Cannot Delete Outlook Emails in Windows 11/10 Fix

Many users have reported that all of a sudden they are unable to delete any emails from Outlook. Some more details about the error:

  • Messages can’t be deleted from any of the folders( I
  • nbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items)
  • Messages cannot be deleted when the delete button is pressed from the keyboard. Also, when you right-click and delete a message, the message is not deleted.
  • Sometimes, Outlook gets stuck for a long time. Even after closing and re-opening the Outlook app, deletion does not work.

If you have encountered this problem, there is nothing to worry about. In this article, let us discover different ways of deleting emails from the Outlook app. Make sure to try the fixes in the same order as listed below.

Fix 1: Hard Delete the Emails

Step 1: Open Outlook and  Select the Emails that are to be deleted.

Step 2: Press the Shift+Delete keys from the keyboard at the same time.

NOTE: The emails are deleted permanently from the outlook. They don’t move to trash. In case you do not want this to happen, try the next fix.

Fix 2: Empty the Deleted Items folder and then try to delete

Step 1: Open Outlook application

Step 2: Go to Bin . right click on Bin folder and then click on Empty folder

Empty Folder Outlook Min

Step 3: Also, Locate and Right-click on the Deleted Items folders in the left-side pane

Step 4: Choose Empty Folder from the context menu

 

Empty deleted items

 

 

Step 4: Now, Log Out of Outlook.

Step 5: Now, Restart Outlook, Login back again and then try to delete mails.

Now try deleting the emails. If this does not work, try the next fix.

Fix 3 – Mark Items for deletion

This method only works for IMAP accounts. So, if you have IMAP account in Outlook , Proceed.

1 – Open control panel.

2 – Click on View by and then select Large Icons
Screenshot 2022 06 21 131915 Min

3 – Click on Mail (Microsoft Outlook). Please note , it may have a slight different name on your PC based on version.

 

Mail Outlook Cp Min

 



4 – Click Email accounts

Email Accounts Min

 

5 – Now, double click on your Outlook email .

 

Email Acc Min

6 – Click on More Settings

Www Min

 

7 – Select Mark items for deletions … option.

Also, check Purge items when switching folders … option

Mark Item Deletion Min

 

8 -Click OK and close window.

Now, restart outlook and try to delete mail again

Fix 4 – Outlook Cleanup Tools

1 -Open Outlook.

2 -Click on File.

3 – Click on Info from left menu

4 – Select Mailbox settings from right side.

 

Mailbox Settings Min

 

5 – It has 3 Options to delete older emails and Bin folder items.

 

Screenshot 2022 06 21 130945 Min

 

6 – Click on Mailbox cleanup

7 – Now, find and delete items using find.

Also, you can use various option on this screen to empty trash items on Outlook.

Mail Cleanup Tool Min

Fix 5- Remove and Re add profile

1 – Open control panel.

2 – Click on View by and then select Large Icons
Screenshot 2022 06 21 131915 Min

3 – Click on Mail (Microsoft Outlook). Please note , it may have a slight different name on your PC based on version.

 

Mail Outlook Cp Min

4 – Select Show profiles on the screen appearing.

Show Profiles Outlook Min

 

5 -Now, select your outlook profile and click on Remove.

Note: – You are going to delete your outlook mail profile from your PC.  Do, not worry , as we will add it again, but this will delete , the offline cached content on your PC.

Remove Outlook Min

 

6 – Now, Open Outlook again.

7- Re-add the account by entering the email address.

Fix 6: Increase the size of the PST file

Step 1: Open run window holding Windows+r

Step 2: Enter regedit and press Enter

 

Regedit In Run

 

 

Step 3: If you see the User Account Control window popping up, click on the Yes button

NOTE: Registry editing can have an adverse effect on the system even with the slightest mistake. It is advised to take the backup of the registry before proceeding. To take a backup, In the Registry Editor–> Go to File –> Export –> Save your Backup file.

 

Step 4: In the top bar, copy-paste the following location and hit Enter as shown below

  • For Outlook 2016 or 2019: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\PST
  • For Outlook 2013               : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\PST
  • For Outlook 2010               : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\PST
  • For Outlook 2007               : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\PST

 

 

registry outlook pst

 

NOTE: If the PST Folder does not exist. You can create one using the below steps

1. Right-click on the Outlook folder from the left side pane

2. Choose New –> Key

3. Name the newly created key/folder as PST

 

 

New Key

 

 

Step 5:  Create two DWORD keys namely MaxLargeFileSize and WarnLargeFileSize. You can ignore this step if the keys are already present

1. In the right-side pane, right-click anywhere on the empty area and choose New –> DWORD(32-bit) Value

 

 

New DWORD

 

 

2. Name it as MaxLargeFileSize. Follow the same steps for creating WarnLargeFileSize

 

 

Max and Warn size

 

 

Step 6: Double click to Modify the MaxLargeFileSize key.

