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Outlook will not connect to server

Outlook (2002) has suddenly stopped sending/receiving my e-mails. It was fine before the weekend and I have not altered anything. A system restore back to when it was OK, and a reinstallation of MS Office have not helped.

I am pretty much 100% sure my account settings in Outlook are fine (there are two - both for they are the same as those I have always used. My e-mail, pop3 & smtp addresses are correct, as are my port settings (verified with yahoo). I have tried with and without SSL (changing ports as required), and the authentification box needed for Yahoo mail is checked. I tried both .com and for the mail servers.

I also checked that I have all the shell folders in place in the registry (windows/current version) - and am now at a loss. I can't get Outlook Express to work either..

Contacted my ISP (BT) who spent an hour with me, with remote access to my PC, but they could find nothing wrong with the settings, so that was a waste of time.

I will attach screen shots showing settings and error messages when I try 'Test Account Settings', with and without SSL. If I try to send a real message within Outlook I am either told that it cannot connect to the server or that the server was found but there was nor response. And I get the dreaded @Enter Network Password' box up every 10 seconds..

All very depressing! Hope someone can help...

Avatar of slouko
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According to the message in the last image. Verify the email-address field. Typo there maybe?
Avatar of top_rung
Yahoo's SMTP server requires authentication.    "My server requires Authentication".  Verify that setting from the account's properties.  

Also try port 587 for outgoing when using the SSL setup.  You will want to use SSL to protect your account credentials.  
Also check your firewall settings if the ports are open. A simple command line "telnet port number here" will be able to tell you that.
Well. Yes, submission port (tcp/587) is generally used for Auth-SMTP.
Authenticated SMTP means that you've to provide an username with password to SMTP-server while sending messages.
There is checkbox for that in Outgoing Server -tab. Usually same credentials are working for sending what are used for reading mail.
Avatar of martinlest


Thereare no typos or other obvious mistakes - 100% sure. Boxes for authentification are all as they should be (and always have been when Outlook worked fine).

Tried telnet + port number. I get 'Connecting to' and I can see there is internet activity from the icon in the system tray. After about 20" the box just closes. Same with all port numbers I try.

Same also if I shut down my firewall completely. Net result - Outlook keeps telling me to verify the e-mail address: which of course I have done a hundred times now (and the password)..

Sigh ...
Tried Mozilla Thunderbird: also refuses to send emails. An error message says it could not connect to the server ( "The server is either unavailable or refusing smtp connections".

But I can't believe Yahoo has been down for two days??
Are you authenticating when sending mails?
I took a screenshot from my Office 2007 Auth SMTP -configuration.
As far as i remember, it was quite similar in the older Outlook and Outlook Express.
Message you post earlier  
Whoops i accidently post it before i completed the sentence.
So, check that you have configured your MUA to use authentication while sending messages.
My account settings property sheets open above.
Yes, I am authenticating.

I'm afraid the Office 2007 windows look quite different from mine..

Thought this was the solution:

so added the plus. - but no difference!
I honestly don't believe the problem is with my account settings. They are easy enough to set up - and  nothing has changed since my email was working. I've checked (and tried variations of port numbers) till I am blue in the face. Maybe there's a registry problem (though if so why didn't a system restore fix things?).

I've sent Yahoo Help a message through their online email service, though whether I'll hear back, I don't know!

BTW, just to repeat, emails come into Outlook OK - it's just the sending that isn't working..
And you have tried that alternative port, tcp/587 (submission) with no success?
How about SSL / TLS settings?

With no SSL, ports are 110 & 25. Tried 465 and 587 instead of 25. With SSL, ports are 995 and 25. Tried 465 and 587 also instead of 25. None of those work. I can't see any other variables in Outlook account settings that I can change..

Test Account Settings says it has found POP3 and smtp servers, but then the email test sending fails: just a note to verify my email address.
Are they freebie or paid Yahoo accounts.  If freebies, how are you accessing them?  Using YahooPOPs for them?  You didn't show the server setup screens.  Because you mention trying another Yahoo mail host, I'll assume that you are connecting directly to their mail hosts, that you have a paid account, and that they are current accounts (i.e., the paid accounts are not in arrears).

Have you tried using the webmail interface to your Yahoo accounts yet?  Occasionally Yahoo will shove in an intervening security page that has you enter the code shown in an image (i.e., CAPTCHA).  You won't be able to complete the login process until you sucessfully answer that intervening security screen.  Once you pass that test, it shouldn't appear for several months; however, I have once encountered 4 security prompts in 1 week and then didn't see it for somewhere around 6 to 8 months later.  When this security screen is triggered, you cannot login using a local e-mail account and have to go to their webmail interface to answer it and make it dormant again.

