Tip & How-To about Microsoft Computers & Internet
Have you ever sent an email using Outlook, and your email goes into the "Outbox" instead of being sent? This tip may help you to determine what's going on.
The Windows Task Bar
On the Windows task bar located at the bottom of your screen, is the "Icon Tray" that is helpful in determining what's going on with what is currently running. When everything is working as it should, the icons will look similar to the ones shown here. The icons you see vary depending on what services and applications are currently running. It also depends on which icons you have chosen to be visible, hidden, or visible at certain times. Those options are located in the Task Bar Preferences.
1. The Outlook icon shows that Outlook is running normally.
2. The envelope shows there is a new email message waiting. There is no need to open Outlook to check for new messages.
The Outlook Status Bar
When Outlook is running (not minimized), it has its own Status bar in the lower right corner of the Outlook window. This image shows that Outlook is connected and performing a "Send/Receive" to check for new messages and to send messages from the Outbox. The Windows Taskbar also shows that Outlook is performing a Send/Receive (indicated by the change in the Outlook icon).
When you send an email, the email always goes to your Outbox where it waits to be delivered. When does it get delivered? Well, that depends on the following two factors: 1) there is an internet connection. 2) Outlook's setting for the Send/Receive interval. You can set Outlook to perform a S/R immediately when you click Send, but technically you're setting Outlook to perform a S/R immediately when a message is put in the Outbox. Normally this happens so quickly that you don't notice the Outbox turning bold. But rest assured, your outgoing message always goes to your Outbox to await its time even if it's immediately.
You can have Outlook perform a S/R based on a time interval of your choosing. This is useful when you have limited connection at certain times of the day, or you if you want all your emails to be delivered in a batch at one time rather than "as you go". Having Outlook perform a S/R every 15 min, for example, means that during the times between, your bandwidth is free for other types of traffic like video chat where the more bandwidth available, the better.
When problems arise, glance down at the two bars. Using the image here, see if you can determine what's wrong before reading the explanation.
It's actually quite easy. If you look at the icons in the proper sequence, the first one to check is the internet connection. For me, it's the second icon from the right next to my volume control. Shown here, it indicates I've lost my internet connection. I wouldn't need to even open Outlook to know what the problem is. With no internet connection, Outlook can't connect.
If I did open Outlook, I'd most likely see what is shown here. Outlook shows it is Disconnected and that there is a Send/Receive error. You might wonder in bewilderment, as I do, why does Outlook attempt to perform a S/R if it knows it's disconnected? I guess that's for the geniuses at Microsoft to figure out.
Posted by Randy... on
Aug 31, 2009 | Computers & Internet
Jun 18, 2008 | Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 for PC
1,894 people viewed this tip
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