


Step 3: In the appearing window, Select the Office Account from the left-hand side

Step 4: Click on Update Options.

Step 5: From the drop-down menu choose Update Now


Update Office Min

Step 6: Wait for the updates to finish installing in the system

If the issue is still in place, try the next fix.

Fix 4: Repair the .pst or .ost file

The .pst file in case of pop3 accounts and, the .ost file in case of IMAP accounts hold all the data wrt to an account in the system. When MS Outlook connects to the internet, this file is updated with the new contents. This file is responsible for showing the existing mails in MS Outlook when the system is Offline. Now, when this file gets corrupted, the synchronization issues are bound to occur.

Step 1:  Identify the location of the .pst or .ost file. Follow the below steps,

1. Open the MS Outlook Application.

2. Click on File from the top menu options.


File From Menu


3. In the appearing window, go to the Info tab.

4. Click on Account Settings.

5. Then click on Account Settings again.



Acc Info


6. In the Account Settings window that opens, Go to the Data Files tab, Note the location of the file of the required account.


Pst Location


Step 2: Open SCANPST.EXE and run the application.

The location of the application is different for different versions of Outlook.

  • Outlook 2019 or 2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
  • Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
  • Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
  • Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12

Based on the Outlook version on your system, go to the appropriate location and double click on SCANPST.EXE




Step 3: When the SCANPST application opens, paste the filename in the Enter the name of the file you want to scan section. The location that we noted in Step 1, point 6.

Step 4: Click on the Start button.

NOTE: The OST files can also be repaired using the SCANPST application.



Step 5: Once the scan finishes, it will notify if there are any errors. Repair the file with the instructions shown.

Step 6: Restart the system and open the Outlook application and check if this fixed the issue.

If this doesn’t help, try the next fix listed below.

Fix 5: Create a New Outlook Profile

If none of the fixes listed above works, then try creating a new user profile and check if the search works.

Step 1: Open the Run Dialog using the keys Windows and R.

Step 2: Type control and press the Enter key.



Step 3: In the search bar located at the top right corner of the Control Panel window, search for Mail. Click on the Mail option that shows up.



Mail Option



Step 4: In the Mail Setup window that opens, click on the Show Profiles as shown below.


Show Profiles


Step 5: Click on the Add option.



Add Profile



Step 6: Enter the desired name, and press Enter.


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Step 7: Ensure the newly created Profile is selected.


Select Profile


Step 8: Add your account to MS Outlook.

Step 9: Once, the setup is completed, check if the search works as expected.

That’s All

We hope this has been informative. Thank you for Reading

Kindly comment and let us know in case you found this useful

Also, let us know if you run into any issues. We will be glad to assist.

1 thought on “How to fix Working Offline Problem in Microsoft Outlook”

  1. For some reason, my email 2010 Outlook went offline. I spent hours on the internet looking for a solution and trying different things. Your article solved my problem. I had to create a new profile. The instructions in your article were easy to follow and I’m no longer offline. Thank you.

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