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Summary: Sometimes, Outlook users are unable to download their emails due to various reasons. In this post, we have provided a few simple fixes to resolve this problem. If the issue has occurred due to corrupt Outlook data file, you can use Inbox Repair Tool or a third-party PST repair software to repair the corrupt file.  

For Outlook users, difficulty in downloading emails is quite frustrating. The problem not only hampers workflow but also wastes a considerable amount of time. Knowing the cause of this problem can help resolve it easily. 

What to do If You’re Unable to Download an Email in Outlook?

If you can’t download emails in Microsoft Outlook, you can apply the appropriate solution depending on the cause. Below, we have shared some most effective solutions to fix the issue.

  1. Check if Offline Mode is Enabled

You should begin the troubleshooting by checking the status of your Internet connectivity. To do that, open the Outlook menu and see if Work Offline setting is enabled. If it is enabled, click it to disable it. Then check if you are able to download Outlook emails. 

  1. Delete Outlook Cache Files
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Outlook saves some Exchange mailbox data locally to improve efficiency and performance. If this local cache data gets corrupt, you may face issues when downloading certain emails. You can delete the cache files to fix the issue. Follow these steps:

  1. Close Outlook and press Windows + R keys. 
  2. In the Run tool that opens, type %localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook and press the ENTER key. 
  3. In the Outlook folder that opens, open the RoamCache folder. This folder stores all cache files.
  4. Delete the cache files manually by pressing Shift + Del
  1. Create a New Outlook Profile

Sometimes, Outlook users are unable to download an email in Microsoft Outlook because of corrupt Outlook profile. You can create a new profile and set it as default to fix the issue. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook and go to File > Account Settings > Manage Profiles
  2. In the Mail Setup window that opens, click the Show Profiles button. 
  1. Click the Add button. Provide a name for the profile and press ENTER
  2. In the Add Account window, provide the following details to set up the profile: name, email address, and password.
  3. After creating and saving the profile, click the Show Profiles button again. In the Always use this profile menu, select the new profile and click OK
  1. Update Outlook 
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If your Outlook is missing some important updates, you may encounter the “unable to download emails” issue. You can manually install the updates to resolve the issue. 

To update Microsoft Outlook, follow these steps:

  • Close all Microsoft Office applications except for Microsoft Outlook. 
  • Go to File > Account and click the Update Options button. 
  • Select the option Update Now and wait for Outlook to install the latest updates. 
  • Restart Outlook. 
  1. Repair Outlook PST File

If your Outlook data file (.PST) is corrupt, you may face problems while downloading the emails. Outlook comes with a free PST repair tool called Inbox Repair Tool or ScanPST that you can use to repair the corrupt Personal Storage Table (PST) file. 

You can find ScanPST.exe in the following locations:

  • 32-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office1x\
  • 64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office1x\

To repair Outlook data file, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click ScanPST.exe to launch it. 
  2. Click the Browse button and provide the path to the damaged PST file.
  3. Click the Start button to initiate the scanning process. Once the scanning process is complete, it will display the results.
  4. Click the Repair button to begin the repair process. Once it is done, you can find the repaired Outlook data file in the original location.

If ScanPST fails to repair the PST for any reason, then you can use an advanced PST repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook. This specialized utility can repair severely corrupt PST files in a few simple steps. It can repair entire Outlook mailbox, including emails, attachments, calendars, etc. It also offers advanced features, such as mailbox preview before saving, selective repair, deleted items recovery, etc. 


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If you are unable to download an email in Microsoft Outlook, you need to look into the underlying cause. From corrupt Outlook data file to corrupt profile, there are many reasons that may cause this issue. Once you identity the reason, you can apply the appropriate solution to resolve the issue.