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What Are the Common Causes of Socket Error 10061?

Socket Error 10061 is typically caused by a refusal of a server to accept a connection. This can happen when the server isn't running, the connection is blocked by a firewall, or the port is incorrect. Understanding the root cause is crucial for a swift resolution. Have you checked your server status and firewall settings yet?
Alex Newth
Alex Newth

A socket error 10061 is a connection that is refused or forcefully denied. While this error can technically be seen with any type of server connection, it is most often seen when a user attempts to connect to an email server. There are many reasons for a socket error 10061. A firewall could be blocking the connection, the service may be unavailable, the server program making the server work may be disabled or shut off, the servers may be overloaded, or the ports may be blocked. Each cause has a different fix that should allow the user to connect to the server.

The socket error 10061 code can appear whenever a user connects to a server. This is most often seen with email servers, because the most common server connection users encounter is one used with an email service. Computers that link to other servers, such as for business uses, may also see this problem. Regardless of how the error is caused, it still has the same common causes and fixes.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

A firewall blocking the connection and causing a socket error 10061 is the easiest to fix. Firewalls keep malicious codes or connections from occurring, but a firewall sometimes gets confused and also blocks good connections. This most often happens if the user is connecting to a server for the first time or if the firewall was recently reset. In this instance, the user either has to list the server as friendly or shut down the firewall. If the firewall needs to be shut down, the user should put it back up after the server connection is finished.

Another cause for a socket error 10061 is a blocked port or ports. Ports need to be open for sockets to connect. Each server will require a different port, and each program will have a different way of opening ports. To fix this error, the user should contact the server’s customer service to see what ports are needed, and read the user manual or talk to customer service about how to open the specified port or ports.

The other causes, which cannot be controlled by the user, include a server being unavailable, the server program not running, and the server being overloaded. In these cases, the server must be repaired or turned on, or the user must wait until the busy surge has stopped and bandwidth has been freed up. In this instance, the user may wait from a few minutes to a few hours; in catastrophic instances days, may be needed to connect with the server.

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Discussion Comments


@Logicfest -- Let's not forget that these errors are increasingly rare because most firewalls automatically detect and allow for common connections. The ones that don't configure automatically typically ask users if a connection should be made or not. Luckily, firewalls have become a lot smarter and easier to use over the years.

Still, socket errors will be a problem from time to time. It is a good thing those rarities are easy enough to fix.


It might be fine to shut the firewall down briefly to make sure it is responsible for the program, but shutting it down every time the connection has to be made is a terrible idea. Why? The chances are good you won't remember to bring it back up and that could let all kinds of bad things into your computer.

Fortunately, most software firewalls (the ones built into operating systems) are easy enough to configure. If you are getting a socket error and you can determine your firewall is the problem, then setting it to allow that connection is pretty easy. You will have to do a bit of research to figure out exactly how to do that, but it is a simple fix.

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