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Emails stuck in outbox reasons and easy solutions

Those who are using Microsoft Outlook must face this problem – emails stuck in outbox. Or sometimes, email downloading takes a long time. If you are also facing this problem, this article is for you. I have gathered some troubleshooting instructions that could help you to resolve your stuck email issues.

More than 400 million outlook users are in this world who are actively using outlook. Many of them face this problem every day. But most of the time, it could be solved with a little knowledge. I hope, this content will help you to resolve your problem too.

Outbox in Microsoft Outlook

The outbox of Microsoft Outlook is a temporary folder where emails are in a queue of outgoing messages until it is shipped to the recipient. Normally there should not be any messages in the outbox, but if you have sending error, you may find an extended stay of the message in Outboxes.

After you click on Send button, the message goes to Outbox. Outlook ships this message to Sent Item when it is transferred to the server. If you find your message in your outbox for a long time, you should take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

The reason behind emails being stuck in the Outbox?

Outbox is not a place for an email to stay or keep a long time. Depending upon your attachment and internet speed, it should release your email to the Sent Item immediately. Remember that emails can be stuck in your outbox for different reasons; I have checked over the internet and found possible reasons to stuck emails in the outbox, which are as below:

Possible reason of stuck emails
Internet connection problem. Large attachment problem. Outlook is disconnected or offline problem. Wrong password problem. Outlook Configuration Problem. The email server is temporarily down. The email server can be out of storage.

It can happen due to your internet connection, the wrong password, Working offline, Outlook configuration issues, etc. you must check all these issues individually to resolve your email stuck issue.

Internet Connection problem

This is the first step that you should take. Whether you have internet connectivity or not. If you found your computer’s internet connection okay, your email client could connect to its server. You may have some other issues to resolve. But if your internet connection is not ok, you must fix that one first. I hope your outlook is all ok.

If internet connectivity is the issue, you should restart your router. It is better to switch off the router and keep it off for at least 10 seconds. After that restart your router once again and check the internet availability. If your internet connection is still a problem call the internet service provider to resolve that.

Restart Microsoft Outlook

If the internet connection is alright, restart your Microsoft Outlook application. Sometimes, a restart can resolve emails stuck issues. For better performance, you can restart your computer also.

While restarting your computer please do not force stop by the power switch. Restart your computer from the start menu. You can also use task manager if any application cannot be closed before restarting. To open the task manager press Alt + Ctrl + Del all three keys together on the keyboard.

Use Send/Receive button

This is the first try you should do with the Outlook application. In the menu bar, there is a command button named Send/Receive. Under Send/Receive command, you will find Send All. Click Send All. If you do not find Send/Receive command in your Outlook below image may help you.

send receive

After clicking Send All, another pop-up box will appear in front of you, showing the progress and result. If progress is not shown click the Show Progress button. Maximum time your problem will be resolved in this stage. If you are not lucky enough, it will not be solved.

Outlook Work Offline status

At the bottom of Outlook, there is a status bar. If your outlook is disconnected or offline, a message shows that Outlook is Offline. There is a cross icon also seen. If you find this error, you have to make your outlook Online as currently, it is working offline.

Go to Send/Receive menu again, find Work offline preferences, and click on that button. If you failed to find this button, here is a screenshot for your reference.

offline preferences

It can happen if your local server is down. Please check with your hosting company if your local server is down. Once the server is live, your outlook will be fine.

Large Attachment

If your internet connection is okay, but the speed is very low, and you have attached a large file, this big email will stuck other emails in your outbox. The email will be delivered one by one. In this case, you have to wait for a while to resolve your issues. Outlook accepts only 25MB as email attachments. If your file is larger than 25 MB, please remove it and attach a smaller size attachment.

You can resize and compress it to make less than 25 MB if it is a pdf or image file as an attachment. If you have no other way to attach a bigger file, you can keep it in dropbox and share only the link in the email. It is a smarter way to share files bigger than 25 MB.

If you do not want to use dropbox you can divide your attachment into several parts and send it to the recipient part by part.

Check your email password

Password is a vital issue. Maybe you have already changed your webmail password but forgot to change it in Outlook. You have to understand that your email client, Outlook is an application that downloads emails from your webmail server. If your email password is changed, you must change your Outlook password as well.

While typing your email password, make sure that it is correct. A wrong password will not work. Be aware of that. Always give a strong password for your email account.

Outlook Configuration issue

In most cases, emails are stuck on Outlook due to outlook configuration issues. You must look after the following things while checking your Outlook configuration.

  • Your email ID and password
  • Incoming mail server
  • Outgoing mail Server (SMTP)
  • Incoming and Outgoing server port number.
  • Authentication requirements

If you can set up outlook by yourself, then it is fine. Else, you can take help from others for configuration checking. Read this content to learn how to set up company email in Outlook.

Your Inbox is full

Many people face stuck emails in outboxes only for their Inboxes are full. You may not be able to understand how your inbox becomes full. Your IT department dedicated a fixed space for your email on the server. Perhaps, it is 1000 MB of storage.

So, after using a few months, your space is full and you cannot send or receive any email until you make some space accessible for it. It is because of the wrong set-up of Outlook. During configuration, they should select the option that all email should be downloaded to your hard drive, and once it is downloaded should be removed from the mail server after a few days.

Typically, I delete emails from my server every 14 days. Outlook has this option; if you select it no need to delete it manually. It will be done automatically for you. Follow the below instructions to delete your emails from the server automatically.

  • Go to the File tab, then Account Settings then select Account Name and Sync Settings. a new pop-up window will appear. That s POP account settings.

download emails from Server

  • Select leave a copy of messages on the server and select the number of days. How many days do you want your email available on the server? You can keep 14 days. See the screenshot below.

delete email from server

  • Click Next and then Done.

This is how you can delete your old email from the server automatically.

I will suggest you please do not get worried if your email stuck in the outbox. Every problem has a solution for it. If you tried all possible ways above but failed to troubleshoot the problem you can uninstall/repair Microsoft Outlook from your computer and reinstall it. Repair does not need reinstallation.

Before uninstalling it remember to keep a backup of your Outlook data file and export outlook contacts. When a fresh new installation is over use the backup PST file. It will give you previous old inbox feelings, don’t worry.

Do you know how to create a backup of your emails? To learn please read How to create backup of outlook emails?

Do you know how to take backups of your contacts? To learn please read Do you need to export outlook contacts?

I hope, this content regarding emails stuck in outbox is helpful to you. Thank You very much for being with us.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    The common reasons for emails stuck in outboxes are:

    • Your computer is not connected to the internet.
    • Your email client cannot connect to the email server. Maybe your email server is down. contact the hosting provider.
    • Your password is wrong.
    • Your internet speed is very slow to ship the email with an attachment.
    • Your attached file size is too big to upload.
    • Outlook is in offline mode.
    • Your Outlook configuration is wrong. Check outlook set up properly.
    • Your Outlook inbox is full, delete some emails from the server.

    The outbox of Microsoft Outlook is a temporary folder where emails are in the queue of outgoing messages until it is shipped.


    Outlook emails stuck in the outbox mean after clicking on Send button email is not going, it remains in the outbox folder.


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