How do I fix my Outlook not receiving emails? (updated 2024)

How do I fix my Outlook not receiving emails? (updated 2024)

- Published: - 9 minutes read

Is your Outlook not working? In this quick guide, go over 11 common reasons why you may not be receiving new emails. We’ll also show you what you can do to fix them. So that you can get your inbox running again in no time!

It’s been 3 hours. And still no sign of that important email you were supposed to receive earlier. You’ve tried checking your internet connection, logging in and out of your Microsoft account, refreshing the page a few times… But despite your efforts, your inbox remains desperately empty. Why is your Outlook not receiving email? And more importantly, what can you do about it? In today’s guide, we’ll go over 11 proven ways to fix Outlook not receiving emails.

Let’s fix this together. One step at a time.

Check your internet connection

Let’s start with the basics. Outlook needs a working internet connection to reach its email servers.

If your computer, phone, or tablet is not connected to the internet, Outlook can’t refresh and load your new emails in your inbox.

So take a moment to check if your internet connection is working properly. The fastest way to do that is to open your web browser and try to load your favorite website. If nothing happens, your internet is down, which would explain why you’re not receiving emails at the moment.

Open your junk folder

Outlook has powerful built-in spam filters. All your incoming emails are scanned for potential malicious links and common spam words.

If an email triggers the spam filters, Microsoft automatically moves it to your junk folder. And in most cases, that’s where it belongs.

But every once in a while, the Microsoft filters get it wrong and accidentally label a normal email as spam.

To make sure the email you’ve been waiting for isn’t in your spam folder, click Junk Email in the left side menu of your Outlook account. Also, if an important message lands in your spam folder, open it and click Mark as Not Spam to prevent similar emails from being flagged as spam.

Take a look at the Other tab

A few years ago, Microsoft introduced a new feature called Focused inbox. This feature basically divides your inbox into two tabs.

  • The Focused tab contains the messages that Outlook deems the most important.
  • The Other tab is meant for low-priority emails, such as promotional messages and newsletters.

So the email you’ve been looking for might just be sitting in the Other tab of your inbox. Fortunately, you can change how your messages get organized.

To do so, right-click on a message located in your Other tab and select Move to Focused. Alternatively, if you want all future messages from this sender to be delivered to the Focused tab, you can select Always Move to Focused.

Are you in offline mode?

Microsoft comes with a great option called Work Offline. Once enabled, this setting lets you disconnect from the server. Which means that you won’t be able to receive new messages.

This is a great way to get some peace of mind after a hard day of work. But at some point, you’ll need to disable the offline mode in Outlook if you want to access your latest emails.

Outlook Offline mode

To bring your Outlook back online, click the Go Online button located at the top of your screen. Then wait for a minute or two for your Outlook to refresh itself.

Clear the Outlook cache

The Outlook app saves cache files on your computer to improve its performance and run more smoothly. If your cache files are corrupted, you may not receive new emails. The solution here is to clear the Outlook cache. Deleting cache files won’t delete any of your Outlook emails or attachments.

To clear the cache, save any ongoing work you have. Then close Outlook. Press Windows key + R, and type %localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook in the Run dialog box. Then press Enter. Open the RoamCache folder to view your cache files. Make a copy of the files – just to be on the safe side. Select all the cache files, right-click them, and click Delete.

Edit your filter settings

Outlook lets you create custom email rules to organize your inbox and automate parts of your email routine, which is a great way to improve your productivity and keep your inbox clutter-free.

But email rules can be a bit tricky. So if you’ve been experimenting with them recently, you may have accidentally created a rule that deletes, archives or marks your emails as spam.

To review your Outlook filters, go to Settings > Rules. From there, you can easily deactivate or delete any email rules you find problematic.

Is Outlook down?

Microsoft servers are very reliable. So they don’t often go down. But still, it’s worth checking if other users are currently experiencing similar issues with Outlook.

There are at least 3 places where you can go to check whether or not Outlook is up and running. You can visit the Microsoft 365 Service Status page. If you see a red or yellow symbol next to, Microsoft is experiencing an issue and is aware of the problem. You can also log in to X (Twitter) and try searching for #Outlookdown to see if you can find any recent tweets from other users. Lastly, you can use a collaborative platform. Go to an online platform like Down Detector and check if anyone reported an issue with Outlook.

Check your blocked users list

Outlook lets you block a sender or a domain in just a few clicks. This is a great way to protect your inbox from spammers and cyberbullies.

Once you’ve blocked someone, Microsoft automatically sends all their emails to your Junk Folder regardless of their content.

So if you’re waiting for an email from someone, you may want to check if the sender is registered on your blocked users list.

To access your list of blocked users, sign in to your Outlook account. Then go to Settings > Junk Email > Blocked senders and domains. Is the email address of the sender listed here? If yes, make sure to remove it. You can even whitelist this address by adding it to your Safe senders and domains list.

How’s your storage limit?

Outlook accounts can have up to 100GB of storage per mailbox. Which is more than enough in most cases. But if you’ve never cleaned your inbox, then you might have maxed out your storage limit.

If that’s the case, you won’t be able to receive emails as long as you don’t make room in your inbox. Try clearing your account from unwanted content. Alternatively, you can save your large attachments to OneDrive.

Update your Outlook

Have you checked your Google Play Store, or your Apple App Store for Microsoft Outlook updates? Maybe you’re using an old version of Outlook, which could explain why you’re not receiving emails.

Updating your apps regularly is important to keep them working well and securely. It's a good idea to do updates when available. This prevents security problems and syncing errors.

Create a new Profile

If you’re Outlook is still not receiving emails at this point, there might be an issue with your Outlook profile. The best way to fix a corrupt Outlook profile is to create a new one and discard your old profile.

To create a new Outlook profile, go to your account settings, and head over to Profiles. From there, click the + sign to add a new profile. Enter a name for your profile and click Create. Add your email account to your profile, and restart Outlook to use your new profile.


There could be dozens of reasons why your Outlook is not receiving emails. The most frequent issues typically include internet connectivity issues, emails being accidentally sent to spam or to the Other tab of your inbox, storage limitations, or technical issues with the device or browser you are using to access your messages. Try to implement each of the steps listed in this guide to identify where the issue comes from and quickly get your inbox back up and running.

This guide was written by Paul Anthonioz, content editor at Mailmeteor. Mailmeteor is a simple & privacy-focused emailing software. Trusted by millions of users worldwide, it is often considered as the best tool to send newsletters with Gmail. Give us a try and let us know what you think!

Published in:

One giant leap for your inbox

Sign up for tips and industry insights to level up your emailing skills.

Explore more from Mailmeteor

Articles, examples, tutorials, and inspiration from our emailing experts.