Outlook has a reputation of a buggy email client, but if you examine pure statistics instead of biased personal reviews, it turns out Outlook is actually more reliable than many other software. However, bugs happen, and those bugs can seriously hinder your productivity if you have to face them over and over while doing something trivial like sending mail or trying to find a specific contact.
In this article we review five common bugs and errors Outlook users often experience, and provide a solution for them.
Error 1: “550 5.7.1 Relaying denied: You must check for new mail before sending mail”
Imagine a situation. You composed a message to your contractor, attached documents, and clicked “Send” resting assured that the message is on its way to the recipient, but suddenly you see the following error message in Outlook:
550 5.7.1 Relaying denied: You must check for new mail before sending mail
Check for new mail? Ok, you do this and everything goes fine this time. But only until the next time when the situation repeats and the message pops up again.
The reason why this problem happens in the first place and also why it persists is because your mail server is configured as “POP before SMTP” authorization. That is why checking for a new mail resolves the problem temporarily: Outlook authorizes you via the POP protocol and this authorization remains active for some time after. So any upcoming SMTP authorization will be successful.
Ok, but how to get rid of this message completely? You simply need to configure Outlook to check for new mail automatically before sending new mail.
Error 2: “An unknown error occurred, error code 0x80070002”
When you try to create a new account in Outlook or just try to open a PST file, you see the 0x80070002 error message instead. The primary cause of this Outlook error is a corrupted PST file. The solution is to either fix this PST file or force Outlook to store PST files in another folder. Let’s review both solutions.
Solution 1 – redefining the PST storage folder
- Go to your Documents folder and create a new folder there with an arbitrary name. Your typical path to the Documents folder is “C:\Users\<username>\Documents\”. Let’s say you have created the “NewPSTFolder” folder there.
- Open Registry Editor. To do this, press “Win+R” on the keyboard, then type regedit and click OK.
Important! Editing the Registry must only be performed by an experienced user. Unless you are 100% sure what you are doing, do not modify the Registry! Improper changes to the Registry may lead to incorrect work of the operating system and even damage it.
- In the Registry Editor, locate the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook\
Here, <version> is the version of your Office application. Chances are you only have one Office version installed, so just open the one you have, but in case you need to differentiate, here is how Outlook versions match Office internal version numbers:
- Outlook 2007 = 12
- Outlook 2010 = 14
- Outlook 2013 = 15
- Outlook 2016 = 16
- Select the Outlook key in the left pane of the Registry Editor window, and in the right pane right-click anywhere in the empty area. This will bring up the context menu.
- Select “New -> String value”. Name the new value “ForcePSTPath”.
- Right-click the newly created “ForcePSTPath” value and select “Modify”.
- Type the full path to the folder you created on step 1. In our case, it is “C:\Users\<username>\Documents\NewPSTFolder”. Click OK.
Now, close Registry Editor and restart Outlook. Creating a new profile should work fine now.
Solution 2: Fix the broken PST file
Sometimes the first solution simply does not work. You still cannot open the PST file in Outlook without the 0x80070002 error message. In this case you may want to try out Recovery Toolbox for Outlook.
- Download Recovery Toolbox for Outlook on the official download website.
- Open the problematic PST file in the program.
- Select the “Recovery” mode.
- Wait until the recovery finishes.
Error 3: Autocomplete in the search box only shows 5 items
Outlook offers a nifty way to quickly find a contact you need. Start typing first letters of the name or email of a contact, and autocomplete instantly suggests variants matching your type. However, there is a small problem here introduced with the update in 2017. Not exactly an error, but an inconvenience, actually.
When you type first letters in the search box of Outlook to quickly locate a contact, you end up with just a few contacts shown. This means you have to continue typing quite a portion of the name to display more matching contacts. Needless to say, this is not too convenient. Luckily, there is a simple solution.
You will need to do some registry editing again to turn Autocomplete to its older behavior.
- Run Registry Editor. To do this, press “Win+R” on the keyboard, then type regedit and click OK.
- In the Registry Editor, locate the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook\Options\
Here, <version> is the version of your Office application. Here is how Outlook versions match Office internal version numbers:Outlook 2007 = 12
Outlook 2010 = 14
Outlook 2013 = 15
Outlook 2016 = 16
- Click the “Options” key in the left pane, then double-click the “DisableAutoCompleteUpdate” value in the right pane and change the DWORD value to “1”. Click OK.
- Close Registry Editor and restart Outlook.
Now, Outlook will display up to 50 matching contacts as soon as you type, allowing you to quickly locate what you need.
Error 4: You experience brief jerks and pauses while working in Outlook
Many users often face strange pauses and slow downs during casual email receiving and sending operations. Outlook seems to work normally, but with more or less noticeable performance issues. Surely, the application remains one hundred percent functional, but such sudden pauses can be infuriating! Your productivity can suffer from such issues a lot.
Multiple Outlook users complain about performance issues they begin experiencing over time. Sending email, writing messages and performing other typical operations in Outlook is periodically interrupted by pauses. Such lags and pauses are the more tangible the larger the PST file is.
Indeed, the cause of these performance issues is the growing size of the PST file. When the size of the PST is below approximately 5GB, most Outlook users will not experience any slowdowns while working with the application. But larger PST databases, roughly 10-15 GB in size will cause application pauses on many computers. And with extra large files (20-30 GB) Outlook will work jerky on almost any hardware.
Here are several ways to resolve the problem:
- Reduce the size of your Outlook PST file by deleting some messages or archiving them. Such method, while effective, may not be very convenient. You may not have enough “trash” messages, or may not want to archive or remove anything.
- Reduce the size of your Outlook PST file by splitting it onto several smaller PST files. You can use a third-party tool to split a standalone PST file.
Error 5: While sending mail in Outlook an error 0x800ccc0f pops up
Users report the error message popping up when they try to send email in Outlook. The error message specifically says that sending “…reported an error 0x800ccc0f: The connection to the server was interrupted”. Would we need to point out how annoying such an error is when you urgently need to send crucial reports or agreements to your business partners?
In most cases the error is caused by some connectivity issues. Hence, the solution is to go through the checklist of possible reasons for the faulty connection and eliminate everything you found. Most common causes of the error 0x800ccc0f in Outlook are:
- You are not connected to the Internet. Make sure web pages do load in your browser, and the connection indicator in the system tray says that there is access to the Internet.
- Wrong Outlook profile settings. Incorrect settings of your Outlook account may result in Outlook being unable to connect to the mail server. Check your account settings and make sure you have specified them correctly.
- Firewall is blocking connection. Open your firewall settings and make sure the application does permit Outlook to access the mail server.
- Damaged Outlook software. A rare, but still possible reason caused by some other factors like viruses or system failures. Try reinstalling Outlook.
- Damaged PST file. Checking the PST file for errors and damages is also worth your time if nothing else helped. Download Recovery Toolbox for Outlook to scan the PST file for possible damages in its structure and fix them.
- How to Close the Outlook data file which is not found
- How to resolve the problem when Thunderbird is not sending emails
- Frequently asked questions about Outlook data conversion
- Resolving Live Mail errors
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