If Yahoo is providing e-mail service for your ISP, they may require that you validate your account.  What this does is you tell Yahoo to send you a confirmation e-mail to which you must respond.  That way they know the account is being used by a human and not a bot.  See  You have them send the confirmation e-mail to your Yahoo account or to your alternate e-mail address.  When you get it, you click on the link inside to verify your account.
Yeah, at this point it sure sounds like an account verification issue.  Let's see what if anything Yahoo tells you.
No, they are free Yahoo accounts. I can access them fine if I go through the Yahoo Mail website, but via Outlook, as I have done for years, I get the "Enter Network Password" box up every few seconds.

Validated the account (as I use it several times a day, can't see how Yahoo would think it was in need of validating, but no matter) - hasn't changed a thing.

Tried setting up my Yahoo accounts on Outlook Express on a different PC - same thing happens, so I don't think it is anything to do with my own PC per se, registry or whatever.

As a test, I set up a friend's account details on Outlook - a btopenworld account, and messages are sent just fine. My outgoing Yahoo messages just sit in the box and bring up the 'Enter Network Password" box ad nauseam whilst the BT test messages are sent with no problems.

So the fault is surely somewhere with Yahoo? And the answer, as this is not the first time this has happened (though previously I managed to resolve things - don't recall how unfortunately) is to dump my Yahoo email accounts and go back to BT..

Since they are free Yahoo Mail account, and since you are using which doesn't provided access to their POP and SMTP mail hosts for free accounts, how are you connecting your e-mail client to Yahoo Mail?  Are you using YahooPOPs?

I have had a *free* Yahoo Mail account for a few years now.  It is with  They don't permit access to their mai lhosts.  The only access is through their webmail interface.  That is how I know about YahooPOPs.  It runs as a local POP-to-HTTP proxy to which you connect your POP e-mail client and it connects via HTTP to Yahoo Mail.  You can also use YahooPOPs as an SMTP-to-HTTP proxy to send your outbound e-mails through Yahoo Mail but the problem there is that Yahoo will spamify all your outbound e-mails sent through their service when using a free account.  It makes your received e-mails look amateurish.  If possible, I'd suggest sending your outbound e-mails through your ISP's SMTP mail host.  The setup would be to yank using POP through YahooPOPs to get your Yahoo Mail messages but send through your ISP's SMTP mail host.  When configuring the e-mail account in Outlook, you set the inbound mail host to "localhost" because you will be connecting to the YahooPOPs proxy and the outbound (SMTP) mail host to be your ISP's SMTP host.  Because you are using different providers for inbound and outbound e-mails, you would need to enable SMTP authentication to use different login credentials for your ISP's SMTP mail host than for Yahoo Mail in the POP setup.

There are some other regional Yahoo e-mail services that still do provide access to the mail hosts, like their .uk domain (I don't remember the others but it is only a couple that still allow mail host access with free accounts).  If your free .com account at Yahoo has been working for years then I suspect they grandfathered you in when they switched (which was many years ago).  The same happened to me when I had a Hotmail account.  Back in Nov 2004, Hotmail discontinued WebDAV access for free accounts created after that date (WebDAV is the scripting language used in Outlook [Express] that knows the command set to communicate with the HTTP servers).  Since my account already existed and was still active before that date, they grandfathered me in so that I would continue to have access using a Outlook or Outlook Express (the only 2 e-mail clients that use WebDAV).  However, when I switched to the Live interface, I had a period of time in which I could switch back to the MSN Hotmail interface to keep my WebDAV access but I didn't switch back in time, got converted to a Hotmail Live account, and lost my status as a grandfathered account.  

Could be finally caught up with you and yanked access to their mail hosts for your freebie accounts.  I haven't heard of grandfathering for Yahoo Mail accounts but then denial to their mail hosts has been a problem for me for years for a free account and why I use YahooPOPs.  Iif you still want to use Yahoo Mail, try using YahooPOPs to access them.  It works.  If you want more stable access and some more features, like aliasing to your account and to get rid of the spammy signatures they add to your outbound e-mails, and without having to run a local POP-to-HTTP proxy to access your free accounts then you should consider paying them for a premium account that allows direct access from your e-mail client to their mail hosts.
Thanks for the time spent replying, but I am afraid I don't understand where you are coming from with any of that: I've been accessing free Yahoo via Outlook for years with few problems - and, moreover, Yahoo just sent me instructions for checking that I have Outlook set up correctly to connect to my free Yahoo account. So saying "Yahoo have caught up with me", as if I have been doing something 'illegal', makes no sense at all. Yahoo clearly do permit access to their mail hosts - I think you are getting confused somehow.

