Fix Outlook.com email sync issues

If you're unable to send or receive email, or can't connect to Outlook.com, try these solutions.

If you can't sign in to your Outlook.com, Hotmail, Live, or MSN email account, or you're not sure how to sign in or sign out, read How to sign in to or out of Outlook.com

Check your service status

If you're having problems with Outlook.com, first check the service status. If the status isn't green, wait until the service is running normally and try again.

Which version of Outlook.com are you using?

The instructions are sometimes different depending on whether you're using Outlook.com beta or classic.

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

A screenshot of the top left corner of the Outlook.com beta mailbox

You're using the Outlook.com beta.

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

A screenshot of the top left corner of the classic Outlook.com mailbox

You're using classic Outlook.com.

I didn't receive an email someone sent to my Outlook.com account

If someone sent an email to your Outlook.com account but you can't find it, read Search Mail and People in Outlook.com. If the message never arrived, there are several things you can do to try to fix the problem:

In your Outlook.com folder list, choose the Junk Email folder and look for the missing email.

If there are messages that shouldn't have been marked as junk, right-click each email and then choose Mark as not junk. The message will automatically be moved to your inbox.

If your inbox is full, you won't receive new messages. To make room in your inbox, try emptying your junk folder by right-clicking Junk Email > Delete all.

You can also sweep unwanted email from your inbox or archive folders. Sweep lets you automatically delete all incoming email from a particular sender, keep only the latest message from that sender, or delete email from that sender that's older than 10 days. Select a message you want to sweep, and select Sweep.

Saving photos and documents to OneDrive is another good way to make room in your inbox. To learn how to save attachments to OneDrive, see Free up storage in Outlook.com.

If your inbox is filtering based on categories or if your sort order is different than usual, you might not see the messages you expect to see. Filtering and sorting are accessible at the top of your message list.

  • For filtering, select Filter > All.

  • For sorting, select Filter > Sort by.

To check for recent messages, choose Date. To look for messages from a specific person, choose From. You can reverse the order by choosing the option again.

Focused Inbox separates your inbox into two tabs, Focused and Other, to help you focus on the messages that matter most to you. If Focused Inbox is enabled for you, some messages sent to you might be in the Other tab. You can right-click any messages you want to appear in Focused and select Move to Focused inbox or Always move to Focused inbox. Focused Inbox will learn which messages should go always go to the Focused tab.

To learn how to turn off Focused Inbox, see Turn off Focused Inbox.

  1. Select Settings Settings > View all Outlook settings.

  2. Select Mail, and then select Junk email.

    A screenshot shows the Junk email window in the Mail area of Settings.

  3. If you see the sender's address listed under Blocked senders, select their address and then select Remove Remove > Save.

If the sender's address isn't in your Blocked senders list, you can add them to your Safe senders list. Email from contacts in your Safe senders list will never go to the Junk Email folder.

  1. Select Settings Settings > View all Outlook settings.

  2. Select Mail, and then select Junk email.

    A screenshot shows the Safe senders area of the Junk Email settings in Mail in Settings for Outlook.com.

  3. Enter the sender's email address, and then select Add > Save.

  1. Select Settings Settings > Options.

    A screenshot of the Settings button.

  2. On the left side of the screen, select Blocked senders.

  3. A screenshot of Blocked Senders on the Options menu

  4. If you see the sender's address listed under Blocked senders, select their address and then select Remove Remove > Save.

If the sender's address isn't in your Blocked senders list, you can add them to your Safe senders list. Email from contacts in your Safe senders list will never go to the Junk Email folder.

  1. Select Settings Settings > Options.

  2. On the left side of the screen, select Safe senders.

    A screenshot of Safe Senders on the Options menu

  3. Enter the sender's email address and then select Remove The Add icon > Save.

To return to your inbox, select Options at the top of the screen.

  1. Select Settings Settings > Options.

    A screenshot of the Settings button.

