Tuesday, August 1, 2006

What to do when Outlook won’t send or receive


By David Gewirtz

OutlookPower reader Mike Sellards sent us in this question:

I use wireless sync with Verizon on my XV6700 and most of the time it works great, but lately Outlook often does not do a send/receive as scheduled and therefore my wireless since does not update and I do not get my emails until I manually click send and receive when I get back to my computer. I am leaving Outlook open when I leave and I have checked and it is scheduled to do an automatic send receive every 10 minutes. Any ideas?

Senior Editor James Booth did a review of the XV6700 in Computing Unplugged Magazine back in March. Sweet machine. You can read the full review at http://www.computingunplugged.com/issues/issue200603/00001731001.html.

As with all things Outlook, there are a bunch of reasons this might happen. Let's start with the easiest one.

Did you know you can manually disable the Send/Receive process in Outlook? Take a look on your Tools menu. You'll find a Send/Receive Settings submenu. And on that, you'll see an option for Disable Scheduled Send/Receive. If this is checked, then your Send/Receive process is turned off. Uncheck it and you're good to go.

But, of course, that might not be your problem. You could also have a damaged Send/Receive group. Once again, you'll go to the Tools->Send/Receive Settings menu, but this time, select Define Send/Recieve Groups. Add a new group that does the same things your old group did, delete the old group, restart Outlook, and cross your fingers.

The next possible answer to your problem isn't quite as easy to fix. Take a look at the size of your .PST or .OST files. If they're big, you may be running out of memory, or be causing Outlook to page in and out of memory too much. When your machine has a lot of free memory, Outlook is permitted more memory in RAM. When you don't have a lot of memory, Outlook has to make do with "paged" memory, meaning memory that's really running off disk. Too much of that and Outlook will stop responding.

Since you're leaving Outlook open for a long time, while away from your computer, this might be what's happening. The fix? Simply buy as much RAM as possible and see if the problem goes away. Even if it doesn't fix your Outlook, World of Warcraft will play much better!

Finally, we know of a bug in Outlook 2003 that might be causing the problem. You didn't tell us whether you're using Outlook 2003 or earlier, but as far as we know, this bug is only found in Outlook 2003. Here's how Microsoft describes it:

This problem occurs because of an Inetcomm.dll file that is the wrong version, missing or corrupted. If the Inetcomm.dll file is the wrong version, missing or corrupted Outlook starts and runs without displaying an error message. This problem occurs because of a change in the way Outlook checks the version of the Inetcomm.dll file when starting.

Microsoft doesn't give a fix, but you might try running Outlook's Detect and Repair option. It may help you out.

Hope that helps!