Microsoft Outlook users have been plagued by a frustrating bug that leaves them unable to send emails. When hitting the “Send” button, they are confronted with an error message that simply states: “Cannot send this item”. Hundreds of frustrated Outlook users have flooded to Microsoft’s community site to bemoan the error, which is causing havoc for millions working and studying from home, as well as those who run their small business using the almost-ubiquitous email management tool.
The first reports of the error message seemingly popped up at the start of February, but things have really started to escalate in recent weeks. The issue seems to crop up when replying to a lengthy email thread. Some Outlook users claim the issue is more likely to surface when pasting a long URL into the body of an email. The problem seems to only impact Outlook on PC, with the web app seemingly allowing users to continue replying to messages without a hitch.
Whatever is causing the glitch on your PC, it’s supremely annoying. Thankfully, Microsoft has confirmed that it’s aware of the problem and is currently working on a fix.
According to the Redmond-based company, Outlook on PC will be patched later this month. The updated version of the application – Outlook version 13913.10000 – should drop in the coming weeks, so make sure to keep checking the Windows Update app to ensure you’re running the latest update.
Of course, a “late April” release date is still a few weeks – a period of time that could feel infinitely longer when you’re spending your day trying to reply to lengthy email threads and swatting away error messages. Microsoft has provided a few workarounds that its engineers believe will solve the problem temporarily until the final fix rolls out in the coming weeks.
According to Microsoft, one sure-fire way to get rid of the “cannot send this item” error message whenever you reply or forward an email in Outlook is to change the email format from HTML to Rich Text. To do this, in the message, click Reply, Reply All, or Forward. Next up, if you’re working in the Reading Pane, click Pop Out. Finally, the banner along the top of the message window, click the tab marked Format Text. On the left hand-side, highlight Rich Text if the message is already on HTML.
Another way to stop the error plaguing your work from home day is to strip out any long web links (URLs) in the body of your email. If these links are essential to the message, you can always login to your Microsoft account online in the web version of Outlook to send the same message without an issue.
With any luck, the error will be in the rear-view mirror in a few weeks, so there won’t be any need to continue jumping through these hoops.