My Microsoft Outlook Will Not Download Incoming Mail

By Daniel Holzer

One of the biggest banes and blessings of modern life is constant access to various immediate modes of communication. A popular mode of communication in the business world is email. Accessible and synchronized at work, at home and even on the laptop at the local coffee shop, email keeps us updated and connected. So when email programs such as Microsoft Outlook will not download incoming mail, panic often sets in. Such problems, however, are often simple errors that require a little patience to fix before you are back online.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Email login information (address and password)
  • Email server's configuration setting information

Step 1

Open Microsoft Outlook and click "File," "Info" and then "Accounting Settings" from the subsequent drop lists. Click on the "Email" tab and select the email account that is not downloading, clicking "Next."

Step 2

Examine your email account configuration for accuracy. Confirm the correct spelling of the email address; the server settings configuration for type of email, server connection type and mail server port numbers; that the box "Leave a copy of the messages on the server" is checked; and the password accuracy. Click "Test Account Settings" to confirm everything is working.

Step 3

Compare the configuration settings at any other computer where you download you email, especially that the "Leave a copy of the messages on the server" box is checked. Sometimes it is not, which removes the email from the server once you have downloaded it, not permitting you to access those emails on another computer.

Step 4

Verify with your email server for errors on their end if Steps 2 and 3 failed to fix the problem. Sometimes servers fail and cannot deliver your email for a short period of time. If this is the case, your email server's tech support staff should post a notification visible either on the main website or once you log in to your email account with further information.

Tips & Warnings

  • The configuration settings in Step 2 can be found on your email server's website, typically in the "Settings" section with headings like "POP3," "IMAP" or "HTTP."