Antivirus Blues

One of the things I’ve learnt over the years is that if my antivirus program tells me there is a new version that I need to install, I always create a system restore point (I’m using a PC). Why? Because on almost every occasion something doesn’t work afterwards.

Sometimes, it won’t allow me to connect to the internet. Other times, like this morning, it won’t let me download my email.

Metaphorically speaking, this is what my antivirus program did when I tried to access my email

In my experience, technical support is useless. If you’re lucky, you may get a response a day later. Or you may even have to pay. I tend to use two solutions.

One, I try to find a workaround until I have time to figure out what’s wrong. If it won’t let me connect to the internet, I use my phone instead. Then, when I have time, I check the firewall settings. It’s usually blocking access because it has decided to apply the strictest rules available. That would be fine if I were in a cafe or an airport lounge, but not in the comfort of my own home. I usually find that adjusting the settings to a less strict setting does the trick.

Two, when my email goes on strike, like it did this morning, if I have to get on with work I access my email directly from the web. Then I search the web for a solution I can understand.

This morning, I found three solutions. Two of them were indecipherable. But one seemed pretty straightforward. It involved going into Settings, then clearing all the allowed ports under “Email”. As I didn’t want to open the floodgates to even more spam, or close every gate in existence on my system, I took a screenshot of the settings first.

I did this by pressing PrtSc (Print Screen), then pasting that into a graphics program called There I cropped the picture so I could see the settings clearly.

Having taken that precaution, I followed the instructions, and they worked!

The great website I found for the solution is called Warrior Forum, but probably even more important is the search term I used. I first tried searching for the error message I received in Outlook, which was:

Receiving' reported error (0x800CCC0F) : 'The connection to the server was interrupted. If this problem continues, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP). The server responded: -ERR Cannot establish SSL with POP server, SSL_connect error 1:error:14077410:SSL routines:SSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO:sslv3 alert handshake failure'

Result? Zilch.

Then I tried searching for “error (0x800CCC0F)” and was presented with stuff that was even less comprehendible than that!

Finally, I searched for “antivirus program blocking email”, and found the solution immediately.

I hope this is useful for you. Obviously, I need to point out that if you follow what I did and clear all your settings and your whole system freezes up, on your own head be it. I’m not responsible, and this is not technical advice. I am simply sharing a few things I tried and which worked for me. Good luck!