MS Outlook

Outlook stopped receiving email

One day, Outlook just stopped receiving email.It had been working fine for a long time.

I got an error message about timing out trying to find the POP server. I could ping the POP server, so I knew it was still there.

I double-checked all the account and data file settings. All was OK. I re-started Windows multiple times. I searched the Web but no luck.

I ran Windows Update. Re-start. No luck. I noticed that Office 365 had updated the day before. I didn’t find a way to back out that update. Great.

I decided to delete then re-create my email accounts in Outlook. First I tried to make a backup of my data files. Windows told me it couldn’t do it because another process was using the data files. I don’t know what other process that could be. I had closed Outlook and restarted Windows. But it seems that triggering that error did the trick. I restarted Windows again, and then I was able to backup the Outlook data files. Then I opened Outlook, and it started receiving emails like it used to.

So somehow, the update to Office 365 put some kind of lock on the data files. The error message Outlook gave me was totally misleading.

Plus, I don’t usually let software download and install itself, I set things to allow it to do the download and then notify me and I decide if/when to install it. Office 365 just updated itself.


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