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Outlook 2002 problems including the error message “The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook”

Posted on 2004-04-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
Here are the multiple of problems that I experience with regard to my Outlook 2002.

•      When I try to move a mail message from one folder to another I get the error message: “Cant’ move the items”

•      When I try to delete a mail message I get the error message: “The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook”

•      When I try to download messages the message flag (the envelope) that indicates down load flashes however nothing comes into the INBOX.

•      After the down loading has stopped I get the following error messages for all the mail boxes where there are messages waiting to be downloaded: Task ‘EMAIL ADDRESS’ - Sending and Receiving' reported error (0x8004060C) : 'Unknown Error 0x8004060C'

•      A message which is sitting in my outbox (addressed to myself as a test) is uploaded every time and use the send and receive function. However the message is not moved over to the sent folder after the upload and is therefore uploaded again the next time the “send and receive” function is performed.

This problem started 24 hours ago and is a completely new experience for me. I have not done any changes to Outlook prior to this problem occurring.

I performed a test using OUTLOOK EXPRESS which downloaded messages without any problems.

After reading suggested solutions to Outlook problems that looked similar but not identical to my problem I tried to re-install all my email accounts but that did not solve my problem. I have also tried to run the “detect and repair” function but that has not solved the problem either.

Very, very grateful for a solution to this problem(s)

Question by:Telemark
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 10749453
Have you tried reinstalling office 2002 itself ?   Try that .. That might solve the issue
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

Debsyl99 earned 2000 total points
ID: 10749801
Have a look at this first:
You may have either an Offline Folders file (.OST) or a Personal
Folders file (.PST) that has reaced it's storage limits.  This article has
more info

Deb :))

Author Comment

ID: 10752387
Your suggestion solved my problemes.

Thanks a lot.

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LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 10752392
Great! You're welcome,

Deb :))

Expert Comment

ID: 11312680
Thanks for the Great info Debsyl99 I have been plagued by this problem for quite sometime and at one point had almost lost all those emails.  Now im making sure that my boss keeps his PST's under 1.8gigs!!!!!

Expert Comment

ID: 11441965
I have Office 2000 my outlook is not responding...after pressing "send/receive"...it indicates it is receiving messages but nothing is coming through. When I try to view any previous message, I can no longer view it...I've already uninstalled and installed and nothing. Please advise.

Expert Comment

ID: 11441990

Open up a new question, this question has been closed and therefore will not be visible by others.  Open a new on so you will be seen.  I would also suggest looking at the running the scanpst.exe under C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033.  The Pst might be corrupted.

Expert Comment

ID: 11651755
Thanks for the great info!

Is there any why that you can increase the size of the .pst?

I was looking at the msft website and they didn't suggest anything about increasing the pst size.  The alternatives provided are compacting files and creat ost files.

any suggestions to which one to use?  or possibility of increasing pst file size?

thanks in advance


Expert Comment

ID: 11685874
I have applied Office XP Service Pack 3, used the scanpst as above and still get this error.  When I try to send/receive, I get the following error: The operation failed.  If I try to go into e-Mail accounts setup, I get the following error: The operation failed due to a registry or installation problem.  Restart Outlook and try again. If the problem persists, please reinstall.  I've tried repairing the installation, uninstalling/reinstalling and reapplying the service pack and nothing works.  This all amounts to a totally useless Outlook install.

Please help!
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 11686051
Hi Guys

No disrespect but you really need to open new questions on this one to get any help as this thread is effectively closed and no-one is going to look at it other than as a solution to the original question. The only reason I have is because I'm still being notified of contributions because I posted a solution,

Deb :))

Expert Comment

ID: 11686062
Well, I fixed it.  It turned out to be damaged Outlook data files.  All I did was use Email Saver Xe to restore my personal folders after running Office update.

Expert Comment

ID: 13514080
I'm experiencing the same problem as asked by Telemark

- can't delete any messages from outlook
- can't delete message from my in box
in both cases I get a "the message interface has returned an unknown error.  if the problem persists restart outlook" message
- there is a message in my outbox that can't be sent

downloading service pack 3 didn't help

My .pst file _is_ large = about 1.8 gb

any other suggestions?


Expert Comment

ID: 13880320

I'm facing the same problem as asked by Telemark and doctorgol.
- can't delete any messages from outlook
- can't move any message
I get a "the message interface has returned an unknown error.  if the problem persists restart outlook"

There are messages in my outbox that can't be sent and email in my webmail waiting to come down.

I have installed the service pack 3 as well as every updates.

Many thanks for your help

Expert Comment

ID: 13880468
Sallin: Create a new outlook data file and copy all the messages into it.  That should fix it.

Expert Comment

ID: 14280981
I'm having exactly the same problem with a client's system.  I've repaired the .pst file and he already has Office XP SP3 installed.  What do you suggest I use to create a new data file and copy the messages into it?


Expert Comment

ID: 14768536
A good way to fix this problem is to delete old e-mails that you don't need anymore.  If you can't delete them and get an error message, use the shift key.

Shift-Delete will prevent messages from going into Trash can.  It will delete them from the pst file permanently.

Doing this fixed my problem.  When I try to delete a mail message I NO LONGER get the error message: “The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook”.

- Tim -

Expert Comment

ID: 14830836

There is no workaround to the 1.8 gig limitation on Outlook PST files.  You must create new PST files and archive the emails to them, keeping each of them far below that 1.8 gig cap.  (Microsoft states you shouldn't go over 800 MB).

Also remember that once you've deleted files from your PST, you have to do a "Compact Now" on the PST to actually purge what you've deleted or the file will remain the same size.  To do that, right click on the PST in Outlook, click Properties, click Advanced, and click Compact Now.  Warning:  If you are doing this on a 1.8 gig file, and you've deleted a significant amount of email from it, it may take HOURS to do the compacting.

Good luck!

Expert Comment

ID: 14838420
Outlook 2002 (XP)
In regards to the "The messaging interface has returned an unknown error" message. I am receiving the message on a client machine when the worker tries to delete an email from the Sent Item box. I also have a couple of other unexplained happenings since Aug. 31. When the worker creates a new email it lingers in the Outbox and does not transfer to the Sent Item box. The email does send and the party addressed does receive the email. If the worker replies to a received email it does clear the Outbox but instead of transferring to the Sent Items box it transfers to a specified Inbox defind folder (such as Worker set up to receive all staff sent emails).

The .pst file is 163 MB
I have tried Scanpst.exe, the repair from the Office XP CD, checked all the settings I can think of, ran compact on the .pst. One thing I was thinking about was copying the .pst to another location, adding a new .pst file and copying back everything except the Sent Items box. Can you do that?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions,


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