What is Runtime Error 10061?

Winsock runtime error 10061 or WSAECONNREFUSED (10061) error occurs when a connection request is refused because the destination computer actively refuses it. This means that the error usually occurs when you try to connect to a currently inactive service on a foreign host that does not have a server program running on it.

Let’s understand the error with the help of an example.

The errors given below are displayed on a Microsoft Exchange server client computer when it attempts to send or receive e-mails.

The following error message is displayed when you try to send an e-mail message to Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server:

The connection to the server has failed. Account: 'your_e-mail account', Server:'your_SMTP_server', Protocol:SMTP, Port: 25, Secure(SSL): NO,Socket error: 10061, Error Number: 0x800ccc0e"

The following error message is displayed when you launch an e-mail program on your PC and try to receive e-mail messages from Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) server:

"The connection to the server has failed. Account: 'your_e-mail_account',Server:'your_POP3_server', Protocol:POP3, Port: 110, Secure(SSL): NO, Socket error: 10061, Error Number: 0x800ccc0e"

Causes of the Error

The error occurs when the e-mail client on your computer tries to connect to the port on the mail server that is either blocked or unavailable. This means that if the port 25 used to send a message or port 110 used to receive a message and is blocked than the Winsock runtime error 10061 is generated.

Resolution Methods

The following are some of the tasks that you can do on the client computer-the computer on which you are running your e-mail program such as Outlook Express or Microsoft Outlook-to resolve the issue.

  • Ensure that your PC is connected to the Internet.
  • Verify the account settings in your e-mail program. For example, you must check that your username, password and SMTP and POP3 settings are correct. The e-mail account must be configured exactly as specified by your e-mail service provider.
  • Browse through your e-mail messages and delete the suspicious e-mails.
  • Check your antivirus manufacturer’s Web site to see if they have any additional suggestions.
  • Ensure that all e-mail addresses in your e-mail programs address books are valid.
  • Ensure that your firewall is not blocking the incoming and outgoing e-mails.

For further details on troubleshooting your Outlook Express or Microsoft Outlook program, you may refer to the Microsoft Knowledgebase Web site.

If everything is fine on the client computer, you need to ensure that there is no problem with the port of your Microsoft Exchange server.

Note: This part of troubleshooting is usually done by the network administrator.

  1. On the Microsoft Exchange server computer, open the Command Prompt window.
  2. Right-click on the upper-left corner of the Command Prompt window, and then select the Properties command.
  3. On the Layout tab, change the value of screen buffer size to 1000 and then click the OK button to apply the change. This helps you to prevent data scrolling off the screen when you run a command.
  4. For convenience, when prompted, choose the option to implement the change to all future Command Prompt windows.
  5. Next, run the following command at Command Prompt and press Enter:
  6. netstat -an

  7. If the result contains the following entries it implies that the SMTP (25) and POP3 (110) ports of your Exchange server are open.

Proto Local Address Foreign Address State TCP LISTENING TCP LISTENING

If the result data is different, then one or more of the following problems may exist on the Exchange server and may require resolution:

  • The Exchange Server information store service is not running.
  • POP3 protocol is disabled and is not listening to port 110.
  • The Internet mail service is not running and thus, is not listening to port 25.
  • A proxy server exits between the client computer and the exchange server that is blocking the transfer of e-mails between the two.
  • Another program, such as antivirus or antispyware is using port 25 for some other purposes.

For further information on troubleshooting these errors, you need to refer to the Microsoft Knowledgebase Website.