5 Ways to Fix Outlook When It’s Not Updating the Inbox

Apply these tested solutions and make Outlook work properly again

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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  • The Outlook not updating inbox issue can arise because of corrupted data, conflicting antivirus software, and Cached Exchange Mode.
  • Disabling network protocol settings can fix Outlook stuck on updating inbox.
  • Users have also said they’ve been able to fix Outlook apps not updating emails by disabling certain offline account settings.
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Some Outlook users contacted us about issues with that mail client’s inbox not updating. One user describes adding a second mailbox to his Outlook; after that, Outlook gets completely stuck updating inboxes.

Others need to fix Outlook not automatically updating inboxes (it only updates them after users restart the app).

In the worst scenario, users don’t receive any emails at all when Outlook’s inbox updating gets entirely stuck. So, it’s quite essential for some users to fix Outlook inbox stuck issues.

Why is my Outlook not showing new emails?

Outlook often doesn’t update inboxes because of mail synchronization issues. When that application’s mail synchronization fails, it can’t update your inbox with new emails.

The causes of such Outlook synchronization issues can be varied. These are some of the more likely reasons for Outlook not updating its inbox:

  • A corrupted OST data file
  • Conflicting third-party antivirus software
  • Cached Exchange Mode syncing issues
  • IPv6 network connection issues
  • An Outlook client installation issue (corrupted application files, etc)

Here are five ways you may be able to apply in order to fix Outlook when it’s not updating the inbox.

How do I fix my Outlook inbox not updating?

1. Disable Cached Exchange Mod

  1. Click Outlook’s File tab.
  2. Press the Account Settings button.
  3. Click Change on the Account Settings window.
    Change button outlook not updating inbox
  4. Disable (deselect) the Used Cached Exchange Mode option.
    Use Cached exchange Mode option outlook not updating inbox
  5. Press the Account Settings window’s Next button.
  6. Click OK on the dialog box that says you need to restart Outlook.
    OK option outlook not updating inbox
  7. Then restart your Outlook software.

2. Delete (rebuild) Outlook’s OST file

  1. Launch the Run dialog accessory (the quickest method for opening that app is to press Windows + R).
  2. Then input this directory location in the Open box: %localappdata%/Microsoft
  3. Click OK to bring up a Microsoft folder.
    The Run accessory outlook not updating inbox
  4. Open the Outlook subfolder from there.
  5. Right-click Outlook’s OST data file to select Delete.
    Delete option outlook not updating inbox

3. Disable third-party antivirus software

Third-party antivirus utilities can be a nuisance for Outlook and other email clients. If you’ve installed antivirus software on your PC, disabling that tool could be a solution.

Disable antivirus options outlook not updating inbox

Right-click your antivirus app’s icon in the Windows system tray area to bring up its context menu. Select a disable or turn off setting on that context menu to temporarily the antivirus utility’s shield.

Then go back to Outlook to see if it updates the inbox ok with your antivirus software turned off. If it does, either uninstall your antivirus software or add Outlook to its exceptions (exclusion) list.

4. Disable IPv6

  1. Open Run’s window.
  2. Input this Network and Sharing Center Run command and click OK: control.exe /name Microsoft.NetworkAndSharingCenter
  3. Then click that Control Panel applet’s Change adapter settings navigation option.
    The Change adapter settings option outlook not updating inbox
  4. Right-click your internet connection adapter and select Properties.
    The Properties option outlook not updating inbox
  5. Uncheck the Internet Protocol Version 6 checkbox.
    The Internet Protocol Version 6 option outlook not updating inbox
  6. Select OK to apply the new setting.

5. Repair the MS Office Suite

  1. Bring up Windows 11’s or 10’s search box. Pressing Windows + S will open that search tool.
  2. To find Programs and Features, input appwiz.cpl in the search box.
  3. Click appwiz.cpl to bring up the Control Panel’s uninstaller tool.
    An appwiz.cpl search outlook not updating inbox
  4. Select your MS Office application listed within Programs and Features.
    The Programs and Features applet outlook not updating inbox
  5. Press its Change button.
  6. Select the Repair radio button if you’re using Office 2016. Office 365 users should select the more thorough Online Repair option.
    Online Repair option outlook not updating inbox
  7. Click the Repair or Continue button.

Is there a better email client than Outlook?

There are certainly quite a few alternatives to Outlook. Thunderbird and Mailbird are two of the most notable alternative email clients. Our email client software guide provides further details about those applications and others.

There aren’t any guaranteed solutions for Outlook’s inbox not updating since potential causes are varied. However, the resolutions outlined here are among the more likely Outlook inbox fixes.

Outlook’s Inbox Repair tool (otherwise SCANPST.EXE) may also help some users fix the inbox not updating. This Microsoft webpage provides guidelines for repairing data files with SCANPST.EXE.

Do you have any questions about fixing Outlook not updating its inbox? If so, feel free to add them below in the comments box.

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If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on TrustPilot.com) to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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