Bluehost Email and IMAP not connecting

Over the last couple of days you may have experienced a connection error whereby Outlook is not able to connect to your BlueHost email services to download emails or synchronize your IMAP folders.  This is due to BlueHost's implementation of SHA2 256 encryption for their SSL connections.

This is due to BlueHost’s implementation of SHA2 256 encryption for their SSL connections

The above SSL upgrade impacts older operating systems that don't support SHA2 256 encryption standards, such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.  So it is not an issues with Outlook and BlueHost specifically, it is an issue with the operating system (OS) you are using.  Accordingly, this issue will impact other email clients, not just outlook.

It is an issue with the operating system (OS) you are using.

Aside from replacing your Windows operating system, you have two options to restore your email connection. One is to install the Microsoft Hotfix, which requires you have your OS updated with the latest service packs and so on.

You have two options to restore your email connection.

Assuming that you have not upgraded and cannot upgrade your OS because you are running a legacy system that requires you to keep you OS as-is, your second option is to connect to BlueHost without SSL encryption.

Disclaimer:

  • I provide the above solution under the assumption that you have a legitimate reason not to upgrade your operating system;
  • And that you understand that Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are not supported operating systems;
  • And that you understand that unsupported operating systems represent a security risk.
  • And that you also understand that not using encryption in your email communication allows other who may intercept your network traffic to easily see your email communication.

Outlook 2007 Send/Receive Error


 Link to Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Hotfix to support SHA2 256 Encryption

Link to Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Hotfix to support SHA2 256 Encryption


BlueHost Outlook connection settings with SSL, which will NOT work with operating system that don't support SHA2 256 encryption

BlueHost Outlook connection settings without SSL, which WILL work with operating system that don't support SHA2 256 encryption