In the end I have decided that, having spent several hours now trying to fix this problem, my best bet is to dump Yahoo altogether and I have advised friends that I shall now be using a BT e-mail address, which, in common with the others I mentioned, works fine with Outlook (as did free Yahoo  -  until Friday),

Something about the author's setup is not as presented.  It has been known in multiple newsgroups and by MVPs (Microsoft Valued Professionals) that does NOT permit access to their POP and SMTP mail servers for *free* accounts.  That is why I mentioned YahooPOPs (free) as an alternative to access a free Yahoo Mail account.  As I noted, there are only a couple of regional Yahoo domains that still permit access to their mail hosts for free accounts, like  If the OP doesn't want to believe me, perhaps he will believe's own comparison between their paid and free accounts which shows POP access is not permitted for free accounts, which is stated at:

How does Yahoo! Mail Plus compare to free Yahoo! Mail?
Yahoo Mail Plus is $19.99/year

The author is invited to post his question in the microsoft.public.outlook[.general] newsgroups using a newsreader, like Outlook Express, connected to Microsoft's free NNTP server at or by using their webnews interface at:
(all on one line for the above URL)

The same question will result in the same answer: does not permit access to their mail hosts for free accounts.  
" if I have been doing something 'illegal', makes no sense at all."

I don't believe that was the implication at all.  Vanguard_LH is absolutely correct in the statements made, and either something is not being presented properly or indeed you have Mail Plus account.  It is like $20/year, so maybe it was signed up for and renewing unknowingly??  Is that a possibility?

"caught" was not to imply you did anything underhanded.  I got "caught" when I switch from MSN Hotmail to Windows Live Hotmail and didn't switch back in time.  Because of Microsoft's changing policy regarding support for grandfathered accounts and because changing to a Windows Live Hotmail account no longer qualified by account as grandfathered, I lost WebDAV access to that account.  I got "caught" by Microsoft's changes in their e-mail service.
Well it's a mystery to me as I say, because I have had this setup for a very long time and Yahoo themselves have been helping me to get things right. Wouldn't they have commented on this over the past few days? Maybe because I have a address?

But the question as to whether this was possible, or legal, or whatever is not really the point (by this stage!). The bottom line (and I am of course grateful for everyone's attempts to help me here) is that I have now spent hours and hours trawling the internet, trying registry fixes, changing Account settings etc. etc., all to no avail, so going over to email addresses that continue to work with Outlook is a bit of a 'no brainer' by this stage. I can still receive Yahoo emails in Outlook so there is not really a problem: I can just inform people of my change in email address as I go along.

Thanks again for the input here.
Since says that they don't provide access to their mail hosts for free accounts, and since I mention that *other* regional Yahoo domains do, it may very well be that you are supposed to use on of the other regional Yahoo domains.  You did not show the General and Outgoing Server tabs in the account defined in Outlook.  What is peculiar is that access ceased under the presumption that you did not change the settings for the POP and SMTP servers or that some other software did that.  I would think Yahoo could tell you under which of their domains is defined your account with them although getting help for a freebie account could prove difficult if not impossible.  I would assume that when you pay for a Yahoo Plus account that they would send a mail or email telling you about your payment along with instructions on how to connect to their servers.

Have you yet tried using another e-mail client, like Outlook Express, using the same server setup as defined in Outlook?  If that works then we know that it is something local to Outlook and not with your host, network, ISP, or email account setup.  Does Yahoo permit you to connect on a port other than 25?  It is possible your ISP is blocking email traffic over port 25 and you will have to use a different port number to the SMTP server, like 587.  Have you tried running Outlook in its safe mode ("outlook.exe /safe") which does not load any add-ons to ensure one of them isn't interfering with Outlook getting a connection?

There might also be a possibility that the cached login credentials in the registry are corrupt or have invalid permissions on them.  Read  I would try method 3 (clearing the pstore in the registry) before trying method 1 (creating a new mail profile).  I asked about safe mode above (which is method 2).
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Pretty much it has been shown that nothing you do locally will affect Yahoo's status of your account up on the server.  Since you are abandoning your Yahoo account and instead of notifying each person on-the-fly, I would recommend you send an e-mail with all your good senders from your address book (in the Bcc header) a notification that you are changing your e-mail address.  Then use the webmail interface to your Yahoo account and use their auto-responder to send an automatic reply back to anyone sending to your old Yahoo account to notifying them of your new e-mail address.  Yeah, some folks will say that will also auto-respond to spam but spammers don't use their real e-mail address so they won't get your auto-reply.  However, because spammers don't use their own e-mail address but may use someone else's, mention in your auto-reply that they or someone claiming their e-mail address has sent you an e-mail, something like:

This is an automatic response.  You [or someone
using your e-mail address has] have sent e-mail to the
following e-mail account:
This account is no longer active and is no longer
longer monitored.  Please resend your e-mail to:

Then, in case you miss anyone that wasn't in your address book but for whom you want to let know that you have changed your e-mail address, they will get the auto-reply from Yahoo's server.  You can configure the auto-reply to work for up to 6 months minus 1 day.  Sometimes I've forgotten where I have registered my old e-mail address but I need the sender to know the correct one.  For example, I had forgotten to change my e-mail address in an online resume but I still got the headhunter's e-mail because they knew where to resend their message.
Thanks for the heads up re. change of e-mail address.

Everyone OK if I close this question? Thanks again for the input  :-)
Closed, 250 points refunded.
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