Users are commonly encountered with situations where their message is stuck in Outlook’s Outbox. This happens generally because the email was probably too huge for MS Outlook to send. When the user tries deleting that message they fail and Microsoft Outlook returns an error pop-up box that reads: Cannot open this item. Outlook has already begun transmitting this message.


Therefore, there are some methods to resolve this issue and get the mail out of the Outbox.

Method 1: Use Windows Search

If you are working on Window 7 Operating System, you will be able to use the Start Search field to seek out and delete the message(s) stuck within the Microsoft Outlook Outbox folder. First, you have to close Microsoft Outlook to delete the message.

Steps to Delete Stuck Message from Outlook Outbox:

  • Close “Microsoft Outlook” >> type outbox or store:mapi outbox in the Start search field.
  • Wait till the search completes, find the email and delete it.


 Note: This solution does not work on Win 8/10 OS.

Method 2: Work Offline

You can also delete the stuck message(s) from Outbox folder if you set Microsoft Outlook to Offline mode. Wait for about two or five minutes for the mail spooler process to stop. Alternatively, you can also close MS Outlook & restart it. Now, check the Outbox folder and delete the message.

In Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Earlier

  • Click on “File” >> go to “Work Offline” option

In Microsoft Outlook 2010

  • Open Microsoft Outlook >> Click on “Send/Receive” tab >> hit on “Work Offline” >> close “Outlook”.


The above screenshot shows Work Offline option as ‘enabled’, but when Microsoft Outlook is in Offline mode, the button appears in a yellowish-orange color.

If your Microsoft Outlook version does not include Work Offline option, then do the following:

  • Disconnect it from the network or disable the network card within the control board Network.
  • Wait for a few seconds. You may have to wait longer if the message stuck is huge. Once it appears; select and delete it.

Method 3:

  • Open Task Manager by pressing the combination of CTRL+SHIFT+ESC button >> under Processes tab, verify that outlook.exe process is no longer listed.
  • Restart Microsoft Outlook.
  • Double click on the message in Outbox to open it.
  • Delete it, move it to the Drafts folder, or remove its attachments and send it again.
  • Put Microsoft Outlook back in online mode by going to the File tab >> Send/Receive tab >> click on Work Offline.
  • Press the Send/Receive button.