All of a sudden, many of my outgoing emails go to the outbox in Outlook 2010 and sit there for a couple of minutes, sometimes much longer before it actually sends. Now I can hasten the sending if I click “Send/Receive” in the ribbon, but not by much. I checked the settings and “send immediately” is checked and the account settings has my address and POP/SMTP sent to this account by default. It’s always been this way so I don’t think this is the cause of the mail delay. I can send more information if you need it but I would appreciate any help you can come up with.
There are several factors that could be at play here. Let’s look at a couple.
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You’ve already checked the most obvious: Outlook has a setting to send something immediately and you’ve got that turned on.
When you click the Send button in Outook, that means that it should send soon. meaning immediately or very shortly thereafter. When Outlook is not set to send immediately, the sends are simply saved until next time the mail program does its automatic check for new mail; or if you have that disabled, the next time you hit Send/Receive.
It’s not gone until it’s gone
Mail will continue to appear in the outbox until it’s been completely sent.
If, for example, your email has a large attachment, it’s going to take a while to upload the attachment to the mail server. During that time, it will look like nothing’s happening. In your outbox, it will look like your email is still there, even though the message is actually in the process of being transmitted.
When the “send” completes, when it is really done, only then is the email removed from the outbox and placed in Sent Mail.
It’s also up to your service provider
In situations like this, the ability to send mail, or the speed at which you send mail, is extremely dependent on your email service.
The servers that you are sending to could simply be slow. Your connection to the email service could be slow. It may be your internet connection, or it may be one of the other hops between your ISP and your email service. Even if the email service is provided by your ISP, it’s not as if it’s “right there”. There are always additional networking steps to get from wherever you connect to your ISP to the mail server. The server could actually be overloaded.
As a matter of fact, there’s a formal part of the sending or SMTP protocol that actually allows a server to tell your email program “I’m too busy; try this message again later”. So until later, well, your message sits there in the outbox.
There’s also an anti-spam feature that some mail servers will use that causes this exact same “try again later” reaction even when they’re not too busy.
Ultimately, I really don’t think there’s much to be done other than being patient or hitting Send/Receive to force the issue, as long as the emails do eventually send.