How to Fix Outlook Cannot Connect to IMAP Server?

Updated On - August 24, 2023 by Henry Bray | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Outlook has been ruling the email niche for a long time now. For email to be sent and received, Microsoft Outlook needs access to an IMAP, POP, or SMTP server. There are a variety of email servers available, and each client type makes use of a unique one. Yet the IMAP server is the most popular and practical choice for Outlook. Even though it is the go-to program for businesses, Outlook has its fair share of quirks. One such problem is “Outlook cannot connect to the IMAP server.”

This blog post will teach you everything you need to know about fixing the problem when Outlook 365 fails to connect to your IMAP server. This is a server error, and there are many potential causes. The worst aspect is that this problem prevents users from sending and receiving emails in Outlook. The causes of the “Outlook cannot connect to the IMAP server” error must be identified and addressed before we can examine the most effective solutions to this problem.

Outlook Can’t Connect to IMAP Server: Possible Causes

The interruption causes problems with email delivery. When Outlook reports that it “cannot connect to the IMAP server,” users may get hesitant to continue. Users may start to question what’s causing the problem. We have organized that line of thinking and compiled the most common causes of this inaccuracy.

  • improperly configured settings typically cause IMAP connection errors. If you want to connect to the IMAP server, you need to use the correct values.
  • This error can also occur if the connection between the client and server is interrupted, for example, because of a firewall or antivirus program. Antivirus software fails to recognize the server as trusted, preventing communication with it.
  • This issue can be brought on by several factors, including Corrupt or damaged PST files.
  • This problem can also occur if your internet connection is unreliable. The Outlook 365 cannot connect to the server problem may also be caused by a sluggish connection speed or insufficient bandwidth.

To avoid the Outlook “cannot connect to an IMAP server” issue, make sure the above conditions are met. Let’s look at what we can do to fix the server error now.

The Outlook Mail Cannot Connect to IMAP Server Error: Easy Solutions

If you’re getting an IMAP server problem in Outlook, try the below steps. Each of these is a manual approach that worked to fix the problem.

Permit Outgoing server email clients and servers can only connect if the outgoing server in Outlook is on. Permit and validate the outbound IMAP server connection to prevent Outlook 365 from connecting to the server. Follow the instructions below to replicate the process.

  • The first step is to launch Microsoft Outlook and select “File” from the main menu bar. 1
  • Then go to the Info option and select the Account Setting option. 2
  • Select Account Settings from the dropdown menu.3
  • Select the account you wish to modify and click the Change button.4
  • In the following wizard, click on the More setting option.5
  • Next, select the Outgoing Server tab from the top option.6
  • Now, check the box adjacent to the My Outgoing Server option and click OK.7

Verify the Port Numbers

The proper port numbers must be specified for the email client and server to connect. You should be aware of the following port numbers. The methods detailed below will show you how to verify your IMAP port settings. It will resolve Outlook’s inability to establish a connection with the specified IMAP server.

  • Open Microsoft Outlook and go to the File menu.8
  • Now navigate to the Info from the left pane and click Account Settings.9
  • Then choose Account Settings from the dropdown list.10
  • Select Account Settings from the subsequent menu.
  • Choose the email account, then click the Change button in the new tab.11
  • In the following wizard, click on the More Settings option.12
  • Now click on the Advanced button to continue with the process.13
  • Go to the “Advanced” tab to move forward.
  • Change the Outgoing Server (SMTP) to 993 and the Incoming Server (IMAP) to 143.14
  • Last but not least, select the OK button to complete the process.15

Check Your Internet Connection

A reliable and quick internet connection is essential for getting work done online. If you’re having connectivity problems, try switching to a different network. This may fix Outlook’s inability to connect to the IMAP server.

Recover PST files

Sometimes corrupt PST file also results in Outlook not connecting to the server error. We recommend using Regain PST recovery tool to recover corrupt PST files. It is an automated solution specially coded for professionals and hols a convenient GUI, which makes using this software a cakewalk. Also, even a newbie can use this tool without any technical assistance and hassle.

Free Download100% Secure Buy NowPrice: $39

Moreover, the tool is compatible with all versions of Outlook and works in all Windows Operating systems.


Outlook interruption can cause hassle and affect productivity. When users encounter an error saying Outlook can’t connect to IMAP server, they are left in the dark. You can use any of the above-mentioned processes to resolve this error and continue working with Outlook. If your PST file is corrupted, we suggest using Regain PST Recovery tool for a straightforward approach.

Author: Henry Bray

Henry Bray is a young technologist and content a Content Writer at Regain Software, loves to write about MS Outlook, MS Exchange Server, Office 365, Mozilla Thunderbird and many more email applications.

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