How to fix Outlook’s action cannot be completed error

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
To fix various PC problems, we recommend DriverFix:
This software will keep your drivers up and running, thus keeping you safe from common computer errors and hardware failure. Check all your drivers now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download DriverFix (verified download file).
  2. Click Start Scan to find all problematic drivers.
  3. Click Update Drivers to get new versions and avoid system malfunctionings.
  • DriverFix has been downloaded by 0 readers this month.

Some Outlook users have posted on the Microsoft forum about an action cannot be completed error. The full error message states: The action cannot be completed. The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action. That error arises when users try to set up or utilize a Microsoft Exchange email account within Outlook.

How can Users Fix the Action Cannot be Completed Error?

1. Reregister the DNS

  1. Some users have fixed the action cannot be completed error by reregistering the DNS. Press the Windows key + X hotkey.
  2. Select Command Prompt (Admin) on the Win + X menu.

    Win + X menu outlook the action cannot be completed

  3. Then enter these commands separately and press Return after each:
    ipconfig /flushdns

    ipconfig /registerdns

    ipconfig /release

    ipconfig /renew

    NETSH winsock reset catalog

    NETSH int ipv4 reset reset.log

    NETSH int ipv6 reset reset.log

  4. Close the Command Prompt.

2. Delete the Outlook Profile

  1. Deleting the current Outlook profile and adding a new one is another potential resolution for the Exchange is unavailable error. To do that, press the Windows key + R hotkey.
  2. Input ‘Control Panel’ in Run, and click the OK button.
  3. Click Control Panel > in the path bar and select All Control Panel Items. Then click Mail to open Mail Setup.

    All Control Panel Items option outlook the action cannot be completed

  4. Click Show Profiles to open the General tab.

    Mail Setup outlook the action cannot be completed

  5. Select the profile listed there, and click the Remove button.
  6. Thereafter, close the Mail Setup window.
  7. Outlook will automatically prompt you to set up a new profile after removing the previous profile.

3. Turn Off the Windows Defender Firewall

  1. To check if the Windows Defender Firewall isn’t responsible for the action cannot be deleted error, turn the WDF off before launching Outlook. Press the Windows key + S hotkey.
  2. Input the keyword ‘firewall’ in the search box, and click Windows Defender Firewall to open the Control Panel applet directly below.

    The WDF applet outlook the action cannot be completed

  3. Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off to open the options in the snapshot directly below.

    Turn off Windows Defender Firewall options outlook the action cannot be completed

  4. Select the Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall options, and click the OK button.

4. Turn Off Third-Party Antivirus Utilities

  1. Some users might need to disable, or even uninstall, their third-party antivirus software firewalls. To disable antivirus utilities, remove them from the system startup by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting Task Manager.
  2. Click the Start-up tab shown directly below.

    Start-up tab outlook the action cannot be completed

  3. Select an antivirus utility, and click the Disable button.
  4. Then restart Windows after removing the antivirus software from the startup.

5. Turn Off Outlook Add-ins

  1. To ensure there aren’t any conflicting add-ins, turn off Outlook’s add-ins. To do that, click File and Options in Outlook.
  2. Then click Add-ins on the left of the window.
  3. Select COM Add-ins on the Manage drop-down menu.
  4. Click the Go button.

    The COM Add-ins window outlook the action cannot be completed

  5. To remove add-ins, select them on the COM window and click the Remove button.

Those are a few of the resolutions users have fixed the action cannot be completed error. In addition, check out the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant, which is a handy troubleshooting utility for Outlook and other MS Office applications. Users can add that software to Windows 10 by clicking the Download now button on its Outlook Support Center page.


Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:


If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.