The server is unavailable in Outlook


  We have SBS2011/Exchange 2010 in the network. I have used Outlook anywhere for months successfully from my laptop, but all of a sudden, my Outloook can't find the server anymore. I have not done anything on SBS2011 either ... none that I recall.

  So I erased my Outlook profile and re-created a new profile. But the result is the same.
  During the setup process, I had to enter the following as usual:
 1. Under the Server Settings window, Exchange Server Name: SBS_Server_Name.DomainName.local
 2. User Name:
 3. Under More Settings/Connection tab/Exchange Proxy Settings, I entered "" and selected "Basic Authentication".

  I can still run OWA by using on the browser and I can still log in to RWW using

  Can you help?
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
First test Outlook Anywhere using

If that works then you know that it is likely machine specific related and it is not on the Exchange Side.

You need to also make sure that you have setup your proxy settings with the correct URL in Outlook. Once you have done that also run the "Test Email Auto Configuration" test from Outlook as well. This will show you what URL's you are trying to connect to.


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sgleeAuthor Commented:
From the main page/Exchange Server tab,
Which test or tests should go for?
Andy MIT Systems ManagerCommented:
What version of Outlook are you using? If exchange/dns records are setup correctly you shouldn't need to specify the server name or authentication method as autodiscover should take care of this for you.

When logging onto OWA do you get a certificate warning at all? An expired or self-signed certificate will prevent Outlook Anywhere/Autodiscover working correctly (a self-signed certificate generated by the server will need manually installing on the PC for Outlook to connect properly).

As Will has noted the Outlook Anywhere test will show you the steps in the connection and note any problems with the Exchange setup. Do you have another machine you can try connecting froma nd see if that suffers the same issue as well?
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
The Outlook Connectivity Test.

sgleeAuthor Commented:
Test ResultIt failed.
Now, I have not changed any port forwarding. Yes we use Office 365. There has not been any change in DNS records for this domain for years and I just confirmed that is still pointing to our network IP address as before.
Also users are still synching Outlook Email/Calendar/Contacts on their phones.
Andy MIT Systems ManagerCommented:
Your problem is there's no autodiscover record in place for your domain. Usually this is either setup to use the root domain record ( or setup as an A host record ( This record points to the exchange server running the autodiscover service for your domain.
sgleeAuthor Commented:
Sorry I have not had time to work on this case until today.

I appreciate all the advise and links, however there has NOT been any change whatsoever on DNS or IP side.
Even though I can't get Outlook anywhere to work on a PC, there are two users who use MAC laptop computers and their Outlook is still working.

Is this perhaps because SBS2011 Certificate has expired?
If that is the case, with certificate expired, I can still RWW, RDP directly into any workstation or servers on the network from outside.

Expired SBS Certificate
Andy MIT Systems ManagerCommented:
As noted previously, an expired certificate will stop certain versions of Outlook from connecting properly. Get the certificate renewed and (as it's self-signed) install it onto the affected machines manually and see if they can connect at that point.
sgleeAuthor Commented:
" an expired certificate will stop certain versions of Outlook from connecting properly" --> I will try to generate new certificate in SBS.
sgleeAuthor Commented:
I generate a new SBS2011 certificate using Fix My Network and installed newly generated certificate on my computer, but OWA still fails.
New SBS Cert
Andy MIT Systems ManagerCommented:
I could be mistaken but that valid date doesn't look correct for a recently renewed certificate. if you've renewed the certificate the start date should be the date you renewed it, not 4 years ago. On the SBS servers I've renewed self signed certificates on it usually extends them for at least a couple of years, not just one.

How did you install the certificate onto the computer, was it through the Certificate Distribution package (
sgleeAuthor Commented:
CertificateOutlook ErrorI found this certificate in C:\Users\Public\Downloads\Certificate Distribution Package on SBS2011.
I installed it on my remote PC, but still Outlook fails to connect to Exchange Server with the message:
"Can not open your default e-mail folder. You must connect to Microsoft Exchange with the current profile before you can synchronize your folders with your Outlook data file (.ost)"
Andy MIT Systems ManagerCommented:
Sounds like there may be more than just the certificate at fault. That certificate looks to be correct for a self-signed one.

Have you tried setting up a new profile in outlook since installing the certificate? Is Outlook and the laptop fully up to date with windows/office updates?
sgleeAuthor Commented:
Problem solved. The problem was that "Microsoft Exchange Forms-Based Authentication service" in Services.msc was stopped. When I started that service, OWA as well as Outlook Anywhere started working.
Like I said in my posting, these features have been working for years and I have not changed anything to cause this problem.  Now I know what to look for when it fails  to work again.

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