How to Set Outlook to Start Online

By Contributor

Updated May 05, 2020

When Outlook doesn't automatically check your email on startup, in most cases you can solve the problem by disabling offline mode. If you use Outlook with a Microsoft Exchange account at your school or job, however, you may need to change your account setting to enable online mode on startup. In either case, you can change the settings from Outlook on your desktop.

Disable Offline Setting

Launch Outlook on your computer. Click the "Send/Receive" tab.

Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook email.

Click the "Work Offline" command on the ribbon so that it's longer highlighted. This procedure disables offline mode, allowing Outlook to start in online mode.

Work Offline function in Outlook.

Exchange Server Accounts

Click the "File" menu, select "Account Settings," and then click "Account Settings" again.

Account Information tab in Outlook.

Select the name of your Microsoft Exchange Server account from under the Email tab.

Selecting exchange server account.

Click "Change," and then click "More Settings."

Screenshot of Outlook settings options.

Click "Manually Control Connection State," and then select "Connect With the Network." This setting causes Outlook to start in online mode.

Click "OK" to close the settings dialog box. Click "Next" and "Finish" to exit the Change Account window, and then click "Close" to exit the Account Settings window.


Information in this article applies to Outlook 2013 and 2010. Procedures may vary with other versions.