Fix messages that are stuck in the Outbox

Applies to: Outlook for Office 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013.

When a message gets stuck in your Outbox, the most likely cause is a large attachment.

  1. Click Send/Receive > Work Offline.
  1. In the Navigation Pane, click Outbox.
  1. From here, you can:
  • Delete the message. Just select it and press Delete.
  • Drag the message to your drafts folder, double-click to open the message, delete the attachment (click it and press Delete).
  1. If an error tells you Outlook is trying to transmit the message, close Outlook. It may take a few moments to exit.

Tip:  If Outlook doesn’t close, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and click Start Task Manager. In Task Manager, click the Processes tab, scroll down to outlook.exe, and click End Process.

  1. After Outlook closes, start it again and repeat steps 2-3.
  1. After you remove the attachment, click Send/Receive > Work Offline to deselect the button and resume working online.

Tip:  Messages also get stuck in the Outbox when you click Send but you’re not connected. Click Send/Receive and look at the Work Offline button. If it’s blue, you’re disconnected. Click it to connect (the button turns white) and click Send All.

This information was compiled using information courtesy of © Microsoft 2020. All rights reserved.

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