How to Fix Outlook When It's Not Receiving Emails

Troubleshoot Outlook when things go wrong

If you were expecting an email and it never arrived or are missing new messages in Microsoft Outlook, troubleshooting can help you pinpoint and resolve the problem. We put together information about common reasons why Outlook isn't receiving emails to help you get back up and running.

These instructions apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010 for Windows; Outlook for Mac 2019, 2016, and 2011; and Outlook.com, Microsoft's free web-based email client.

Email not getting to its frustrated recipient
Lifewire / Alex Dos Diaz

Causes of Non-Receipt of Emails

There are a few reasons why you may not be receiving new emails. Below are a few possible causes:

  • No internet connection.
  • Messages go to the Junk Email folder.
  • A corrupt email profile.
  • A bad email rule.
  • Outlook is set to work offline.

How to Fix Outlook When It's Not Receiving Emails

This issue can occur in a Windows system, macOS, and the online version of Outlook.

If Outlook won't open, the article Outlook Won't Open? may help.

  1. Restart Outlook. On occasion, Outlook (and other applications) may hang up, or stop working altogether. Closing and re-opening Outlook could clear up any issues that prevent the receipt of emails.

  2. Check the internet connection. If you see DisconnectedWorking Offline, or Trying to connect statuses on the Outlook status bar, there may be some network connectivity issues, or Outlook is set to work offline.

    To change Outlook to work online, select Send/Receive > Preferences > Work Offline.

  3. Check offline settings. If you have issues on a Mac and have disabled Work Offline, you may need to sign in to your email account and change your settings.

  4. Check other Outlook folders for messages. If you don't see new emails in the Inbox, those messages may be going to the Junk Email folder. If you use Outlook.com, those messages may be in the Other section.

  5. Check your other devices. You may have downloaded the message to another device such as a phone, tablet, or work computer. If the POP email in Outlook is not set to save a copy on the server, your missing email may be on the device where you first checked your email.

  6. Create a new Outlook profile. Outlook uses something called a profile to store information about the email accounts you set up and the configuration settings you chose to determine where your email messages are delivered and stored (such as on the mail server or your computer). If your Outlook profile is corrupt, it can cause you to stop receiving email.

  7. Clear the Outlook cache. Sometimes emails get stuck in the incoming processing in Outlook, which sometimes stores these emails in a hidden ItemProcSearch folder. Clearing the cache should reveal the missing email.

  8. Check your email rules. If you created any rules, it's possible that your emails are being routed away from your Inbox, forwarded to another email account, or being deleted.