Emails stuck in Outbox - again

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Contributor

Lately, I experience more an more customers calling me because Emails are stuck in Outlook's Outbox. 

The problem can be overcome by creating a completely new message, copying the content over and send that message off. All while many other messages went out the Outbox without issues. 

 

I've had that behavior before now and then over the years and usually "fixed" it by deleting the local .OST file or even creating a new Outlook Profile. This did it for most users, but I now get cases where I had done that "fixing" before already. 

 

I looked into it once again and found that

  • Emails stuck in Outlooks Outbox are only visible in Outlook. There is no copy of the same message on Office 365 OWA in the same folder.
  • Each of those emails seem also not to appear in the Draft folder in OWA while still editing, although they are visible and editable in Outlook. 
  • All those emails are rather small (1-3k) with no attachments
  • All those emails are replies or forwards of email received in the Inbox (both local and in OWA visible). Never newly created messages.

By the way, SARA (https://aka.ms/sara_home) provides a new function to try to fix issues with sent messages. However, SARA won't find the messages stuck in the Outbox (albeit I can see and open them) in my cases and thus can't fix, apparently. 

 

What could be the reason of those stuck messages and how can I finally fix that issue?

 

It occurs across different tenants. The most common denominator seems to be Office 2016, although I've had the problem also with other versions of Outlook. 

 

Thanks

Dan

 

6 Replies
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@DanHuberI have seen this on several customers. Try with turning off "Download Shared Folder" in:

 

File-->Account settings-->Account settings...-->Change-->More Settings-->Advanced-->uncheck "Download shared folders"

 

There has never been one and same solution to this problem, but this one is more "permanent" solution to try.

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@DanHuber 

 

This temp fix works with a PC restart.  I hate it but here it is : 

 

Try these on the command prompt - Locate cmd.exe from the start menu - Right Click - Run as administrator.  

 

netsh winsock reset 

press enter

ipconfig /flushdns 

press enter

 

Restart your PC. 

 

Open outlook after restart. Let it connect . Your emails will have gone from the outbox.

 

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@DanHuber - We've hit this twice (sporadically) and of course it's the MD having the issue. When it happens to him, his whole Outlook app becomes unresponsive and both times we haven't been able to recover the emails as the only option was to force a shutdown of Outlook. They don't appear in any of the local folders Sent/Drafts/Outbox and nothing in Mail Flow in the 365 Admin Centre.

 

I did notice (thanks to @Alan_Shaban) that he did have "Download shared folders" selected on his Outlook client, so I've unselected that and hoping for the best.

 

Any other suggestions that might help me prevent this time-bomb and save me some angst  would be very much appreciated.

 

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Outlook messages remain stuck in the Outbox and I don;t even receive incoming messages until I restart the computer...then income and outgoing messages get sent. I can;t keep restarting my computer 100 times a day. 

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@Brian295You might want to try Office uninstall tool and get a fresh Office start:

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/uninstall-office-from-a-pc-9dd49b83-264a-477a-8fcc-2fdf5d...

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Thanks for that. We did end up rebuilding his mail profile and that seems to have fixed the issue.