Common Problems and their Solutions

The information contained in this section will help you solve problems with Outlook. While some of the problems are related to bugs (which may or may not get fixed), many of the problems are just how Outlook was designed, which doesn’t necessarily fit with how we want to use it. Other problems are caused by the interaction between Outlook and other programs or Outlook add-ins.

Newest articles and recent updates are listed here. For a complete list of all articles, please visit the Problems Index

Pictures don't display in Outlook messages

When you don't see images in your Outlook email and have a blank box instead of a red x, you have Show picture placeholders enabled.

The Stationery and Font button doesn't work

When Outlook's Stationery and Fonts button is grayed out or won't do anything when you click it, you may need to edit the registry.

Common Outlook Outgoing Server (SMTP) Errors

A list of some of the common SMTP error codes you'll see in Outlook and possible solutions.

Cannot Expand Outlook Folders: Not Enough Memory

This error affects Exchange server users with a large number of folders in their profile, either in their mailbox, public folders, or SharePoint lists. In most cases, you won't have a problem until you exceed approximately 1,000 folders, or a gigabyte of space is used. Outlook works fine for a little bit (5-10 minutes) before  

This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect

How to fix the error: "For more info, please contact your help desk" or "This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator." comes up when you click on a hyperlink in Outlook and other applications.

Email address was spelled wrong, is delivered

When you use the Resend button in an NDR to resend a message, the incorrect email address may be visible on the received message.

OUTLOOK.EXE continues running after you exit Outlook

Problem: After closing Outlook, it continues to run. Outlook can't close properly if another application is accessing Outlook's message store and you need open the Task Manager and End Process.

3 Ways to Run PST Recovery (and a Better Alternative)

Why do organizations need to run a PST recovery? Is it because users love to save so much email that their PST files exceed all reasonable storage limits and then blow up – putting hundreds or thousands of business critical emails at risk? Or is it because they try to store these enormous PSTs on  

Outlook and iCloud 2: What you need to know

iCloud 2 adds one big feature: ability to be default data file, but is limited to plain text notes/comments and other issues.

Convert an Offline File (.ost) to a Personal File (.pst)

Oftentimes, Microsoft Outlook users who are leaving their current employer want to take their mail, calendar, or contacts with them and do one of two things – delete the Microsoft Exchange account from their profile without realizing the Contacts are stored in the Exchange account or they take the OST file with them, not realizing  

Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook Error Message

I'm not sure what is causing the problem, but we're seeing a rash of complaints with the following error: Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Unable to open the Outlook window. Invalid XML, the view cannot be loaded. The users run Office Diagnostics in an attempt to fix it on their own but it finds no  

Outlook hangs while opening messages

A bug in Outlook allows a malformed "web bug" url to bypass the blocked external content setting. As a result, content that would normally be blocked by the Block External Content may be downloaded.

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