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5 Simple Steps to Fix Your Email Stuck in the Outbox Issue in Outlook

Have you ever had an email stuck in the Outbox when using Outlook?

It’s not your fault. You’re not alone.

It could be that you have too many drafts, or it could be that the internet is down.

Whatever the reason may be, we are here to help you! We will show you what to do in this blog post on how to fix your problem and get your emails sent out for good!

Luckily for all of us, there are a lot of things one can do if they find themselves with an email stuck in their outbox.

This blog post will focus on some of the most common reasons why an email might not send properly. As well as some easy solutions to these problems.

Email Stuck In The Outbox: You Receive An Error Message When You Try To Send The Email

This error can occur when there is a problem between Outlook and your outgoing mail server.

An outgoing mail server may be owned and run by Microsoft. If you use an outlook.com email address for example.

Or it could be the server that the business you work for has set up and it’s not working as expected.

Whatever the infrastructure. If an email is stuck in Outlooks’ outbox. It’s because Outlook can’t connect to the server to send the email.

Here is what the error message may look like:

How To Resolve Outgoing Mail Server Issues

So, what can you do to resolve this issue?

Here are four things I would recommend trying.

1) Check with your Internet service provider to make sure it doesn’t block the port number

Some internet service providers or companies may block certain ports. For example, port 25 is the most common port for outgoing mail servers. Which some providers tend to block for security reasons

2) Check with your email address provider and make sure your mail server settings are up to date

Sometimes mail server providers change port numbers or authentication methods. So even if your Outlook account was sending emails without any problems. It may not be working because the outgoing mail server settings have changed.

3) Check with your email address provider and make sure you didn’t exceed the hourly / daily email send quota

Providers like Microsoft and Google have daily limits.

4) Check the speed of your internet connection

If you’re on a slow Internet connection, check the size of any attachments in your email.

Make sure your Outbox emails are not supposed to include very large attachments (10 – 20 Mb or more).

The server connection may time out before Outlook gets to send a large email.

BONUS: Top 5 Send and Recieve Errors and How to Resolve Them

As a “treat”. I thought I would list the 5 most common send and receive errors and how to resolve them

1) Outlook Send Error: “The operation failed. An object could not be found” or “Object not found”

The “object not found” error message is triggered when you are trying to send an email from Outlook.

The reasons for this could be:

Your Outlook profile is corrupt

Solution: go to the Windows Control Panel -> Mail -> Mail Setup -> Show Profiles -> Add.
Create a new Outlook profile. Add your email account(s) to it, open Outlook with your new profile, and try sending the message again.

Your automatic SMTP settings are not picked up correctly

Solution: configure your outgoing SMTP server settings in Outlook. To do it is to remove your email account. Go to: Outlook file menu -> Account Settings). Then try adding it again (this time make sure you do not use the option to auto-detect mail server settings). If you are unsure about the SMTP values, please contact your email provider.

Using Outlook in Workgroup or Corporate modes, one of your Outlook PST data files was moved or erased

Solution: create a new Outlook profile and re-add your data files to it. For step by step instructions, please see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/292022

2) Sending / Receiving reported error: “Outlook data file cannot be accessed (error 8004010F)”

The error message is triggered when you are sending or receiving emails.

The reasons for this could be:

Emails are being saved to the wrong location

Solution: If you are using more than one email account or data files. It is possible that Outlook tries to save emails to the wrong location. To solve it, remove your Outlook data files from your Account Settings -> Data files list and add them back again. Or, you can also try changing the folder where emails are being delivered. Select the desired account from File -> Account Settings and click on “Change Folder”.

Your Outlook profile is configured incorrectly

Solution: create a new Outlook profile and add your existing data files to it by following these steps: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/292022

Outlook does not have enough permissions to write to the data files

Solution: This situation usually happens if you upgraded to Windows 7/8 while keeping your Outlook installation in place. To solve it, you have to take ownership of the data files by following these steps: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753659.aspx

3) Sending reported error (0x800CCC80): “None of the authentication methods supported by this client are supported by your server”

The error message is triggered when you are trying to send an email from Outlook.

The reasons for this could be:

Your outgoing mail server settings are wrong

Solution: edit your account settings and mark the option “Log on to incoming server before sending mail”. To do this, go to Outlook File menu -> Account Settings -> double click on your email account -> More Settings -> Outlook Server -> mark the option “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication”, then mark the option “Log on to incoming server before sending mail”. You can also try to use the “Repair” option available on your Account Settings window.

