Outlook crashes upon send/receive

Whenever I try to send a message, click on the Send/Receive button or when Outlook sends/receives by itself, Outlook crashes.
I can still use all the other functions in Outlook and Outlook works just fine when I place it in Offline mode. However, it would be nice to be able to send/receive some new emails as well. ;-)

How can I get Outlook back to work again?

There are a couple of common causes and solutions for this.

Note: If you are getting send/receive errors instead of crashes, see the guide; Send/Receive errors

Disable virus scanner integration

This is really where to start. If you still have a virus scanner installed which integrates itself with Outlook, disable this integration and try again. Turning off your virus scanner will not disable its integration components. Consult the documentation of your virus scanner on how to properly disable its mail integration components.

You can also opt to uninstall your virus scanner completely to make sure it cannot interfere while testing. Afterwards you can install it again without the mail scanning features or use Microsoft Security Essentials instead.

Contrary to common beliefs, you are still fully protected if your virus scanner does not integrate with Outlook. Also see; Disable virus scanner integration?

Reset send/receive settings

Outlook keeps the send/receive settings in an srs-file. If this file gets corrupted somehow, the send/receive will crash. To reset your send/receive settings, all you have to do is renaming the srs-file to .old when Outlook is closed. You can find the file in the following location;

  • Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
    C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\

Note 1: The file is called <profilename>.srs where <profilename> stands for the name of your Outlook Mail Profile. By default this is called Outlook so the file would then be called outlook.srs and you would rename it to outlook.old.

Note 2: Resetting the srs-file will not delete any mail accounts from Outlook. It only resets information such as how often Outlook will check for new mail.

Pst-file corruption and size

If your pst-file holds any corruptions, then writing new data to it could crash Outlook as well. To scan your pst-file for errors you can use the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe).

If the pst-file is reaching the 2GB (usually around 1.8GB) and you are using an ANSI formatted pst-file, your are reaching the limit of the pst-file. In that you must start with a new pst-file. If you are in ANSI format and are using Outlook 2003 or later, you can convert your pst-file to a Unicode formatted pst-file.

Corrupt message on mail server

If the message on the server to be downloaded is not what Outlook expected, depending on the message corruption, Outlook could crash. To remedy this, logon to your mailbox via the web interface provided by your ISP or company and take a look at the messages that still need to be downloaded. If the send/receive crash is caused by a corrupt message, it often is not hard to detect which message it is; usually it is caused by a spam message.

Delete the corrupt message from the web based mailbox and try the send/receive function in Outlook again.

Note; Some web mailboxes require you to delete the message twice to really get rid of it. For instance, when your ISP is using H-Sphere Horde Mail, look for the “Purge Deleted” option.

Recreate the mail profile

If Outlook still crashes upon send/receive, the issue might be rooted in your mail profile. To verify this, you can recreate your mail profile.

Further troubleshooting

Still nothing? Further details about your crash and Outlook environment is needed. Look in the Event Viewer to locate Outlook’s crash log. Then post this crash log including additional information about your environment (such as version of Outlook, version of Windows and type of mail account) in one of the Outlook Forums.

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