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Last Updated: June 28, 2024


When you access a mailbox in Online Mode and attempt to forward, categorize, or flag a message you may see the error “The operation failed”.  This issue can occur if that message has been assigned a label from a Retention Policy or File Plan that is configured to mark items as Record. In this case, Outlook will fail to perform the operations and will display an error message.

Outlook operation failed error


To ensure that the issue is caused by the record, admins can run a Network Trace while reproducing the issue.  This should result in the following exception being received from the server: 

Microsoft.Exchange.Data.StoreObjects.StoragePermanentException: Record label on the item cannot be moved to archive mailbox and the message metadata cannot be updated

From the Microsoft Purview Portal, admins can also check if the Retention Policy that is applied to the message is configured to mark items as record.

Retention policy email example

Retention policy email properties

Please keep in mind that the issue may not be observed for all the messages that are marked as record.


As a workaround, users have the option to switch their account settings to use Cached Mode with Sync Slider set to All. For more information, please go to Increase the sync slider to download older emails.

Additionally, users can also Turn Off the Reading Pane and forward the message without opening or previewing it.

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See Also

Fixes or workarounds for recent issues in Outlook for PC

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