What to do if Outlook won’t connect after VPN has been enabled

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Outlook won’t connect VPN

8 quick solutions to fix Outlook connection issues when VPN is active

  1. Restart MS Outlook
  2. Restart your internet connection
  3. Allow VPN in Windows Firewall
  4. Disable the wireless network adapter
  5. Flush the DNS
  6. Manually configure DNS settings
  7. Update Microsoft Office
  8. Change your VPN

Microsoft Outlook is one of the prominent email clients utilized by several Windows users across the world. On the other hand, Windows users also make use of VPN for online privacy and to bypass geo-restrictions or censorship on the web.

Nevertheless, several Outlook users experience downtime immediately after establishing VPN connection. This connection problem generally affects email activities thereby preventing Outlook users from composing, reading, forwarding and deleting mail items on their email boxes.

In spite of this, Windows Report team has come up with applicable workarounds to resolve the ‘Outlook won’t connect after VPN’ problem.

Fix: Outlook won’t connect after enabling VPN

Solution 1: Restart MS Outlook

If MS Outlook won’t connect after VPN connection, restarting the application can fix the problem. You can easily do this by closing MS Outlook application and then restart it after establishing a VPN connection.

Alternatively, you can disable the VPN connection and then perform email actions on MS Outlook platform before initiating your VPN connection.

Solution 2: Restart internet connection

One of the easiest workaround in fixing this problem is to restart your internet connection before starting up your VPN connection.

Alternatively, you may consider changing your mode of internet connection in order to use Outlook and your VPN together conjointly. For instance, you may consider using wireless internet connection devices or modem.

Solution 3: Allow VPN in Windows Firewall

Sometimes when VPN client software are improperly configured, it halts internet activity on the PC thereby preventing all applications on the PC from connecting to the web most especially Microsoft Outlook.

Another reason for the internet interruption is due to Windows firewall which prevents third-party applications from ‘hijacking’ the internet connection. Hence, it is recommended that you allow the VPN software to run in Windows firewall.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Press the Windows key > Type “Allow a program through Windows firewall” followed by the “Enter” key
  • Click on “Change Settings” optionsoutlook wont connect after vpn
  • Now, Click on “Allow another program”
  • Select the VPN program, or click Browse to find the VPN software, and then click OK
  • Initiate the VPN connection afterwards and then launch MS Outlook application.

On the other hand, some antivirus programs can also prevent certain VPN programs from running. You can prevent this by enabling the VPN program in the antivirus settings.

Solution 4: Disable the wireless network adapter

Sometimes Outlook won’t connect when VPN is active due to the enabled wireless network adapter. This occurs most especially if you are connected to the internet via a LAN cable and your wireless network adapter is powered on.

You can disable the wireless network adapter by following these steps:

  • Go to Start > Control Panel
  • In the Control Panel windows, select ‘Network and Internet’ and click on ‘Network and Sharing Center’outlook wont connect after vpn
  • From the list of internet connections, locate the wireless network connection and then click on it to launch the connection status.
  • In the connection status window, click on ‘Disable’ in order to disable the wireless internet connectionoutlook wont connect after vpn
  • Initiate your VPN connection and then restart MS Outlook afterwards

On the other hand, you can also disable the wireless internet connection by removing the wireless adapter or disconnecting the wireless internet connection.

Solution 5: Flush the DNS

According to several Windows users, flushing the DNS can fix the problem. This is because the DNS database may consist of errorneous caches which may affect your internet connection.

Hence, it is recommended that you flush your DNS cache in order to ensure smooth connection to the internet most especially after VPN connection.

Follow these steps to flush your DNS:

  • Press the Windows key > Type Command Prompt
  • Alternatively, Right-click “Start” and select Command Prompt (Admin)
  • Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter. You will get the confirmation prompt which says: Windows IP Configuration Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cacheoutlook wont connect after vpn

Note: Ensure you run Command Prompt as an administrator for system security permissions.

Solution 6: Manually configure DNS settings

Sometimes manually configuring your DNS settings eliminates connection issues this Outlook–VPN issue. Therefore, you should consider configuring your VPN DNS settings.

Here’s how to do this in Windows 10:

Step 1: Open Network Connections settings

  • Go to Start, Type ‘Run’ and then click on it
  • Type ncpa.cpl and click OK
  • In Network connections window, find your usual connection, either LAN or Wireless network connection.
  • Right click the connection and select Properties

Step 2: Set the DNS server addresses

  • Double click Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) or just Internet Protocol
  • Select Use the following DNS server addresses
  • Type these Google DNS server addresses: Preferred DNS server and Alternate DNS server
  • If Google DNS is blocked, try the following: Neustar DNS Advantage ( and enter and press OK, and, Level3 DNS ( and enter and press OK.

Solution 7: Update Microsoft Office

Outdated or unlicensed Microsoft Outlook versions are prone to several issues most especially the ‘Outlook won’t connect after VPN connection’ problem.

Nevertheless, it is highly recommended that you utilize the latest MS Outlook versions such as MS Outlook 2013 or 2016 which is part of the Office 365 suite program.

On the other hand, Microsoft constantly releases Office updates; therefore, you can update your MS Outlook version from within the application.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Launch MS Outlook
  • Go to File
  • In the left-hand navigation, select Account
  • Click on Update Options, and then click on Update Now.

Alternatively, you can also update your Microsoft Outlook program by running Windows updates. In addition to fixing the ‘Outlook won’t connect after VPN connection’ problem, Windows Updates also ensures that your Windows PC is stable and free from Microsoft-related errors.

Follow these steps to run Windows Updates:

  • Click “Start”.
  • Type “Windows Update” in the searchbox and click Enter.
  • Select ‘Install Updates’ to install all available updatesoutlook wont connect after vpn
  • Wait for the updates to be completed
  • After successful installation, Windows will automatically restart.

Solution 8: Change your VPN

Good VPN providers such as CyberGhost, NordVPN, and IPVanish work well with email client software such as Microsoft Outlook. Ultimately, you might consider replacing your VPN client software so as to avoid experiencing issues most especially the problem.

In conclusion, the solutions listed above are applicable in fixing Outlook connection issues when VPN is enabled. However, if you still experience this issue (which is quite unlikely) you should contact your VPN providers to resolve the problem.

Nevertheless, check out our VPN section for reviews, tutorials, guides, exclusive deals and more about VPN. Also, feel free to share your experience with us by commenting below.