When setting up Office 365 a common problem can occur connecting to the hosted exchange services from the desktop Outlook client.  Typically you will run the Outlook client to set up the exchange email account and it will attempt to search for the server that ‘owns’ the email account.

Now, if you’ve successfully got email flowing to the cloud version of the software, you still can face a challenge getting the outlook client to work. The errors you will face are presented below.

Here are the steps to resolving the issue. These have worked for many users before.

  1. After account registration fails, you will need to pick “Manually configure server settings” and then click next as shown below.
  2. Next, you need to select Microsoft Exchange (for the uninitiated, Office 365 is a glorified offsite Exchange Server)
  3. Now, you will need to be logged into the Web version of Outlook for Office365. Choose Help and then about, and a screen like the one below will appear. There are two items of interest for you, the first is the Hostname, and the second is the Exchange Client Access server name.
  4. Going back to our outlook client, we now need to input the “Exchange Client Access server name” where it asks for the Microsoft Exchange Server. Your username is simply your email address. This is pictured below. Once you have done this, click on “more settings”.
  5. More settings will bring up the next dialog with a series of tabs along the top. Here, we need to choose Connection and then select ‘Connect to Exchange using HTTP’ after this you need to click Exchange Proxy Settings.
  6. There will be a field that allows you to input a “URL to connect to my proxy server for Exchange. This is where you input the ‘Hostname’ that we discovered in step 3. Also here you must pick “Connect using SSL only”, and “Only connect to proxy servers that have this principle name in their certificate” – enter msstd:outlook.com. You will also need to select the ‘On Fast Networks…’ and ‘On Slow Networks…’ checkboxes.
  7. Success, after this you will need to click ok, and navigate to the finish of setting up the account, and everything should work correctly.

A note on this issue. I believe that people are most likely to require this solution if they are setting up their email client immediately after setting up the Exchange account. After a couple of days it is like the automatic search will work as the Address List would have updated correctly on the Office 365 ‘domain’. I have heard of cases though, where this solution is still needed, so it should be very useful and relevant in a number of Outlook Client setups.