How to Recover from Outlook Send/Receive Errors

April 11th, 2014 | Posted by Ankit Sajwan in Windows

It is really very annoying when you are not able to send or receive emails when it matters most and you are presented with  different error codes. There are large set of error codes which appears but there are some common solutions which helps user to recover from these errors. There are few steps which needs to be followed to get back Outlook to working again.

  • Check your email account settings.

If you have configured new mail account and send/receive error occurs, you should verify that the account settings entered by you is correct. Account settings can be verified with ISP or the email administrator. More about email settings of various free email providers can be found here.

When you are trying to send a message from another network than the network where the mailbox is located (for instance, from a hotel or a wifi hotspot, then you need to enable authentication for the configured SMTP server as well.

When Outlook worked before and you’re suddenly presented with send/receive errors, it is still good practice to verify your account settings and make sure that they are current. For example, several ISPs have increased their email security settings which could require you to enable SSL or make port changes. Also, sometimes they have merged with other ISPs and decommission the old account settings over time requiring you to make changes.

Trying your account settings on another computer or creating an additional mail profile for testing could help you determining if it is an issue with your current account configuration settings.

  • Disable virus scanner integration.

Virus scanners which integrates themselves with Outlook are a known source of causing all sorts of send receive issues. For instance, the following time-out issues are often a result of this;
-The operation timed out waiting for a response from the receiving (POP) server
-A time-out occurred while communicating with the server
Other issues that are often caused by having a virus scanner integrated with Outlook are;
-Outlook being very slow in collecting your email
-Messages ending up stuck in your Outbox (also see below)
-Messages being sent but never received
-Sending or receiving blank messages
-General message corruption
Disabling your virus scanner’s integration with Outlook does not compromise your security as you’d still be sufficiently protected by the on-access scanner part of the virus scanner. For more details see; Disable virus scanner integration?

  • Check your firewall settings.

Firewalls can block incoming and outgoing traffic so make sure that Outlook and/or the required ports for email are listed as an exception to go through.

If you are presented with send/receive errors after updating Outlook, you probably need to reconfigure your firewall to re-allow Outlook to pass-through again. This is because several firewall solutions (such as ZoneAlarm) verify via a hash that it is indeed the correct outlook.exe that is trying to pass through the firewall and not some virus which named itself outlook.exe. Since with some updates the outlook.exe gets updated as well, you’ll need to accept it as safe again. You can find more information about this in the manual of your firewall solution.

  • Issues with add-ins

Aside from virus scanners, there could be other add-ins installed which integrate itself with the send/receive process of Outlook. Loading Outlook in Safe Mode is a good first step to see if add-ins are indeed the cause of the issues.
To further troubleshoot add-ins, manually disable each of them and re-enable them one-by-one to find the culprit.

  • Check data store integrity

If there are issues with the delivery location (your Outlook mailbox), then this could result in send/receive issues. Checking the integrity of your delivery location can be done with scanpst.exe or scanost.exe (depending on your mail account type). In some cases you’ll need to run the pst2gb tool when the data store is full.

If you are using an Exchange account, then you could also try it with Cached Exchange Mode disabled and see if it works correctly now. If it does, rename the ost-file to .old and have Outlook rebuild the ost-file or verify that the configured location for the ost-file in your account settings is valid.

  • Stuck message or hidden read receipt

A message stuck in the Outbox if often the main source of send/receive error. While you can easily spot a stuck message in Outbox, It is hard to determine the message with Read Receipt which are hidden messages and it become hard to recover from send/receive errors.

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