  2. On the left side of the screen, select Filters and reporting.

    A screenshot of Filters and reporting on the Options menu

  3. Under Choose a junk email filter, choose the level of protection you want and then select Save.

    • With Standard, some junk email might make it to your inbox. You'll need to manually mark those messages as junk.

    • With Exclusive, some legitimate mail will end up in your Junk folder. You'll need to check the folder periodically.

To return to your inbox, select Options at the top of the screen.

  1. Select Settings Settings > View full settings.

  2. Select Mail, and then select Rules.

    A screenshot shows the Rules page in Mail in Settings for Outlook.com.

  3. If there are one or more rules that are preventing you from seeing the email you want, do one of the following.

    • Select the rule that you want to delete, and then select Delete Delete .

    • Select the rule and then select Edit Edit to change the rule settings so you can find the messages more easily. For example, you might change the action in the rule from delete to categorize or flag.

      Choose Save.

To return to your inbox, select X at the upper right of the Settings window.

  1. Select Settings Settings > Options.

    A screenshot of the Settings button.

  2. On the left side of the screen, select Inbox and sweep rules.

    A screenshot of Inbox and sweep rules on the Options menu

  3. If there are one or more rules that are preventing you from seeing the email you want, do one of the following.

    • Select the rule that you want to delete and then select Delete Delete .

    • Select the rule and then Select Edit Edit to change the rule settings so you can find the messages more easily. For example, you might change the action in the rule from delete to categorize or flag.

  4. Choose Save.

To return to your inbox, select Options at the top of the screen.

Check if email forwarding is turned on.

  1. Go to Forwarding settings.

  2. Select Stop forwarding.

    If you want email forwarding to remain on, make sure to check the box for Keep a copy of forwarded messages.

If you've set up another email account to forward to your Outlook.com inbox, make sure forwarding hasn't expired and is properly set up. Check with your other email services support for more information.

If you can't send or receive email, your account might be temporarily blocked because we noticed some unusual sign-in activity. To learn how to unblock your account, see Unblock my Outlook.com account.

You can connect a maximum of 20 other email accounts to your Outlook.com account. If you’ve connected more than 20 accounts, you won’t be able to send or receive messages from any of your connected accounts. To resolve the issue, please remove some connected accounts so that the total number of connected accounts is 20 or fewer.

If you've tried the solutions above and still aren't receiving messages from a sender, contact the sender. Let them know that:

  • Their email isn't being delivered to Outlook.com.

  • They should contact Microsoft support through postmaster.live.com.

Outlook.com won't let me send an email

If you're having trouble sending messages in Outlook.com, try these solutions.

If the undo send option is turned on and you close your browser during the waiting period before the message sends, the message won't send. To change your message sending options, select Settings > Options > Mail > Automatic processing > Undo send.

Note: Undo send is available only in Outlook.com classic.

If your inbox is full, you won't be able to send or receive new messages. To make room in your inbox, try emptying your junk folder by right-clicking Junk Email > Delete all.

A screenshot of the Delete all option

You can also use Sweep to remove unwanted email from your inbox or archive folders. Sweep lets you automatically delete all incoming email from a particular sender, keep only the latest message from that sender, or delete email from that sender that's older than 10 days. Select a message you want to sweep, and select Sweep.

A screenshot of the Sweep button

Saving photos and documents to OneDrive is another good way to make room in your inbox. To learn how to save attachments to OneDrive, see Free up storage in Outlook.com.

Make sure that the email addresses of the people you are trying to send to are formatted correctly. If you try to send a message to an incorrectly typed email address, an error message will appear.

For example, if you accidentally leave off ".com" from an email address, you will receive an error similar to this:

A screenshot of an address formatting error in Outlook.com.

To help deter spammers, Outlook.com limits the number of messages that can be sent in one day. If you receive a message that you've reached the daily message limit, try the following:

  • Save your email as a draft and send it the next day.

  • Increase your message limits by adding security info to your account (see below).

  • If the email was created on a mobile device, tap to close the message. You'll receive a prompt asking you if you want to save or delete the message. Select Save and then Sync. You can then to go Outlook.com on a computer, open the draft, and send it.

