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5 Common Outlook Problems & Their Simple Solutions

Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems that Outlook users experience, and the most effective steps toward their resolution.

  1. Running out of mailbox space

Most Outlook mailboxes store 50GB of data, but the right license can increase them to 100GB. If the mailbox size reaches its administrator-set limit, Outlook (and all mail-related functionality) slows down; which can ultimately lead to its inoperability. The best way to begin resolving this issue is to clean up the mailbox.

After cleaning up the mailbox, it is best to run an archive. An archive takes all emails older than a date you select, and moves them to a separate file that does not count toward the mailbox maximum. However, in some configurations, the mailbox size won’t change until you rebuild the profile and force it to re-sync. For detailed instructions on cleaning out and archiving Outlook emails, as well as profile rebuilding, click here.

  1. Outlook Crashes or Freezes on Opening

Occasionally, when you open Outlook, it may freeze or shut down without explanation. There exist several causes for this, but one of the most common is a defective add-in that requires disabling.

It is advisable to disable all available add-ins, then re-enable them one by one, to determine which add-in is the source of malfunctioning. Click here for detailed steps that will resolve crashing and freezing when opening Outlook.

  1. Recovering Deleted Items

If you delete an item in Outlook, and then empty your “Deleted Items” folder, you still have up to 30 days (depending on your configuration) to retrieve it. However, any items in your “Trash” folder cannot be recovered. For detailed steps on recovering deleted items in Outlook, click here.

  1. Search Is Not Working

Sometimes, when performing a search in Outlook, results are either incomplete or non-existent - even if the email view is normal. This problem often occurs due to a corrupted search index, which can be rebuilt. However, the rebuilding process is time-consuming, so it’s best to complete it after the user has left their workstation for the day. Learn how to rebuild your Outlook search index here.

  1. View Settings

Occasionally, you may accidentally click onto something that changes your Outlook view. If you are unsure of how to restore your initial view, try adjusting the “Layout” pane. Therein, you can adjust your “Folder” and “Reading” panes accordingly. Click here for detailed steps to restore your View settings in Outlook.


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