Fix Outlook.com email sync issues

Applies to: Outlook.com

If you’re unable to send or receive email, or can’t connect to Outlook.com, use these solutions.

If you are having sign-in problems with your Outlook.com, Hotmail, Live, or MSN e-mail account, or you’re unsure how to sign in or sign out, read How to sign in to or out of Outlook.com

Check your service status

If you’re having problems with Outlook.com, first check the service status. If the status isn’t green, wait until the service is running normally and try again.

I didn’t receive an e-mail someone sent to my Outlook.com account

If someone sent an e-mail to your Outlook.com account but you re unable to find it, read Search Mail and People in Outlook.com. If the message was not delivered, there are numerous actions you can take to resolve the problem:

Check your Junk E-mail folder

In your Outlook.com folder list, select the Junk E-mail folder and search for the missing e-mail.

If there are messages that were mistakenly marked as junk, right-click each e-mail and then press Mark as not junk. The message will promptly be relocated to your inbox.

Clean out your inbox

If your inbox is full, you won’t receive new messages. To create room in your inbox, empty your junk folder by right-clicking Junk E-mail > Empty folder.

A screenshot of the Sweep button

You can also sweep unwanted e-mail from your inbox or archive folders. Sweep allows you to automatically delete all incoming email from a defined sender, retain only the latest message from that sender, or delete e-mail from that sender that has exceeded 10 days. Choose a message you want to sweep, and click Sweep.

Saving photos and documents to OneDrive is another useful way to declutter your inbox. To learn how to save attachments to OneDrive, see Free up storage in Outlook.com.

Check your inbox filter and sort settings

If your inbox is filtering according to categories or if your sort order is customised, you may see different messages than you expect to see. Filtering and sorting are accessible at the top of your message list.

  • For filtering, pick Filter, then choose what kind of messages you want to view.
  • For sorting, click Filter > Sort by then what your preferred sorting arrangement.
A screenshot of the Filter menu with Sort By selected

To check the latest messages, sort by Date. To find messages from a particular person, sort by From. You can reverse the sort order by choosing the option again.

Check the Other tab

Focused Inbox splits your inbox into two tabs, Focused and Other, to help you concentrate on the most important messages for you. If Focused Inbox is activated for you, some messages sent to you might be filtered into the Other tab. You can right-click any messages you want to find in Focused and pick Move to Focused inbox or Always move to Focused inbox. Focused Inbox will learn which messages should always be moved to the Focused tab.

To learn how to deactivate Focused Inbox, see Turn off Focused Inbox.

Check your Blocked senders and Safe senders lists

  1. Click Settings > View all Outlook settings.
  1. Press Mail, and then click Junk e-mail.
  1. If you recognise the sender’s address listed under Blocked senders and domains, pick their address and then click Remove > Save.

If the sender’s address isn’t stated in your Blocked senders list, you can insert them to Safe senders and domains. E-mail from contacts in your safe senders list will automatically be diverted from the Junk E-mail folder.

  1. Press Settings > View all Outlook settings.
  2. Click Mail, and then pick Junk e-mail.
  3. Type the sender’s e-mail address, and then choose Add > Save.
  1. Click Mail, and then pick Junk e-mail.

  1. Choose Settings > View all Outlook settings.
  2. Pick Mail, and then choose Rules.
  3. If there are one or more rules that are preventing you from seeing the email you want, do one of the following.
    • Select the rule that you want to delete, and then select Delete .
    • Select the rule and then select Edit to change the rule settings so you can find the messages more easily. For example, you might change the action in the rule from delete to categorize or flag.Choose Save.

Check your e-mail rules

To return to your inbox, select X at the upper right of the Settings window.

Check email forwarding

Check if email forwarding is enabled.

  1. Go to Forwarding settings.
  2. To enable forwarding, select Enable forwarding. To disable forwarding, clear the check box.If you want email to go to the forwarding address and stay in your Outlook.com mailbox, select Keep a copy of forwarded messages.

If you’ve set up another email account to forward to your Outlook.com inbox, make sure forwarding hasn’t expired and is properly set up. Check with your other email services support for more information.

Check if your account is blocked

If you can’t send or receive email, your account might be temporarily blocked because we noticed some unusual sign-in activity. To learn how to unblock your account, see Unblock my Outlook.com account.

Remove some connected accounts

You can connect a maximum of 20 other email accounts to your Outlook.com account. If you’ve connected more than 20 accounts, you won’t be able to send or receive messages from any of your connected accounts. To resolve the issue, please remove some connected accounts so that the total number of connected accounts is 20 or fewer.

Contact the sender

If you’ve tried the solutions above and still aren’t receiving messages from a sender, contact the sender. Let them know that:

  • Their email isn’t being delivered to Outlook.com.
  • They should contact Microsoft support through postmaster.live.com.

Outlook.com won’t let me send an email

If you’re having trouble sending messages in Outlook.com, try these solutions.

Your inbox is full

If your inbox is full, you won’t be able to send or receive new messages. To make room in your inbox, try emptying your junk folder by right-clicking Junk Email and then selecting Empty folder.

You can also use Sweep to remove unwanted email from your inbox or archive folders. Sweep lets you automatically delete all incoming email from a particular sender, keep only the latest message from that sender, or delete email from that sender that’s older than 10 days. Select a message you want to sweep, and select Sweep.

A screenshot of the Sweep button

Saving photos and documents to OneDrive is another good way to make room in your inbox. To learn how to save attachments to OneDrive, see Free up storage in Outlook.com.