Step 7: In the Edit DWORD window, Under the Base section choose Decimal

Step 8: Under the Value section, set the required maximum value in MBs

NOTE:

  • The value must be specified in MBs. Eg: 50 GB means ( 50*1024=51200MBs)
  • In Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016 & 2019 by default the maximum size limit is 50GB.
  • In Outlook 2003 & 2007 by default the maximum size limit  is 20GB

As an example, let us say, you want to increase the PST file size of Outlook 2019 from 50 GB to 90 GB, you have to specify the value 90*1024= 92160 in the Value field

 

 

Edit MaxLargeFileSize

 

 

Step 9: Double click to Modify the WarnLargeFileSize key.

Step 7: In the Edit DWORD window, Under the Base section choose Decimal

Step 8: Under the Value section, set the required maximum value in MBs

NOTE: This value must be 95% of the value specified in MaxLargeFileSize. If you set the value for MaxLargeFileSize as 90 GB(92160 MBs). The value of WarnLargeFileSize should be 87552.

 

 

WarnLargeFileSize

 

 

Step 9: Restart the system and check if you are able to delete the emails.If not try the general fixes mentioned below.

Fix 7: Run Outlook in Safe mode

Sometimes ceratin Add-Ins can cause this issue. In order to Troubleshoot that Run Outlook without any Add-Ins

Step 1: Hold the keys Windows+r from the keyboard simultaneously.

Step 2: In the Run dialog that opens, type outlook.exe /safe, and click OK

 

Outlook

 

 

Step 3: Outlook opens in safe mode where all the Add-Ins have been disabled.

Step 4: If you are able to delete the emails now, it means that this error is caused due to some Add-In. Disable the Add-Ins one after the other and check which Add-in caused the issue.

Step 5: Open MS Outlook normally in your system

Step 6: Click on the File menu option as shown below

 

 

File From Menu

 

 

Step 7: In the window that shows up, from the left bottom corner, select Options

 

 

Options

 

 

Step 8: From the Outlook Options window, choose Add-ins from the left-hand side menu

Step 9: All the add-ins will be displayed. Choose COM Add-ins from the drop-down located at the bottom of the window and click on the Go button

 

 

Manage Add-ins

 

 

Step 10: Untick all the plugins and click on OK

 

 

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Step 11: Now, enable one add-in at a time and check which add-in caused the issue.

Step 12: Once, the trouble-causing add-in is identified take necessary action.

If this fix doesn’t help and the issue still persists, try the next fix.

 

Fix 8: Repair the PST File

The .pst file in case of pop3 accounts and, the .ost file in case of IMAP accounts hold all the data wrt to an account in the system. When MS Outlook connects to the internet, this file is updated with the new contents. This file is responsible for showing the existing mails in MS Outlook when the system is Offline. Now, when this file gets corrupted, the synchronization issues are bound to occur.

Step 1: Identify the location of the .pst or .ost file

1: Open the MS Outlook Application

2: Click on File from the top menu options

 

 

File From Menu

 

 

3: In the appearing window,

  1. Under the Info tab
  2. Click on Account Settings
  3. Click on Account Settings from the Pop-Up Context Menu

 

 

Acc Info

 

 

4: In the Account Settings window that opens, Go to the Data Files tab, Note the location of the file of the account that has issues.

 

 

Pst Location

 

 

Step 2: Identify the location of SCANPST.EXE and run the application

The location is different for different versions of Outlook.

  • Outlook 2019: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

  • Outlook 2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
  • Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
  • Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
  • Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12

Based on the Outlook version on your system, go to the appropriate location and double click on SCANPST.EXE

 

 

Scanpstdotexe

 

 



Step 3: When the SCANPST application opens,

  1. Paste the filename in the Enter the name of the file you want to scan section. The location that we noted in Step 1, point 4
  2. Click on the Start button

NOTE: Even the OST files can be repaired using the SCANPST application.

 

 

Scanpst

 

Fix 9: UpdateOutlook Application

Step 1: Open the MS Outlook Application in your system

Step 2: Click on File from the top menu options

 

File From Menu

 

Step 3: In the appearing window, Select the Office Account from the left-hand side.

Step 4: Click on Update Options

Step 5: Choose Update Now  from the drop-down

 

Update Office Min

 

 

Step 6: Wait for the updates to install in the system

Check if the issue has resolved. If you are not able to delete the emails yet, try the next fix.

Fix 10: Repair the Outlook Application

Step 1: Hold the keys Windows+r together

Step 2: In the Run window, type appwiz.cpl, and hit Enter 

 

 

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Step 3: In the Program and Features window that opens, locate Microsoft Office Suite or Microsoft 365. Right-click on it and select Change

 

 

Change Option

 



 

Step 4:  If the UAC pops up asking for permissions, click on Yes

Step 5: In the appearing window, check Quick Repair.

Step 6: Click on the Repair button

 

 

Quick Repir

 

 

Step 7: Follow the instructions shown and repair the Office programs.

Step 8: If the issue is encountered due to a corrupted Outlook application, this fix will resolve the issue.

Step 9: Restart the application and check if the issue has fixed. If not, try choosing Online Repair (instead of Quick Repair as in Step 6) to repair the Office apps.

Step 10: Restart the application and check if the error has been fixed.

That’s All. We hope this has been informative. Kindly comment and let us know which of the above fix helped you.

Thank you for Reading.