Delete Emails Stuck in the Windows Live Mail Outbox

Finger poised to click on a help key on a keyboard

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When, once in a while and often due to an obscure cause, an email fails to send in Windows Live Mail, it may get stuck in the Outbox folder. This folder holds messages while they are in the process of being sent—from the time you have just clicked Send until the outgoing mail server's acknowledgment that the message has been received for delivery.

In the Outbox, a message can linger and perpetually fail to send—until you remove it. Fortunately, deleting an email stuck in the Windows Live Mail Outbox is easy.

Delete Emails Stuck in the Windows Live Mail Outbox

To remove a message from the Outbox folder in Windows Live Mail when it persistently fails to send:

  • Click Work offline in the toolbar.
    • Make sure you are on the Home ribbon and that it is expanded.
    • If you cannot see Work offline, click Home first.
    • Working Offline will appear to the status bar's right (if the status bar is enabled).
  • Open the Outbox folder.
    • Make sure the folder list is visible in full.
      • Select View | Compact view in the ribbon if it is highlighted.
      • Click Mail at the folder list's bottom.
      • Select Outbox in the list.
  • Click on the message you want to delete and keep the mouse button pressed.
  • Holding down the Ctrl key as well, drag the message to the Drafts folder for an account or Storage folders.
  • Release the mouse button over Drafts, then release the Ctrl key.
  • Now highlight the message you want to delete in the Outbox folder.
  • Press Del.
    • You can also press Ctrl-D or click Home | Delete in the ribbon, of course.

In the Drafts folder to which you copied the message the failed to send, you can now try double-clicking that email to edit it, fix any problems and attempt delivery again.