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Error Number 0x80042108


Your e-mail program gives you error number 0x80042108. The error box may say:
"Outlook is unable to connect to your incoming (POP3) e-mail server. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP)"


1) Restart your computer. Often the problem will then simply fix itself and everything will work again. In fact, the vast majority of the time when Visionary customers have called me with this error number, restarting the computer has fixed it. So, even if you already have restarted, do it again. Go into the Start menu and choose Restart (or if you don't have Restart, click Shutdown / Turn off Computer, then choose Restart).

2) If you recently updated Office or Outlook, that is probably the problem. The one time I've recorded where restarting didn't fix the problem with 0x80042108, this was what had happened. You may be able to undo the update using System Restore (for help doing that click here). Or try re-installing Office, or something along those lines.

2) If after restarting you still get the same error number, and step 2 does not apply or does not fix things, disable email scanning in Norton or McAfee or whatever anti-virus program you use (for help doing this in Norton, click here). Then close your email program, open it again, and try getting your mail.

3) Remove and then re-create your email account. To do this in Outlook Express, follow the steps here. For Microsoft Office Outlook click here.

4) Before doing this step, make sure you have your Norton/Symantec CD or product code so you can re-install it. Then, completely uninstall all Norton/Symantec software in the Add/Remove Programs control panel (see the Microsoft article here). Test it to see if your e-mail is working now. If it is, re-install the Norton/Symantec software. Turn off e-mail scanning. Try checking your e-mail again to make sure it's still working with the Norton/Symantec software installed again.

If none of that worked:

5) If the problem just recently started, I suppose you can simply do a system restore to try to undo whatever it was that happened. You can only do this if your version of Windows has System Restore. For instructions, click here.

6) One very rare cause of this: if you're on high speed internet, you may need to have a default gateway programmed in (to program it in, go to Control Panels > Network Connections > Right-click on Local Area Connection and choose Properties > Highlight Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) > Properties). You'll have to know what the gateway is supposed to be, otherwise your connection will stop working entirely. Again, this is a very rare cause for this error number, but I found a thread on a forum once indicating this as causing 0x80042108.

7) According to Microsoft this error number can also result from corrupted files on the hard drive. In this case, reinstalling your email program may solve the problem. Or, you could try switching to a different e-mail program such as Mozilla Thunderbird. You can download Thunderbird for free from Hopefully the problem will not persist in Thunderbird.

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User Comments

Comment Henrik
October 7, 2005 at 7:11am

Thanks, a reboot was all I needed, just as you suggested :)