Symptoms: Outlook connects and reports its receiving email,  completes but no new email appears in the inbox.


There are a few potential causes for this and these are:

  1. You have applied a view or have sorted the inbox by subject or reverse sorted by date,
  2. The email it downloaded was put in another folder other than inbox
  3. Your PST file is either corrupt or getting beyond the size limits that the operating system can address.


  1. Look for the date header above the listed emails.  Click it and the list of email will resort by date.

    Click it again and it will sort in the reverse order.  Keep clicking it to toggle between ascending and descending,  most people like new email to appear at the top but some people I have spoken with inexplicably to me like new email at the end of the list.

    Sometimes you can apply a view,  For example,  Show only read messages, this was more a vetting in older Outlook versions as I recall.  Check under the view menu/tab across the top.

  2. You may have email filter rules set up that test the incoming email and if it meets particular criteria and if true have its files in another folder so check in other folders that show as bold and have an unread count in brackets next to them,  these are possible locations that new email is going.  If you find the email in another folder that is not Junk/Spam related then look for an email rule or filter in the outlook settings,

    If it’s going into a Junk/Spam folder them your junk email settings caught it.  You can train Outlook not to mark it as junk by right clicking the email and select Mark As > Not Junk.  If all email is going in Junk then you have your Junk settings set too high and may even have to Reset your email junk settings.

    Sometimes a 3rd part addon in Outlook can be used for Junk email filtering like Norton/Symantec have an anti-spam add-on.  If you do check its spam filtering settings and documentation for more information on a solution.

  3. Your PST file is too big or corrupted.  Microsoft Outlook uses a PST file to store all the email in,  its basically a database with an index that is supposed to allow you to see all email in the PST file.  The index or the file can become corrupt or unstable.  This can happen if you don’t perform a regular compact on the PST file or if it gets too big.

    Microsoft supplies a little application to repair PST files as it knows this is a flawed setup and can regularly break,  Why they have never come up with a better solution I don’t understand or even built the repair software into Outlook?!!,  possibly to keep them in support contracts.

    To solve this issue,  you can either…

  1. Try starting outlook by holding down CTRL when you start it and it will go into safe mode.  Then go into the account settings > data files and looking at the properties of the datafile and trying a compact,  Copying the path to the location of the PST file into clipboard at this point might be advisable if this option doesn’t work.  restart outlook after the compact is complete,  If the email is back then you dodged a bullet and try compacting more frequently.
  2. Open up the files and folders in windows and using the search in the upper right locate scanpst.exe scanning the entire hard drive.  It will show a yellow envelope when its located.  Run it,  Enter the path of the PST file including the name of the file,

    if you copied it in the stage above then you can paste in the location by right click > paste.  Run the repair,  Stage 1 will take a long time but the rest is usually pretty fast.

    Repair the PST file when it reports its corrupted and likely it will.  and then reload Outlook and see if resolved.  Advise backing up the PST file beforehand an possibly the need to run the ScanPST several times to repair the problems.