How to Fix: Windows Mail: 'Your Outlook account settings are out of date' Error

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Marion L. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I am using Windows Mail with Windows 10, and all the sudden I have been getting an error that says 'Your Outlook account settings are out of date' near the top of the screen. I have the option to 'Fix Account' or 'Dismiss'. If I click the 'Dismiss' option, I can't receive any emails, then within a few minutes I'll receive the same error that 'Your Outlook account settings are out of date'. If I click 'Fix Account' it tells me 'Something went wrong. We're sorry, but we weren't able to do that', and it gives me an error code 0x80070003. I have no idea what is going on here and I can't get my emails! Can you please help? "

My response:

I asked Marion if she would like me to connect to her system to have a closer look. After looking at the issue closer, the error messages appeared to be running in circles.

Usually if a program starts to produce strange errors and especially if the errors are circular as in this situation, reinstalling the program sometimes fixes it - but sometimes it's not as simple as that. In this case, Windows Mail is an app, so reinstalling an app isn't quite the same as reinstalling a program - you need to jump through a few administrative hoops. Luckily I've managed to write a small script to do that, so the process will be relatively straightforward.

Below I'll explain three approaches I used to fix this problem.

How to Fix: Windows Mail: 'Your Outlook account settings are out of date' Error

  1. After researching this issue (rather extensively, I might add), I kept running into pages online which suggested that the date and time synchronization on the host machine might be causing an issue with Windows Mail not being able to receive messages. Though no explanation was offered, I understood this to be plausible because Microsoft uses SSL encryption to connect to its servers.

    Simply put: if the date and time are incorrect on the host system, then the email certificates for the SSL encryption may be invalid because certificates are only valid for a specific duration of time. Therefore, you may receive the error 'Your Outlook account settings are out of date' if your machine's clock is out of whack, though as I discovered while troubleshooting this error, the 'Your Outlook account settings are out of date' is in fact a very generic error message, which has many different meanings.

    With that said, the first step in this mess is to check to ensure that machine's Internet time synchronization is working properly. To do so: click Start, then type in "date and time" (no quotes); wait for "Date and Time" to appear in this list, then click it.

    Next, click the "Internet time" tab (pic) near the top, then click "Change settings". The "Internet Time Settings" window will appear and you should see "time.windows.com" as the Server (pic). The issue here is that your computer may be having connection issues with time.windows.com Time Server, and therefore is unable to synchronize your clock.

    You will need to test this theory by clicking Start, then type in "cmd"; wait for "Cmd.exe" or "Command Prompt" to appear in the list, then right click and select "Run as Administrator". Next, type into the command prompt "ping time.windows.com", then press enter on the keyboard. You should receive a message that says: "Reply from [IP address of time server] ..." (pic). If it says "Request timed out" (pic), then you will need to change the Time Server.

    To do so: go back to the "Internet Time Settings" window and use the drop down arrow to choose from the list of Time Servers. On my Windows 10 machine, the options for Time Servers are: time.windows.com, time.nist.gov, time-nw.nist.gov, time-a.nist.gov, and time-b.nist.gov. Select time.nist.gov first, then click "Update Now" and then click "OK". Important: you will need to test the Time Server to make sure you can connect to it - go back to the command prompt and type in "ping time.nist.gov" - it should say "Reply from [IP address of time server] ...] - similar to this. If not, then you will need to change the server again to another option, then test it again.

    Once this is complete, close Windows Mail if it is open currently, then re-open it, and try and check for new emails. If you are still receiving the 'Your Outlook account settings are out of date' error, proceed to the next step.
     
  2. The next option is to reinstall the Windows Mail app. Usually reinstalling an app or program can fix a wide range of problems. Note that you will need your email account and password for this to work, because the app may ask for this information after it's been reinstalled. Assuming you have that information available, the next step is to open a Windows PowerShell command prompt and run the script I created below.

    To do so: click Start, then type in "powershell". Wait for "Windows PowerShell" or "PowerShell" to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator". A blue command prompt will appear. Use your mouse to highlight the text below:

    rem Get-AppxPackage -allusers | Select InstallLocation | findstr windowscommunicationsapps
    Get-AppxPackage -Name *windowscommunicationsapps* | Remove-AppxPackage
    Add-AppxPackage -register "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps*\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode
    echo this is a dummy line

    Right click the highlighted text above, then select "Copy" from the dialogue menu. Next, go to the powershell command prompt, then right click in the window. The commands you copied above should output to the PowerShell command line, and the Windows Mail app should have uninstalled and reinstalled itself. If you see any red writing on top of the blue PowerShell window (pic), then there was an error during the process - in that case, you are welcome to contact me for additional support described further down.

    Once that is complete, try launching the Windows Mail app. If you don't see a shortcut on your desktop for Windows Mail, you can run it from the Start menu. To do so: click Start, then type in "mail"; wait for the "Mail" icon to appear and click it.

    When the Windows Mail app appears, you may need to add your mail account to the program in order to synchronize your emails with the email server. For example, Windows Mail may prompt you with: "Accounts you've added:" and then "+ Add account" because no accounts are associated with the app. Go ahead and click the plus sign and enter in your Outlook email and password. Once that is completed, your emails will start downloading to your computer.

    IMPORTANT: if the window that says "Choose your account" is blank, then most likely Windows or your user account is corrupt. In that case, you are welcome to contact me for additional support, described further down. When the app is functioning normally, the options underneath "Choose an account" are: "Outlook.com", "Exchange", "Google", "Yahoo", "iCloud", and "Other account" - similar to this pic.
     
  3. Another reason why the 'Your Outlook account settings are out of date' error message may appear is due to an incorrect username or password. This was the case with another account Marion had associated with Windows Mail. You can test this theory by logging into https://login.live.com using a web interface. If you can successfully login here, then you know for sure that your email and password are correct. In that case, try re-entering your email and password again into the Windows Mail app to see if it will work, then try checking for mail again.

I hope that helps.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

This article describes three common reasons why you may all the sudden start receiving 'Your Outlook account settings are out of date' error, and how to fix it. If you are still stuck and can't resolve this error, I am more than happy to assist using my remote desktop service. Simply contact me briefly describing the error, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question -- or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (5 votes)

Comments