Sent emails are going to Outbox when Mailbox full rather than cleanup alert popping up

antonioking used Ask the Experts™
Since changing all our workstations to use Exchange in cached mode any emails being sent when the users mailbox is full sit in their outbox instead of popping up with a mailbox is full message.

How do I get this setting back without changing back to non cached mode?
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Are you now saying that the message doesn't come up at all?

I know for my company they get daily messages telling them they are over their limit and if they have the option ticked to enforce their pre set limit they can't send messages and the message will stay in their outbox.


Correct, the message is not coming up at all.

I'm being flooded with calls from all my users complaining their emails aren't sending, when in fact the sent messages are going into their outbox because their mailbox is full.

When did you make the change over to cached mode? If you made the change before the maintenance ran on Exchange then they all shoud have got a message confirming that they are over their limit.

Sorry if this is not much help.
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I made the change Wednesday morning.
Jahangir ShahExchange Online Expert

Message stuck in Outbox

It doesn't happen too often but when a message is stuck in the Outbox it can be a real pain. Below you'll find three methods to get the message out of the Outbox.

Method 1
Open the message from the Outbox and close it again. Now select the message and press DELETE

Method 2
Put Outlook in offline mode. To do this go to File-> Work Offline. Now restart Outlook and see if you can delete it (you can try this in combination with method 1). Don't forget to put Outlook back On-line again.

Method 3
1.Create a new pst-file; File-> New-> Outlook Data File...
2.Set this pst-file as your default delivery location in your Account settings; Tools-> E-mail Accounts-> button Next
3.When you now restart Outlook your original pst-file will show up as the secondary set of folders where should easily be able to remove the file from or even the complete Outbox folder
4.Set the original pst-file as the default delivery location again and restart Outlook; the Outbox folder will be recreated and will be empty.
Method 4
Use the Microsoft MDBVU32.EXE tool to forcefully clear the Outbox. The instructions for this are the same for when removing a stuck read receipt but instead of choosing "MDB-> Open Root Folder" choose "MDB-> Open IPM Outbox".
Jahangir ShahExchange Online Expert

Just to add on....

·         Move the contacts to a contacts folder in a new pst-file and then back again to their original location. This forces a rewrite of the contact item

·         Export your contacts to a vcf-file and then import them again. Note that some contact properties can get lost this way since Outlook Contact Items support more functionality than a vcf can offer

·         Export your contacts to an Excel sheet or csv-file and then import them again. Note that you set the mapping of the columns correctly when importing

Links which will interest you are :


Hi ontech,

Not sure if you read my question correctly.
Messages are going to the outbox when the user's mailbox is full, opposed to displaying a "mailbox full" alert.

They aren't stuck... when the user's mailbox is reduced the messages will get sent.


Just to cover the basics here, you haven't mentioned which version of Exchange you are running? 2003, 2007 or 2010? Seeing as your issue is affect multiple workstations, I would be inclined to focus on your Exchange server.

Leading on from that, is your Exchange server up to date and on the latest service pack? The amount of times I've seen questions raised simple because IT admins are not keeping their infrastructure up to date, which if you want to check the "issues fixed" you'll see that you're issue has been documented.

After you Exchange server is fully updated, run Exchange Best Practise Analyser (its build into Exchange 2007 and 2010). If you're on 2003 you will need to download it from the Microsoft site. Run it pretty much with all defaults and see what other issues it finds that it doesn't like on your server. This will give you an under the hood look at what's going on and how to correct it.

My hunch is your Exchange server is not fully up to date. Best of luck!


Hi Netflo

There aren't any Exchange updates waiting for our server.
We're operating Exchange 2003 on a Server 2003.

I have ran best practices...
Quite a few errors that I need to go through. None that relate to our problem.

Outlook 2010 has a known bug, that required a hotfix.

I'm glad you got the matter resolved. Something to note, going back to one of my earlier points, always ensure the product is fully up to date to ensure you/we are not troubleshooting a known issue.

The issue you were experiencing was fixed in a general update last year in June 2011:


The update resolved our issue.

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