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outlook 2003: Cannot delete unsendable 32MB message from Outbox

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Gentlemen,

I have a customer who has tried to send an email message which happens to be too big for the mail transport to handle.

The send/recv timer has been set to 15 minutes, and to not send messages immediately.
The message cannot be deleted, even if Outlook is put into "Work Offline" mode.
When double clicking on the message, there is a message:
  "! Cannot open this item.  Outlook has already begun transmitting this message [OK]"
However, the task manager shows low network volume, indicating that this message is not being sent right now.

Thank you in advance for your help!


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Question by:ChrisEddy
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 225 total points
ID: 35031151
Try opening Outlook in Safe mode and then see if you can delete the email. The command is outlook /safe . Open a command prompt, navigate to program files and where outlook.exe is and run outlook /safe
... Thinkpads_User
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by:ChrisEddy
ID: 35031484
I'll try that the next time I'm in the customer machine.  Thanks!

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Alan Hardisty earned 275 total points
ID: 35031527
You can simply disconnect the Pc from the network (unplug the cable once logged in), open up Outlook and then delete the email.

The problem with doing it when connected to the LAN is that when you open Outlook, it will immediately try to send the message which means you can't delete it.
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by:ChrisEddy
ID: 35031768
Yeah, I got that memo (from other web research, which makes sense) ...

... but thanks.

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by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 275 total points
ID: 35032020
Memo?  What memo?  Do you mean my post?
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Author Closing Comment

by:ChrisEddy
ID: 35037692
Customer shut down computer yesterday, came in today, turned on the computer, launched Outlook, tried to delete the message - and succeeded.

Suspect the combination of the disabling automatic send receive (to prevent the message from getting locked), and the fresh rebooting of the computer (to prevent the message from being locked, and clearing any possible Outlook insanity), solved the problem.

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 35039509
Thank you and thanks for the update.  ... Thinkpads_User
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