Fix sending or receiving problems in Outlook by using the Office Configuration Analyzer Tool


In some Microsoft Outlook configurations, you may have problems that are related to sending or receiving email. These symptoms include, but are not limited to, the following items:
  • Email messages are never sent (they remain in the Outbox folder)
  • Email messages are not immediately sent (they remain in the Outbox folder for one minute or more)
  • Errors are logged in the Synchronization Log messages in the \Sync Issues folder
  • Email messages are not displayed in the Inbox folder
  • Errors occur when you send email from other programs
  • Errors occur when you send email during a mail merge
  • Recipient names do not auto-populate when you address email messages


These problems may occur for several different reasons, such as misconfigured settings, interaction with third-party software, and limitations of Outlook.


To resolve these problems, use the Office Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT) as your first troubleshooting step to quickly identify many sources of these problems and to obtain resources to resolve them. The list of known issues that can be detected by OffCAT grows each month. Therefore, if the problems that you have are detected at any time, we recommend that you run OffCAT the following month to check whether any new issues are detected. 

To use the OffCAT tool, follow these steps.

Step 1: Download and install OffCAT

  1. Go to the following Microsoft Download Center webpage:

  2. Click Download.
  3. Select the check box for OffCAT.msi, and then click Next.

Step 2: Scan your Outlook configuration

  1. Start OffCAT by using the shortcut that was created during the installation process.
    • For Windows 8

    • For Windows 7 and earlier versions

    Note When OffCAT starts, it automatically checks for the list of latest-known issues. Make sure that you let this process finish so that the scan of your Office program uses the latest issues list.
  2. On the I want to scan page, click Outlook.

  3. Make sure that Outlook is running. Then, click Scan.

Step 3: Review the scan results

  1. On the All Issues tab, click the Filter control.

    Note If you do not see an All Issues tab in the scan results, OffCAT did not detect any "Warning" or "Critical" known issues types. Therefore, the Filter control is not shown.
  2. Clear the Select All box.
  3. Select all the following symptoms that appear on the Filter list, and then click OK.
    • Email folders
    • Email message display
    • Email missing or deleted
    • Email send/receive
    • Error message
    • Inbox folder
    • Mail Merge
    • New email missing
    • Outbox folder

    The following screen shot shows some of these symptoms selected in the Filter list.

    Note If you do not see any of these symptoms in the Filter list, OffCAT did not detect any known issues for send/receive problems. In this situation, go to Step 4: Check for Office product updates.
  4. The first issue that involves one of the selected symptoms is displayed and expanded to show you more information about the issue. Click the Click here to see possible online solutions to this issue link to open the article that contains information about a resolution.

    The following screen shot displays an example of one of the known issues that might be detected by OffCAT.

  5. Follow the resolution steps that are provided in the topic.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for all other issues that are listed in the filtered report.
  7. Test Outlook to determine whether the send/receive problems still occurs.
  8. If Outlook continues to experience the same send/receive problems, go to Step 4.

Step 4: Check for Office product updates

  1. In your OffCAT results, click the Filter control one more time.
  2. Clear any selected symptoms in the Filter box, select the Product not updated symptom in the list, and then click OK.

  3. Under Product not updated, expand the first issue that was found, as shown in the following screen shot. Then, click the Click here to see possible online solutions to this issue link to open the article that describes the download for the latest update.

  4. Follow the steps that are provided in the article to install the latest update.
  5. If two or more items are listed under Product not updated, repeat steps 3 and 4 for each item that is listed.
  6. After you install all the latest updates that were suggested by the OffCAT results, restart your computer if you are prompted to do this to complete the installation.
  7. After your computer restarts, test Outlook to see whether the send/receive problems still occurs.
  8. If Outlook continues to experience send/receive problems after you installed all the latest available updates, start OffCAT.
  9. On the Manage Scans page, select your previous scan to see the list of options for the scan.
  10. Click View report to reopen your previous scan results.

  11. Go to Step 5.

Step 5: Review additional symptoms that are indirectly related

Problems that affect your ability to send and receive email can be manifested in many ways. Therefore, we recommend that you also filter and review the OffCAT scan results for the following additional symptoms:
  • Add-ins
  • Address Book
  • Configuration (unsupported or problematic)
  • Exchange connection
  • Offline Address Book (OAB)
  • Shared mailbox

To filter your results for these additional symptoms, click the Filter control on the All Issues tab, and then select each symptom in the additional symptoms list (if any symptoms appear). The following figure shows an example of the Filter control after you select two symptoms.

Follow the provided recommendations for any issues that fall under these additional symptoms.

Most of the issues that are detected by OffCAT have more than one symptom associated with them. Therefore, you will probably see the same issue under more than one of the symptoms in the list. Regardless of where an issue is listed, the resolution is the same, and you have to act only one time on any listed issue.

More Information

For more information about the Office Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT), see the OffCAT v2 ReadMe.docx file that is available on the Microsoft Download Center webpage for OffCAT.

Article ID: 2970771 - Last Review: Apr 15, 2015 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Outlook 2013, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007