Message Stuck In Outbox – Clearing the Outlook 2010 Outbox

Message Stuck in Outbox? How to Clear a Stuck Email from the Outlook 2010 Outbox

As you know, when you click Send, Outlook doesn’t instantly send the message. Instead, it puts the message into the Outbox, and sends the messages that are in the Outbox based on your Send/Receive Group settings.

But sometimes messages get stuck in the Outbox. Here are the steps I recommend you take to clear a message that’s stuck:

Message Stuck in Outbox Remedies

One possibility is that somehow your Send/Receive Group settings are messed up and Outlook 2010 isn’t really trying to send the message. To find out, we’ll manually send all messages.

  1. Click the Send/Receive tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click the Send/Receive All Folders icon. This tells Outlook to send all messages that are in the Outbox right now, regardless of Send/Receive Group settings.

If the message is sent, then there is something wrong with the groups. Go to this Send/Receive Groups page for information on configuring these groups.

If the preceding procedure didn’t clear the Outbox, it is time to take direct action to get rid of the offending message. The following procedure should allow you to clear out the problem child. It won’t send the message, but it will get the message out of the Outbox.

  1. Click the Send/Receive tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click the Work Offline icon, which is located in the Preferences section of the Send/Receive tab on the ribbon. This stops Outlook 2010 from trying to send the message.
  3. Message stuck in Outbox? Work Offline to Fix It.

  4. Wait at least 5 minutes to give Outlook time to realize that it is offline, and to cancel all processes that deal with sending messages.
  5. Double-click the Outbox folder in the Navigation Pane. Outlook displays the contents of the Outbox.
  6. Delete any stuck messages from the Outbox.
  7. Click the Work Offline icon again to put Outlook 2010 back online.

With the offending message(s) removed, you should be able to send mail normally again.

After the Message Stuck in Outbox is Cleared

Now that you have the Outbox cleared, you may be all set. But what if you still need to send the message that was stuck? You have a few options.

Your first option is simply to try to send the message again. It may go through just fine this time. If it doesn’t, you know how to clear the Outbox, so you can recover.

Ok. That didn’t work, so what next?

Does your message include a single large attachment? By large, I mean multiple megabytes in size. If so, the message may be getting stuck because with the attachment it is too big for the email system.

Try zipping or otherwise compressing the attachment before sending the message. While this means more work for the people you are sending it to (since they must unzip or otherwise uncompress the attachment before they can read it, it could be all it takes for the message to get through without any problems.

If your message contains multiple attachments, try sending multiple messages, one for each attachment, instead of attaching everything to a single message. Because each individual message + attachment would be much smaller, they may go through with no problem.

Still no luck? Well there’s one more thing to try but you aren’t going to like it. You can recreate the message from scratch. Just like any other file on your computer, it is possible for an Outlook 2010 item (a message for example) to become corrupted and impossible to send.

Creating a new message from scratch, while an annoyance, could be your last chance to deal with a message stuck in Outbox on Outlook 2010.

From here you can:

Go to the Outlook 2010 Email Tips page.

Return to the top of this Message Stuck in Outbox page.

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