Can’t Send Email in Certain Locations

Updated October 19, 2015

Can’t send email from certain locations? Here’s how to fix this Outlook SMTP problem.

If you can send mail from some physical locations but not others, then this is the right post for you to be reading. By far the most likely reason for this is an Outlook SMTP problem.

Many email services only let you connect to their SMTP servers from certain locations. These SMTP servers send mail from your Outlook to the rest of the world. And they are popular targets for creeps who want to send junk email. By limiting the locations you can connect from, the service makes it harder for creeps to connect.

Unfortunately, they also make it harder for you to connect. The result: receiving works fine, but Outlook can’t send email. In reality, this isn’t so much a situation where you can’t send email from certain locations, as it is that you can only send email from certain locations.

I don’t care about all that. I need my email working! How do I fix the problem?

You have two paths you can follow to deal with this. You can:

Do some basic troubleshooting

Run a bunch of obscure tests

Try to trick your service provider into thinking you are somewhere else

Or you can sidestep the whole problem and do what I did: sign up for SMTP2GO and fix it completely in just a few minutes.

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Your other approach is to try to troubleshoot the problem step-by-step. If this is the way you want to go, here’s how I recommend you go about it:

  1. First, try sending again. Sometimes there are temporary glitches that heal themselves. What if it still doesn’t work? If you still can’t send email go to the Living With Outlook 2010 Email Accounts home page. See if I have posted instructions for your email service there. I do my best to ensure that the instructions you find there are up to date and work in all situations.
  2. If you find your service listed, read through the instructions. See if my settings differ from the settings you are using now. If so, updating your Outlook 2010 settings could be all it takes to fix the problem.
  3. That didn’t work either? Can’t find your email provider listed on my page? Go to the tech support page of your email provider. See if they have posted instructions for connecting their service to Outlook.

I tried all this but I still can’t send email!

I hoped you wouldn’t get to this section. It appears that none of the advice above helped and you still can’t send email. But if you do get here, there’s one last thing you can try. You can probably resolve your Outlook SMTP problem by using different SMTP servers.

Few people know this, but you don’t have to use your email company’s servers to send your messages. You can use someone else’s SMTP servers if they will allow you to do so. This is a surefire solution to SMTP problems with Outlook.

When you sign up with an independent SMTP service provider you can send mail from anywhere. They are secure enough that they don’t have to limit where you connect from.

Outlook can use them to send messages from anywhere the Internet reaches. And you can use them to bypass the blocks your email provider puts on their outgoing mail servers.

This is a legitimate and legal way to send your messages. It is also completely transparent to the people who receive messages you send this way. None of your recipients will even notice anything. You can easily configure Outlook to use an alternate SMTP service. That makes this a great solution to an incredibly frustrating problem.

Unfortunately, security problems have reduced the number of independent SMTP services. One company that visitors to this site (including me!) have had a lot of success with is SMTP2GO.

These guys provide an affordable service. They offer free trials, and even free accounts for low-volume users. You can see if their solution will work for you before making any commitments. I use their service, as do hundreds of people who visit this site. Check them out so you can stop saying, “I can’t send email from Outlook!”


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