Exchange Online - Can't Receive Email


  • I am not receiving email in Exchange/Outlook.


  • Oregon State University
  • Exchange Online email
  • Outlook, Outlook for the Web


There are several possible causes for this issue. Please see the troubleshooting guide below for possible resolutions.


Check Junk Mail Folder

It's a good idea to check the Junk Mail folder at least a couple of times a week. If a valid message ends up there, you can mark it as not junk, which helps improve filtering in future. In Outlook, you can also choose to add the sender to your safe sender's list.

If valid messages from the same sender are frequently showing up in your Junk Mail folder, you can report the issue using this form: Valid e-mail address going to the junk mail folder

Try Outlook for the Web (OWA)

  1. Try accessing your email in Outlook for the Web at:
  2. Login as

If you can receive email in Outlook for the Web but not in Outlook, the issue is with your Outlook client and not your account or mail settings.

If you cannot receive email in Outlook for the Web either, there could be an issue with your account or mail settings.

Check Mail Settings

Note: If your account has recently been compromised by phishing, it's a good idea to check your mail settings for unwanted rules or forwarding.

  1. Login to Outlook for the Web at:
  2. Login as
  3. Go to Settings (gear icon)
  4. Select "View All Outlook Settings"
  5. Select "Forwarding"
    • Check whether your mail is being forwarded to another address. If it is, you can disable this here.
  6. Select "Rules"
    • Look for rules that move messages out of the Inbox
    • Look for rules that delete messages
    • Look for rules that redirect messages
  7. Select "Layout"
    • If "Focused Inbox" is enabled, you may want to turn it off (set "Don't sort my messages") as it can hide some messages from view.

Confirm Sender Used the Correct Email

If you are only having trouble receiving email from one sender, confirm they are using the correct email address for you. Usually if a sender has the wrong email address for you, they will receive a "bounce" message (or "non-delivery report") immediately after attempting to email you.

Occasionally a sender might be blocked by our systems because their sending mail server has a poor reputation score. Contact the Service Desk or your IT team, who can escalate a request to Infrastructure to review mail delivery logs.

Troubleshoot Outlook Not Syncing Email


For assistance, contact the Service Desk.


Article ID: 115312
Tue 9/1/20 3:15 PM
Tue 9/1/20 3:45 PM