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

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  

After viewing the Outbox, messages won't send

Problem: If you view the Outbox while messages are waiting to be sent, the messages are marked as read and won't send. If you open an outgoing message and click Send, it won't send.

Changing the folder sort order in Outlook's Folder list

The Folder List is normally in alphabetical order. In Outlook 2010 and 2013, the Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items, and Deleted Items folders are grouped at the top of the folder list, with the user-created folders sorted alphabetically below.

Outlook's Persistent Choose Profile Dialog

We're seeing reports, most often from users using Google's Calendar sync utility, that Outlook's Choose Profile dialog comes up every 10 minutes or so. Other addins that access Outlook data may also cause this problem. The cause: the program is trying to access Outlook's data and either doesn't know which profile to use or Outlook  

Outlook is asking me to accept the End User License Agreement

We get many questions about Office activation failing: "After installing and activating Office, Outlook keeps asking to accept the End User License Agreement (EULA)." This is caused by Windows security and permissions. Your Windows user account doesn't have the necessary permissions to write the activation to the registry. How to Fix Method 1: Right click  

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.

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.

Error Opening Outlook and Control Panel's Mail Applet

We're seeing reports that Outlook won't open, returning a (basically useless!) error message that Outlook won't open. Attempting to open the Mail applet in the Control panel results in an error message that Outlook is out of memory or system resources. "You need more memory or system resources. Please close some Windows and try again."  

Help! My Email is Marked as Read

How can you read email on a smartphone and not have it marked read before you read it in Outlook?

Messages are Double Spaced for the Recipient

When messages are double spaced for the recipient, you need to customize your paragraph settings.

How to repair a damaged Outlook Personal Folders file (pst)

How to repair a damaged or corrupted Microsoft Outlook pst file, personal folder or data file and recover your Outlook email, calendar and contacts. In many cases you can repair your data file using the free Inbox repair tool (scanpst) that Microsoft includes with the Outlook installation.

Repair a large Outlook Personal Folders File (over 2GB)

Microsoft Outlook limits the size of older Personal Folders .pst files and offline folders .ost files to 2GB. If a new or changed item increases the size over than limit, you will not be able to use the .pst or .ost file. Even if you delete items from the server mailbox, the .ost file will not synchronize.