Check the “To” address line

Make sure that the email addresses of the people you are trying to send to are formatted correctly. If you try to send a message to an incorrectly typed email address, an error message will appear.

For example, if you accidentally leave off “.com” from an email address, you will receive an error similar to this:

A screenshot of an address formatting error in Outlook.com.

You’ve exceeded the daily message limit

To help deter spammers, Outlook.com limits the number of messages that can be sent in one day. If you receive a message that you’ve reached the daily message limit, try the following:

  • Save your email as a draft and send it the next day.
  • Increase your message limits by adding security info to your account (see Increase your message sending limits).
  • If the email was created on a mobile device, tap to close the message. You’ll receive a prompt asking you if you want to save or delete the message. Select Save and then Sync. You can then to go Outlook.com on a computer, open the draft, and send it.

Increase your message sending limits

You can increase your sending limits by adding security info to your account. Go to your Microsoft account security page, select Update info, and add the following security info to your account:

Phone number:

  1. Select Add security info.
  2. In the dialog box, enter your phone number.
  3. Select Next and follow the on-screen instructions.

Alternate email address:

  1. Select Add security info.
  2. In the dialog box, select the arrow next to A phone number, and select An alternate email address.
  3. Enter an alternate email address.
  4. Select Next and follow the on-screen instructions.

Two-step verification:

  1. Select Set up two-step verification.
  2. Enter your password, and select Sign in.
  3. Select Next and follow the on-screen instructions.

You have too many connected accounts

You can connect a maximum of 20 other email accounts to your Outlook.com account. If you’ve connected more than 20 accounts, you won’t be able to send or receive messages from any of your connected accounts. To resolve the issue, please remove some connected accounts so that the total number of connected accounts is 20 or fewer. For more information, see Troubleshoot connected accounts in Outlook.com

Verify your account

If you’re prompted to verify your account when you try to send an email message from Outlook.com, it is because we are trying to protect your account.

Sign in to verify your Outlook.com account.

Your account might be blocked

If you can’t send or receive email, your account might be temporarily blocked because we noticed some unusual sign-in activity. To learn how to unblock your account, see Unblock my Outlook.com account.

You’ve added too many recipients to one email

Outlook.com limits the number of recipients you can add to an email message. If you exceed the limit, an error message will let you know how many recipients you can add to your email. Remove some recipients and then try sending again.

Your content triggered junk email filters

Outlook.com blocks the sending of messages when the content looks like junk email to the Outlook.com junk filters. Occasionally, legitimate email can be marked as junk. If your message is blocked, try changing the content of your message and sending it again.

Insufficient permission

Information Rights Management (IRM) allows senders to specify access permissions for their email messages, which might include preventing messages from being forwarded, read, printed, or copied by unauthorized people. To learn more about this feature, see Introduction to IRM for email messages.

You’re sending email from an older device that uses AUTH PLAIN

Outlook.com no longer supports AUTH PLAIN authentication. If you try to send messages from a device that uses AUTH PLAIN authentication, your messages won’t send. For more information, see Outlook.com no longer supports AUTH PLAIN authentication.

You can’t send email from Windows Live Mail, a mobile device, or Outlook on your computer

Earlier this year we introduced the new Outlook.com, which helps you focus on what matters, collaborate effortlessly, and get more done. As part of the upgrade, we are also moving accounts to a more secure and reliable infrastructure.

Reconnect your Outlook.com account to Outlook on your computer or Outlook on your phone

You’ll need to reconnect your Outlook.com account to Outlook on your computer or to Outlook on your phone to ensure the best experience and fix issues. For more information about how to reconnect your account, please see this article.

Use the Mail app on Windows

Windows Live Mail 2012 no longer connects to Outlook.com accounts. Windows Live Mail users will need to use a different app or use a web browser to visit www.outlook.com. The built-in Mail app on Windows is the recommended replacement for Windows Live Mail 2012, and is the most-used email application among Outlook.com users today. Read more about why Windows Live Mail 2012 will not connect to Outlook.com

You recently changed your password

If you changed your password for Outlook.com, you might need to change your email account settings in Outlook and in your mobile apps too.

The message or attachments are too large

If you’ve connected your Outlook.com account to Outlook on your computer or to Outlook on your phone and you try to send a message with an attachment that’s larger than 25MB, Outlook won’t send the message.

To fix the issue, go to your Outbox and then open the stuck email messages. Start with the oldest message first. If the message has an attachment that’s larger than 25MB, delete the attachment and either attach a smaller file or upload the file to OneDrive and then attach a link to the attachment. You can then try to send the message again.

To learn more about attaching files to messages in Outlook for Windows, see Attach a file to an email in Outlook for Windows.

Fix sync issues with mobile devices

If you’re having trouble receiving or sending messages from your mobile device, try removing the device in Outlook.com options.

  1. Sign in to Outlook.com on a computer.
  2. At the top of the page, select Settings > View all Outlook settings > General > Mobile devices.
  3. In the list of connected mobile devices, select your phone, and then select Remove.
  4. Select Save.
  5. Go to your mobile device and power it off completely.
  6. Restart your mobile device after a few seconds, and then sync your mailbox again.

Still need help?

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Related topics

Mobile devices options on Outlook.com or Outlook on the web
Storage limits in Outlook.com
Organize your inbox with Archive, Sweep, and other tools in Outlook.com
Mark email as junk or block senders in Outlook.com

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

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