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Outlook error: The action cannot be completed

If you're trying to set up an email address that was already set up on your Outlook client, then you might get the following error:

"The action cannot be completed. The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action."

For example, you might've had an email address from Workspace Email set up in Outlook, and then switched to Microsoft 365. If you tried to set up your email in your Outlook client again, you'll see this error. To fix this issue, use the following steps. After each step, check if Outlook's working. If it isn't, continue to the next step and check again.

  1. Restart your computer.
    • Close all programs and completely restart your computer. Then try to open Outlook.
  2. Check the Windows Credential Manager.
  3. Reset your password.
  4. Create a new Outlook profile.
    1. Make sure Outlook's closed.
    2. Follow the instructions in this Microsoft article under Create a new profile.
      • To use the new profile when opening Outlook, follow the instructions under either Configure Outlook to always use the same profile or Configure Outlook to prompt you to choose a profile when started.
  5. Test the connectivity.
  6. Briefly disable firewall settings.
    • Review any firewall settings that might block the connection. Disable the firewall temporarily to confirm that it's causing the error.
  7. Try manually configuring Outlook.

More info