You receive an "A connection to the server could not be established" error message when you use Cached Exchange Mode with an IMAP account


Symptoms


When you start Outlook you receive an error message that is similar to the following:
A connection to the server could not be established. Server is now in offline mode.
Server is the mail server that you are trying to connect to. Outlook 2003 may also stop responding for approximately 30 seconds.

Cause


This problem occurs if Outlook is using Cached Exchange Mode with an IMAP mail account, and the IMAP server is not available.

Status


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.