Recently our firm migrated a local 2010 Exchange server to Office 365 for a client. Sadly, the newly created accounts for Outlook 365 kept connecting to the local server, a machine that was not yet ready for decommissioning. We could see this in Outlook>File>Info>Server connection. It always showed exchange.local.server (your machine will have a different local address).

Solutions offered online talked about registry edits and other changes to SCP services. To make things more confusing, Microsoft documentation corrects a widely distributed suggestion about syntax for registry edits based on past Outlook versions but no joy.

THE SOLUTION for an Office 365 profile that won’t look past the local server to the cloud is very simple.

  1. Backup the user profile to a .pst file
  2. Unplug the network cable from the computer and disable wireless connections
  3. Tether the computer to your phone or connect it directly to the modem/router with a CAT5 cable, bypassing the Exchange host controller entirely
  4. Create a new user profile in Outlook 365
  5. Set the new profile to be the default
  6. Close Outlook
  7. Restart and you should see Outlook asking for the new Office 365 logon creds
  8. Confirm that you can see the cloud server in File>Info>Server connection
  9. Import the pst file
  10. Done

We would like to thank Microsoft‘s support team for their generous and unwavering dedication to resolving this matter. Their phone support team is truly dedicated to onboarding new customers with the highest levels of service. We gratefully acknowledge that, without their efforts to help us eliminate all other causes, we wouldn’t have found this solution as obvious as it may seem.

Keywords: Office 365 tries to connect with local server, local server shows in new Outlook 365 profile, cannot connect directly to Outlook 365, Exchange 2010