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Outlook 07 - contacting the server for information?

by Cydneyl / March 7, 2008 11:07 PM PST

Vista Home Premium MS Office Outlook 07

This happens with every HTML, web-site related email I get, including CNet newsletters. I click on the email and up pops a box that says,

Microsoft Office Outlook
Contacting the server for information

This hangs around from several seconds to as long as a minute with an animated progress-type bar. I can't read or delete the email until it goes away. Often I would like to just delete several web-generated emails with one click, but I am stuck waiting for this server contacting process for each one of them.

Can somebody please tell me what this is about and how to disable it? I have searched Microsoft help, FAQs, forums, etc. and there is absolutely no information on this. I have googled the exact text of the message, and found a discussion where somebody says it has to do with accessing the clipboard when using MS Word. That doesn't seem to relate to what's going on with my email.

I hope somebody can help me disable this. Thanks.

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contacting serve for information" for particular email ONLY?
by ritzput / March 30, 2010 5:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Good question.

The "contacting serve for information" box pops up (& freeze any further Outlook activity for 15-30 seconds) when ever this particular email is highlighted in the preview pane.

This started few weeks ago and wonder if this is an Office update issue. Have tried searching on Microsoft Help and nothing!!!

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What type of internet connetion do you have?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 8, 2008 4:45 AM PST

I used to get this on my dialup connection when opening emails in HTML format.

Some of the HTML elements, eg images, were stored on a server and so they had to be retrieved as the email was received. On my dialup that often took a while.

You should be able to get round this by changing the way your software displays emails from HTML to ordinary text.

I don't use Outlook anymore so I am not sure where that setting is, but probably in Tools somewhere.


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Wildblue satellite internet
by Cydneyl / March 8, 2008 6:46 AM PST

Kees, maybe you noticed that the first link you posted is me asking the same question on the MS board.

MarkFlax - I have satellite internet (high speed). I know how to change the way I read emails to plain text. I will give that a try. Of course I can't put it to the test until I get another HTML email to practice on.


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Contacting the server
by Cydneyl / March 15, 2008 3:38 AM PDT

Might it be that this message box is simply indicating that the graphics are being loaded from the server? IOW, nothing is going on that wasn't always going on, except now it displays a message box during the process? As soon as the message goes away, the graphics appear. So although the notification seems to be taking up time, it's really not. It's just there during the time the graphics are loading. Does this theory make sense? (I'd still like to get rid of it.)

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Yes it sounds reasonable, or there could be another reason.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 15, 2008 8:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Contacting the server

That idea sounds possible, although with your high speed access I wouldn't expect the window to appear for long. I don't have wireless so I don't know much about it, but is it possible that a wireless connection has to continuously connect to the server when downloading emails?

I've just noticed my own email software. I'm on a broadband connection and so my email downloads are fast, but something I see everyday just rang a bell. I also get a window just above the clock when downloading emails, especially large ones. However this is my AVG anti-virus software kicking in. It scans each email before passing it on to the email software.

I know you have said this is Microsoft Office Outlook displaying the message. Do you have Windows Live One Care with your Vista Premium? If so, I wonder if it is that which is interrupting the downloads in any way?

Other than that I'm struggling for ideas.


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by Cydneyl / March 15, 2008 9:16 PM PDT

Mark, thank you for your reply. This message box usually only appears for a few seconds but sometimes it hangs there a while. Satellite internet is usually pretty fast, but can get slowed down occasionally.

I don't have One Care, I have Kaspersky. I did wonder if it was Kaspersky doing the contacting and Outlook displaying the notice.

I think my hunch is logical, but I still wonder why I can't find any real info about this. I would think it would show up the Outlook FAQs on the MS support site, but it doesn't.

Are any responders to this thread who use Outlook 07?

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Still dealing with this aggravation
by Cydneyl / March 31, 2008 8:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Kaspersky

Gosh, am I the only person in the world dealing with this? I would sure love to get rid of this aggravation.

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I'm in the same boat...
by smarne / May 5, 2008 1:49 PM PDT

Just started tonight and I hadn't noticed if it is internet mail only...i'll check. However, this locks up Outlook for minutes and clicking the X in the upper right corner or clicking Cancel...does nothing. At first I thought it might be my employer and the IT department - as this is a corp laptop...but sounds like that is a wrong assumption.

This sucks!

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Microsoft Outlook 2007: contacting the server for informatio
by magellan44 / June 10, 2008 9:41 AM PDT

I am suddenly getting this message as well. Using Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager running Windows XP pro. Have automatic updates on. This started happening about a month ago and is very annoying.
Has anyone found a solution?