4) Outlook error code 8: “Outlook is unable to connect to the proxy server”

Description: the error message is triggered when you are trying to send or receive emails from Outlook, through a proxy server.

The reasons for this could be:

Your Windows root certificates are outdated

Solution: open Windows Update and look for updates to the Root Certificates list. Mark these updates and install them.

You are using a self-signed certificate

Solution: by default, a self-signed certificate is added to the Intermediate Certification Authorities. You have to remove it from there, then import it to the Trusted Authorities list.

5) Task reported error 0x8004210A – “the operation timed out while waiting for a response from the receiving server”

Description: the error message is triggered when you are trying to send or receive emails from Outlook.

The reasons for this could be:

Your connection to the mail server is too slow

Solution: try freeing up your Internet connection by closing downloads or other in-progress online activities. If the problem persists. Try to increase your mail server time-out periods. Go to the Outlook File menu -> Account Settings -> double click on your email account -> More Settings -> Advanced -> increase your server timeouts period.

You are sending or receiving large series of emails or a really large email attachment

Solution: if you are sending or receiving a large email attachment, your email account remains locked while the operation is performed. If this operation takes more than your automatic Send & Receive periods, the next Send & Receive job will start while the previous one was not completed it. In this case, the mail server will time out or it will respond with error 0x8004210E: “Your mailbox is already locked”. To solve it, wait for the large email to be sent or received. Or, if your email account offers web access. Connect to your mailbox from your Internet browser and delete those incoming messages that are not important. This way, you will ease your Outlook Receive task.

Your incoming / outgoing emails are being scanned by an anti-virus

Solution: On some occasions, an email anti-virus may interrupt or delay your Outlook Send & Receive process, causing Outlook to wait too much for the emails to arrive or to be sent. Disable your anti-virus for this operation. If the problem persists, contact your anti-virus provider.

The Outlook Send & Receive job is being blocked by a firewall

Solution: A firewall may prevent Outlook from reaching your mail server, so please disable your firewall (or add Outlook to its allowed/white list).

Email Stuck In The Outbox: You Don’t An Error Message When You Try To Send The Email

The problem is likely to be with your local Outlook configuration.

If Outlook is not sending only some Outbox emails. Make sure you don’t go and preview / open / click on Outbox emails.

Your Outbox emails should be unread (marked with bold & italic). Otherwise, Outlook will not send the email and it will be stuck in your Outbox folder.

Check your Outbox emails:
— Bold and italic, then it is ready to be sent;
— Bold, then it was read;
— Not marked with bold or italic, then the email was read and edited.

As in the following screenshot. Only the first email (with the subject “Unread email”) is going to be sent by Outlook. While the other emails will stay in the Outbox folder

To resend an Outbox double click on it to edit it, then click again on the Send button.
Before clicking on the Send button, make sure you browse to a different Outlook folder.

So you avoid marking it again as read when you exit the email window.

How To Resolve Outlook Configuration Issues

So, if Outlook is not sending any of your Outbox emails and they are not marked as read (as above)

Here are four things I would recommend trying.

1) Make sure Outlook is not set to the Offline mode

You can check if Outlook is offline from the Send / Receive ribbon (toolbar) button:

2) Check your antivirus/firewall settings

Make sure your antivirus that scans your Outbox emails and prevents them from being sent.

Do a simple test and disable your antivirus protection. Restart Outlook and try to send the Outbox emails once again.

If they get sent, configure your antivirus and prevent it from scanning Outbox emails.

3) Check your file attachment settings

If your Outbox emails contain file attachments and you are using Outlook with iCloud or any other cloud storage service. Make sure your file attachments are uploaded to your cloud account before sending them.

4) Outlook files maybe corrupted

I know this is the last thing you want to hear. But it does happen.

To check if this has happened. There are plenty of data file scanning tools out there that can check this.


There you have it. Two reasons why your emails may not be being sent by Outlook. How to resolve them. Along with the bonus of how to fix the 5 most common errors that may occur when using Outlook.

Wait, want more tips & tricks? Yes, please!

Who Is Phil Hughes

I am a coder, content creator & software consultant for start-ups and FTSE 100 companies. I am obsessed with productivity, self-improvement, and building a lifestyle business.
You can work with me to transform your business! Setup a recurring revenue model designed for growth.

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