Office Outlook 2011 for Mac Error Code -3176

Outlook cannot find the server. Verify the server information is entered correctly in the Account Settings, and that your DNS settings in the Network pane of System Preferences are correct. Error Code -3176

In researching this error I noted quite a bit of chatter from other Office for Mac users. Microsoft’s own support page for this issue was unhelpful. Google’s Help forum listed a similar issue but my problem was with my POP accounts, not with Google’s IMAP account. Solutions seemed in short supply. I had this problem on my MacBook Pro running Lion 10.7.2 – but not on my Mac Pro desktop with the same app, OS and settings.

Microsoft suggests checking to see you have an internet connection. If you are reading their web support page, they helpfully point out that you already do. They suggest checking your DNS setting in Networking, and rechecking your server and port settings in Outlook “Accounts.” All of mine were correct and agreed 100% with the Outlook for Mac 2011 settings on my Mac Pro.

My Apple MAIL works fine with the same settings. My settings also worked fine for years under Office 2007 and Windows 7.

Remember, this is Microsoft, not Apple. Others had tried all this without getting any closer to the problem.

I resolved my issue with what I call the “Dave Anguay Method.” Dave taught me this trick many years ago. He was setting up new networked workplace printers on our corporate PC laptops on a Windows server. If you can’t get the setting to work, don’t waste time asking your Administrator to “fix” it. Delete the bad account or connection, and re-add it.

I deleted my 3 inoperative POP mail accounts and re-added them manually. Everything works fine. Thanks again, Dave.

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9 thoughts on “Office Outlook 2011 for Mac Error Code -3176

  1. Greetings
    once i open my outlook, it takes seconds then a window pops up says an error accrued which requires outlook to close, then I click yes and it closes.

    this happening every time I open the outlook.

    please advise

  2. Ibrahim, the problem I wrote up did not actually crash Outlook, as you describe. My solution for my problem was to uninstall Outlook, and then re-install and re-configure it. Can’t say if that will work for you.

    You should Google the exact text or diagnostic phrase that Microsoft gives you in the dialog when it tells you to close Outlook. As it stands, the cause of your Outlook problem could be almost anything.

    I wanted Microsoft Outlook for Mac because I thought I could easily synch my mail files with my other machines, but the Mac version creates thousands of individual files for each mail message, not one single .PST package as Windows does. And the mail files are keyed uniquely (different on each machine for the same mail item), so synch without duplicates is impossible.

    Unless you need Outlook to stay compatible with a business or academic environment, you might consider just using Apple Mail, as I finally did:

    Some months after I got my Outlook up and running, I stopped using it. I only use Apple Mail now. The Mac version of Outlook is a watered down version of the Windows version, and it is noticeably slower and harder to configure. I found no advantage in continuing to run the Microsoft Outlook for Mac, and, for me at least, it was a waste of money.

  3. Thanks for the post. I spent the whole day looking into this problem! I think now when the night falls I am going to give up. I have been quite happy with Apple mail until my groups (manually entered) simply disappeared. They are there in the computer but they just don’t appear in the Address Book and I can’t use them in Mail. So, I had a try with Outlook, which came installed with Office from the uni free. So, I am only frustrated and not angry.
    I have 7 accounts running fine, except the 8th, with that error message keeps beeping. On top of not being able to sync my google calendar with Outlook, I think I will give it up with this extra problem.
    I may try again, when the sun is up, entering the groups in Address Book again to give it another chance (another problem that occupied the other half of my day). Too bad that I haven’t been able to find another email client that satisfies all my needs!

  4. Alice, thanks for writing. I do not use Groups (mailing lists?) in Apple Mail as my host mailserver seems to limit “bulk” mailings to 8 recipients. (I use a listserv alias utility directly on my server, instead). As I responded to Ibrahim earlier, I no longer use Outlook, either.

    At one time or another I have probably tried every mail client ever offered. On the PC, I kept coming back to Outlook. But, I find the whole MS Office suite for Mac is a watered-down version of the Windows version. Even Word and Excel are stripped-down.

    I’ve had isolated Address Book/iCal sync problems with iCloud where iCloud sometimes seemed to overwrite newer information on the local machine Address Book or iCal. Maybe that’s what happened to you. Generally I now add new entries and updates in iCloud first, letting it trickle down. Cheers …

  5. Hello,

    I am experiencing this problem, but with a twist. If I have the outlook window open, everything works fine with either forcing outlook to check for new mail or if it does it automatically. But if the outlook window is minimised to the dock, the auto check just generates these errors and states it cannot find the server. Now given the exact same server settings work when the window is open, what changes when it is minimised to the dock.

    Weird

    Lloyd

  6. Just to let everyone know again, I’m not a good resource on specific Outlook for Mac issues. I stopped using Outlook at all around January.

    (1) Lloyd’s issue sounds like a bug pure and simple. I do still use MS Office for Mac (Word and Excel). MS has pushed several large Office updater packages to Macs. I can only suggest making sure you’re current on your updates.

    (2) I try to use the Mac version of software whenever possible even when I also have it on a PC. Office for Mac is watered down. Several features are pathetic, for instance Word’s find and replace feature, which is powerful enough to use for data file manipulation on the PC, but can’t even find a hidden “Paragraph” mark in the Mac version.

  7. Dave Anguay method – immediate success after much wasted time following instructions. Genius

  8. Thanks Summit Lake and thanks Dave Anguay. Must’ve stuffed around with numbers in “Ports” and ignoring SSL (whatever that is), and Googled the life out of it, then deleted the Account and re-added it. Bang. Works. Nice one.

  9. I searched for a long time to try and find a solution for my problem. Needless to say, nothing worked and I was getting frustrated, until I found this. I did exactly what you said and my hour of wasted life finally ended. Thank you very much.

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