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Outlook 2007 - Contacting Server
by f_thomas / June 11, 2008 1:25 PM PDT

I'm having the same problem. I purchased a service called OnLetterhead and none of their templates for Outlook 2007 will load.

I too have high speed and the d**n box "Contacting Server" runs forever, locks Outlook 2007 and you can not close or cancel the thing. It is not on all HTML emails that it happens, which is even more confusing and irritating.

Hope someone discovers an answer! It is driving me nuts and crashing Outlook 2007

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Doesn't anyone have MS Office tech support?
by Cydneyl / June 11, 2008 8:40 PM PDT

Have any of the rest of you attempted to contact MS for tech support. If you bought your software at retail, I'm thinking you're eligible for free tech support for 30 days.

Since my Office 07 came with my Dell computer, I wasn't eligible for any free tech support.

Every couple weeks I google "microsoft office outlook contacting the server for information" just to see if the answer is out there somewhere.

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Guess what?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 11, 2008 11:11 PM PDT

The issue of Outlook doing this dates back to OL2000 (Outlook 2000). It's a recurring problem that has never been vanquished over the years but I have had some luck in switching antivirus (Norton plugin issues.)

What I've come to accept is that this one is quite the irritant with no solid fix available over the past 8 years.

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Does it have to do with security software then?
by Cydneyl / June 12, 2008 12:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Guess what?

This is what I've always wondered. Which software is contacting which server for what information? The message says "Microsoft Office Outlook. Contacting the Server for Information." I'm not sure that means OL is doing the contacting.

I got MS Office with a new Dell and immediately installed Kaspersky Internet Security. This message box appeared for the first time after I had been running these programs together for several weeks, maybe even a couple months.

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Think about it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 12, 2008 12:32 AM PDT

Said software is set to "out of the box" to check for updates, email and more. I thought this was covered above but since you asked.

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Back to Outlook 2000 - (not really)
by dickstub / April 28, 2010 10:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Guess what?

I have been using Microsoft Outlook ever since Outlook-98 and have never experienced this problem until now with my version 2007. I'm curious if 2010-Outlook BETA alo has the same problem?

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beta 2010 also has the problem
by FRoss98 / April 29, 2010 3:41 AM PDT

Just to confirm, yes, 2010 beta version also has this problem. I have been using the beta version for quite some time, but just started getting this message in the past week.

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Don't feel like the Lone Ranger
by dickstub / April 25, 2010 12:35 AM PDT

I too am getting that same progression bar with Outlook 2007, and have use other versions of Outlook (HTML type) and never experienced this issue. It has never done this until most recently, like in the last month or so.

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I just fixed mine
by forthemike / September 3, 2008 8:02 AM PDT

I've been getting this message for a long time too. All I had to do was change a setting in my antivirus. I use AVG 8.0 pro & I just changed my email scanner settings- I no longer scan the incoming messages. Some people may not be ok with doing that- but I'm fine with it. That little popup window was the most irritating thing & I didn't want to go so far as to stop using Outlook so I just changed that setting.

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I have Avast 4.8 Professional
by Daviddude / May 24, 2009 6:08 AM PDT
In reply to: I just fixed mine

I tried those settings, they helped a little bit but not much. Sad
I did put my virus settings back to their normal.

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Outlook 2007 hang - Contacting server for more information.
by cetaman / January 7, 2009 5:10 AM PST

same problem. did you ever find a solution?

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I just started getting this problem.
by Silver0066 / April 30, 2009 12:21 AM PDT

I just did a clean reinstall of Windows XP SP3 and Office 2007 and I am getting this message everytime I try to open an html email. It hangs Outlook for several seconds, sometime requiring a Process Explorer shutdown and restart.

Has anyone found a solution to this irritating bug? I have searched everywhere for a solution.

Many thanks,

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My Outlook 2007 is doing this too
by Daviddude / May 23, 2009 8:57 AM PDT

Same daily emails, yes they are HTML, but I had been using Outlook 2003 and never had this problem. It started about a week after installing Outlook 2007. Strange thing on mine, when I am scrolling down through the email, it is locked, cancel or the x does nothing. When scrolling up through the email, I get the same thing. (logically, I would think that scrolling down and contacting the server for the info, the computer would keep that info fresh in cache so it didn't have to contact the server again when scrolling up).
I am tracking this thread now, hoping an answer rolls in. Happy

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Outlook 07 - contacting the server for information
by devanh / May 27, 2010 12:55 AM PDT

The workaround:
In Outlook 2007, "Tools" (menu item), "Trust Center", "Automatic Download", check the box "Don't download pictures automatically in HTML e-mail messages or RSS items." There are five sub-options; those that start "Permit..." should be unchecked for now - you can always go back and change them later.

