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I am trying to connect an announcement list to outlook and the connect to outlook button is grayed out. I spoke to my admin and she doens't seem to know how to correct this problem

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There are several reasons for this to happen. Which browser are you using? Are you using IE 8, 9, 10 32 or 64 bit? 64-bit has many problems with this.

Tryo to access to Internet Options --> security tab --> then, under Internet zones unchech Enhanced protected mode. Restart the browser

However, not all the lists get synchronized properly with Outlook (as Calendar or Tasks). Check this article for more information: Sync content with outlook

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