Outlook 2007 - Emails sticking in outbox.
This generally relates to an issue with emails which include large attachments, and the settings for Outlook; however, it is typically seen with POP accounts rather than accounts associated with an Exchange server. This is a documented issue with Outlook 2003, and although it has not been documented as such with Outlook 2007, I have encountered several users with the same exact issue.
The root of this situation can be found primarily within the Outlook account settings. Basically, the time it takes to send the message with the attachment(s) is longer than the established setting for server timeout. Of course, the frequency of occurrence of this issue will vary depending on several factors: (1) the speed/bandwidth of the internet connection used for transmission; (2) the size of the message and attachment(s); (3) the server timeout setting established within Outlook for the email account being used; and (4) using file compression (zip) to decrease attachment size.
As you mention both Outlook 2007 and 2003, I am not certain if the issue is occurring in both instances, as it appears. I have not yet heard of this issue with Exchange involved, but I would imagine it is possible. Resolving the Exchange piece will take coordination with the administrator of the Exchange server, however, as the server would basically control the external communication piece.
On the individual PC being utilized, however, it is typical to find a server timeout set at 1 minute, and likewise, automatic send/receive set at 5 minutes. Though the automatic send/receive timing does not appear to be directly related to this problem, if the setting for the server timeout were to create a conflict with the automatic send/receive process, this could create further issues. Therefore, I recommend adjusting both settings in order to avoid any such conflict, in addition to correcting the primary problem regarding sending of email messages.
In Outlook 2003, the process for changing the server timeout is: Tools > E-mail Accounts > [select account] > Change > More Settings > Advanced. Then within the Advanced tab, there will be a slider below the title "Server Timeouts", which will lengthen the timeout as it "slides" to the right. The maximum is 10 minutes, and I have had users choose to set the time as high as possible, but generally 5 minutes should be sufficient. This setting is the primary contributor to the problem you are experiencing. In other words, the server is timing out in accordance with your settings, and those settings are causing a timeout before the message/attachment transmission can be completed. This is causing the cyclical treatment you are seeing, wherein the message transmission is not completed prior to the timeout of the server, therefore, it is beginning transmission again at the end of each timeout period (for example, every 1 minute). I would also caution at this point that, whatever the final choices may be, the ISP should be consulted to ensure that there is no standard or maximum, e.g., established for their service.
If you choose to change the Send/Receive ("S/R") Settings, this can be reached in two ways. (1) Tools > S/R > S/R Settings > Define S/R Groups; OR (2) Tools > Options > Mail Setup > S/R. Either path will bring you to a window titled "Send/Receive Groups" where you will see general settings for any groups set up within your Outlook application. For instance, it is typical to see a group titled "All Accounts" (which affects all email accounts included in the group), and often the checkboxes will be marked to include the group in S/R, to schedule automatic S/R every ** minutes (typically 5 minutes), and perhaps to perform an automatic S/R when exiting. It is recommended that any automatic S/R scheduled be longer than the server timeout as set above to avoid any potential conflict.
In implementing these changes, it is important to remember the involvement of the ISP and the general rules with which subscribers must comply; therefore, it would be prudent to verify that the ISP does not have any particular concerns with the values chosen for each of these functions. Additionally, depending on the typical size of the attachments included with your email messages, you may consider zipping the files prior to sending, which compresses the files and can result in file sizes reduced by perhaps 50%. Obviously, reducing file sizes would have a corresponding dramatic reduction on the amount of time required to transmit the message (and for the recipient to download same). Quickly, the easiest way to zip a file would be to right-click on the file in a "My Computer" or "Explorer" window, Send To, and choose Compressed/Zipped Folder. This will save your file with the same name within the same folder, but with a .zip extension, and file size will be dramatically lower.
Although the steps detailed above are directed toward Outlook 2003, the settings to be adjusted in Outlook 2007 are the same, just with a slightly altered path to reach each "end result". This is obviously a fairly complex issue, and I would welcome any further questions or requests for clarification if you need further assistance.
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Aug 28, 2008 |
Microsoft Outlook 2003 for PC