You can increase your sending limits by adding security info to your account. Go to your Microsoft account security page, select Update info, and add the following security info to your account:

Phone number

  1. Select Add security info.

  2. In the dialog box, enter your phone number.

  3. Select Next and follow the on-screen instructions.

Alternate email address

  1. Select Add security info.

  2. In the dialog box, select the arrow next to A phone number, and select An alternate email address.

  3. Enter an alternate email address.

  4. Select Next and follow the on-screen instructions.

Two-step verification

  1. Select Set up two-step verification.

  2. Enter your password, and select Sign in.

  3. Select Next and follow the on-screen instructions.

You can connect a maximum of 20 other email accounts to your Outlook.com account. If you’ve connected more than 20 accounts, you won’t be able to send or receive messages from any of your connected accounts. To resolve the issue, please remove some connected accounts so that the total number of connected accounts is 20 or fewer.

If you can't send or receive email, your account might be temporarily blocked because we noticed some unusual sign-in activity. To learn how to unblock your account, see Unblock my Outlook.com account.

Outlook.com limits the number of recipients you can add to an email message. If you exceed the limit, an error message will let you know how many recipients you can add to your email. Remove some recipients and then try sending again.

Outlook.com blocks the sending of messages when the content looks like junk email to the Outlook.com junk filters. Occasionally, legitimate email can be marked as junk. If your message is blocked, try changing the content of your message and sending it again.

Information Rights Management (IRM) allows senders to specify access permissions for their email messages, which might include preventing messages from being forwarded, read, printed, or copied by unauthorized people. To learn more about this feature, see Introduction to IRM for email messages.

Outlook.com no longer supports AUTH PLAIN authentication. If you try to send messages from a device that uses AUTH PLAIN authentication, your messages won't send. For more information, see Outlook.com no longer supports AUTH PLAIN authentication.

You can’t send email from Windows Live Mail, a mobile device, or Outlook on your computer

Earlier this year we introduced the new Outlook.com, which helps you focus on what matters, collaborate effortlessly, and get more done. As part of the upgrade, we are also moving accounts to a more secure and reliable infrastructure.

You’ll need to reconnect your Outlook.com account to Outlook on your computer or to Outlook on your phone to ensure the best experience and fix issues. For more information about how to reconnect your account, please see this article.

Windows Live Mail 2012 no longer connects to Outlook.com accounts. Windows Live Mail users will need to use a different app or use a web browser to visit www.outlook.com. The built-in Mail app on Windows is the recommended replacement for Windows Live Mail 2012, and is the most-used email application among Outlook.com users today. Read more about why Windows Live Mail 2012 will not connect to Outlook.com

If you changed your password for Outlook.com, you might need to change your email account settings in Outlook and in your mobile apps too.

If you've connected your Outlook.com account to Outlook on your computer or to Outlook on your phone and you try to send a message with an attachment that's larger than 25MB, Outlook won't send the message.

To fix the issue, go to your Outbox and then open the stuck email messages. Start with the oldest message first. If the message has an attachment that’s larger than 25MB, delete the attachment and either attach a smaller file or upload the file to OneDrive and then attach a link to the attachment. You can then try to send the message again.

To learn more about attaching files to messages in Outlook for Windows, see Attach a file to an email in Outlook for Windows.

If you're having trouble receiving or sending messages from your mobile device, try removing the device in Outlook.com options.

  1. Sign in to Outlook.com on a computer.

  2. At the top of the page, select Settings Settings > Options or View full settings > General > Mobile devices.

  3. In the list of connected mobile devices, select your phone, and then select Remove.

    Remove phone from Outlook Web App

  4. Select Yes in the confirmation box.

  5. Go to your mobile device and power it off completely.

  6. Restart your mobile device after a few seconds, and then sync your mailbox again.

Still need help?

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Related topics

Mobile devices options on Outlook.com or Outlook on the web
Storage limits in Outlook.com
Organize your inbox with Archive, Sweep, and other tools in Outlook.com
Help keep spam out of your inbox in Outlook.com

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