The downside:
Your HTML e-mail messages will look pretty lame. However, Outlook does give you the option, within each message, to download all the pictures for that message.

My understanding of what's going on:
In an HTML e-mail message, pictures and other graphics are not embedded in or attached to the message; they are included only as references to file locations on one or more Internet servers. Each time Outlook opens such a message, even as a preview or in a reading pane (and regardless whether the message was open 30 seconds ago), Outlook has to go (across the Internet) and look up every one of those references. I'm not sure why it has to lock itself up to do so, but that may be Outlook working in tandem with your security software.

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Office 2010 problem contacting the server
by FRoss98 / May 27, 2010 1:20 AM PDT

My problem with office 2010 ended up being similar to what was described. A user had a link to a picture, the link was to a machine that was no longer available. I had setting under advance options to download items from trusted users. I disabled the option, and the problem went away. However, when I replied, it then wanted to download the image, and I got the delay again.

I had the user fix the issue with the link so now I got the image, and not an invalid path to an image. I no longer get the error message about "contact the server for information".

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That Helps
by outlookuser / May 3, 2011 4:11 AM PDT

I'm having this problem in Outlook 2010. At least if I disable automatic downloads, I can read and print the emails, and like devanh said, I can download the pictures for a specific email if I want to.


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The fix to Outlook 2007 - "Contacting the server ..."
by foley4523 / October 8, 2010 3:45 AM PDT

I have had this problem affecting me for the last week and finally figured out how to fix it. It looks as though someone who was sending me a message attached an HTML image along with the email, and after I switched to a new email service, I could no long enter or view my emails with our this box showing up.

So my way around it. I went in to the CONTROL PANEL / MAIL/E-MAIL ACCOUNTS/open the email account in question/MORE SETTINGS/ADVANCED/check box Incoming Server requires encrypted connection.

This emmediately got rid of the problem. I deleted the email in question, and because my email servers requires that this box not be checked, I went back and removed the check. Did another test and everything worked just fine.

I hope this shines some light on your's and everyone else's problems.

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Fix to Outlook 2007 - It works!
by sdrachel / October 29, 2011 6:45 AM PDT

Thank you, this change worked perfectly! To outline the steps I did:
1. Control Panel
2. Mail
3. Show Profiles (to select the Outlook email profile to be changed because I have more than 1)
4. Properties
5. E-Mail Accounts
6. Double click on the email account name
7. More settings
8. Advanced (tab)
9. check the box stating 'This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)'
10. OK
11. Finish

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Outdated Outlook
by adriaandavel / October 25, 2010 3:21 PM PDT

I understand that Outlook needs to contact a server for information, thats why I installed it, what I don't understand is:
1) Why do they put a cancel button on this window if it does nothing?
2) Why is this a modal dialog? I would prefer to just carry on with another email if this one has a problem
3) Why is there no time-out? This thing hangs my laptop indefinitely
4) Why is a message relay app capable of hanging my entire OS? Does it really have to be embedded into the OS THAT deeply?
5) When will they scrap Outlook and rewrite it from scratch? It is VERY outdated and bloated for what it needs to do.

Like Winston Churchill said about politics: Outlook is the worst message relay application out there, except all the others.

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I think I know what's causing this...
by PeterNGreen / November 4, 2010 9:38 PM PDT

...but I don't know how to cure it! Hopefully this information will help someone suggest a fix.

My Sales Director (using Outlook 2007) received an HTML e-mail from a customer which had these exact symptoms some weeks ago. All his other e-mail (both text and HTML) is fine. Today it happened again with a piece of advertising spam. I saved both e-mails out in .msg format and then opened them up in Notepad looking for oddities. I noticed they have something in common - a link to an image filepath local to the sender's system but not present on our network. i.e.

First message:
<IMG border=0 hspace=0 alt="" align=baseline src="file://common/Common/IT/Email_Sig/Logo.jpg">

Second message:
<img border=0 width=1 height=1 id="_x0000_i1031" src="file:///\\Users\t13\Documents\Microsoft%20User%20Data\Saved%20Attachments\interiors2\spacer.gif">

Is Outlook hanging because it's trying to resolve these non-existent links and is there a way to stop it?

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