OL97: How to Troubleshoot Mail Stuck in the Outbox

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Article ID: 162343 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

In some situations, your sent mail moves to your Outbox folder, but that mail may never move to your Sent Items folder. This article describes how to troubleshoot problems with mail that remains in your Microsoft Outlook 97 Outbox.

MORE INFORMATION

Any of the following conditions, which are expanded on in this article, can cause sent mail to remain in your Outbox:
  • You opened the message in your Outbox before the message was sent.
  • You are working offline and have not made a remote connection.
  • Your personal folder (*.pst) file or personal address book (*.pab) file is damaged.
  • You have an outdated or incompatible add-in.
  • There may be a corrupted fax message in your Windows\Spool\Fax folder.

Message Opened in Your Outbox

After you send a message, Outlook moves it to your Outbox. When Outlook establishes a connection to your mail server, Outlook attempts to deliver the message. If the delivery is not successful, the message remains in your Outbox. If the delivery is successful, the sent message is moved to your Sent Items folder.

If you open and close a message while it is still in your Outbox, you change the status of the message, and the message is not sent when Outlook establishes a connection to your mail server. The message title is no longer displayed in italics in the Outbox Messages view.

To return the message to a send status, open the message, and then click Send on the message toolbar. The message title should be displayed in italics in the Outbox Messages view. During the next connection with the mail server, Outlook should deliver the message.

If Send is not displayed on the message toolbar when you open the message that is stuck in your Outbox, copy the text from the message and paste it in a new message. Delete the old message, and then try to send the new message.

If you receive a message that states that the Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) spooler has already begun to send the message when you try to open the message that is stuck in your Outbox, wait 30 minutes to see if the message is delivered. You may have a slow connection. If the message is not sent after 30 minutes:
  1. Quit all of the programs that are running.
  2. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to start Task Manager, and in Task Manager, quit any programs that are still running, including Outlook and the Mapisp32.exe program (the MAPI spooler).
  3. Start Outlook again. Copy the text from the message that is stuck in the Outbox and paste it in a new message. Delete the old message, and then try to send the new message.

Working Offline

If your sent mail remains in your Outbox and does not move to your Sent Items folder, your profile may be configured to work offline. If your profile is configured to work offline, your sent mail remains in your Outbox until you manually establish a connection to your mail server. To configure your profile to work online, use one of the following methods, as applicable:
  • If your profile uses the Internet Mail service, use the following steps to set your service to work online:
    1. In Outlook, on the Tools menu, click Services to open the Services dialog box.
    2. Click the Services tab, click Internet Mail, and then click Properties.
    3. Click the Connection tab, and then click to clear the Work offline and use Remote Mail check box.
    4. Click OK, and then click OK again to close all of the dialog boxes.
    5. Quit and then restart Outlook.
  • If your profile uses the Microsoft Exchange Server service, use the following steps to set your service to work online:
    1. In Outlook, on the Tools menu, click Services to open the Services dialog box.
    2. Click the Services tab, click Microsoft Exchange Server, and then click Properties.
    3. Click the General tab, and then click to clear the Work offline and use dial-up networking check box.
    4. Click OK, and then click OK again to close all of the dialog boxes.
    5. Quit and then restart Outlook.
NOTE: When you work offline with your Exchange Server service, your Microsoft Fax service is also in an offline state. Fax messages remain in the Outbox, even if it appears that the only service set to work offline is the Exchange Server service.

Damaged Personal Folder or Personal Address Book Files

To troubleshoot for damaged personal folder or personal address book files, use the following steps:
  1. Run the Inbox Repair Tool:
    1. In Outlook, on the Tools menu, click Services, click Personal Folders, click Properties, and then make a note of the path and name of your personal folder (.pst) file.
    2. Quit Outlook.
    3. Click the Start button, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Inbox Repair Tool.
    4. In the Inbox Repair Tool, click Browse, and then select the .pst file that you noted in step 1.a.
    5. Click Start to begin scanning your personal folder file.
    6. When you are finished with the Inbox Repair Tool, restart Outlook.
    7. Copy the contents of the message that is stuck in your Outbox, and then paste the contents in a new message.
    8. Delete the original message, and then try to send the new message.
  2. Create a new personal folder file:
    1. In Outlook, on the Tools menu, click Services.
    2. Click the Services tab, click Personal Folder, and then click Properties to open the Personal Folders dialog box.
    3. Make a note of the path and file name, and then click Cancel to return to the Services dialog box.
    4. With your personal folder still selected, click Delete to remove your old personal folder from the profile.
    5. Click Add to open the Add Service to Profile dialog box.
    6. Click Personal Folders, and then click OK.
    7. In the File Name box, type the name of a new personal folder file (*.pst), click Open, and then click OK.
  3. Create a new profile with a new personal folder (.pst) file and a new personal address book (PAB):
    1. Quit Outlook if it is running.
    2. In Control Panel, double-click either Mail And Fax or Mail, as applicable.
    3. Click Show Profiles, and then click Add to add a new profile.
    4. Follow the Inbox Setup Wizard to create a new profile with a new .pst file and PAB.
    5. Start Outlook and try to send a message.
  4. Search your system for multiple personal folder (.pst) or offline store (.ost) files. Rename each file, and then create a new profile.
  5. Make a note of the addressee of the message that is stuck in the Outbox. Check for the e-mail name of the addressee in the personal address book. If the e-mail name of the addressee is not present, add it. If it is present, delete the entry, and then re-add it.
  6. Try to use another client with your profile. Quit Outlook and search your hard disk drive for the Exchng32.exe program. Run the Exchng32.exe program with your existing profile, and try to send mail.

Add-ins

Outdated or incompatible add-ins can cause e-mail delivery problems. By default, Outlook installs Exchange Extensions and Mail 3.0 Extensions add-ins. If your profile includes the Internet Mail service, you may also have the Internet Mail add-in. Old Netscape Extensions or Fax software add-ins can also cause mail delivery problems. To check your active add-ins:
  1. In Outlook, on the Tools menu, click Options to open the Options dialog box.
  2. Click the General tab, and then click Add-In Manager. Your active add-ins are displayed with their add-in name check boxes selected.
  3. To deactivate an add-in, use one of the following steps:
    • Click to clear the add-in check box. - or -

    • Click to select the add-in check box, and then click Remove.

Stuck Fax Message

If the message that is stuck in your Outbox is a fax message, there may be a corrupted fax message in your Windows\Spool\Fax folder. Move all of the files in this folder to your Windows\Temp folder, and then resend the fax message.

REFERENCES

For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
161790 OL97: Error Message That Sent Items Remain in Outbox
161323 OL97: Undeliverable Mail Message When Sending Internet Mail
162046 OL97: Remote Mail, Offline Folders, and Working Offline
For more information about installing services, type services in the Office Assistant, click Search, and then click Install an information service.

Properties

Article ID: 162343 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbfaq kbhowto KB162343
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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