Why is my Outlook Email Not Updating Automatically and How to Fix it?

If your email are not updating automatically on your Outlook account then this article is for you. The troubleshooting steps mentioned below will help you in fixing your issue in a very simplified way. 

outlook email not updating automatically

Why is Outlook not Updating Emails Automatically?

Outlook might not be updating your email due to one of the issues mentioned below- 

  • Conflict between offline and online items. 
  • Corruption of PST File

courrpt pst file

  • Slow inbox refresh rate
  • The auto-update feature is disabled

auto update feature is disabled in outlook

  • Outlook account is not set up properly.
  • There may be bugs in Outlook program .                                                                                    

How to Fix Outlook Email Not Updating Automatically? 

Solution 1: Clearing Offline Items

A majority of accounts configured in Microsoft Outlook comes with ‘Cached Exchange Mode’ turned on by default. This enables you to carry on your work with MS Outlook on the go even when you are offline. Furthermore it also enhances the performance of Outlook. In case if there is a mismatch in the items in MS Outlook and the online webmail, the corrupted cached data might be the reason for it. Hence clearing these offline items may resolve your ‘Outlook inbox not updating automatically’ issue. Here are the instructions you need to follow:

  • Go to the inbox folder in Outlook and right-click on the specified folder from which you want to clear all offline items. 

offline items

  • Now from the drop-down, select ‘Properties’. 
  • Choose the ‘Clear Offline Items’ option. 

clearing offline items in outlook

  • In the confirmation prompt, select OK. 


  • Then a warning dialog box comes out. Please click on ‘OK’ button.


Solution 2: Deleting OST Files

Microsoft Outlook client keeps a cache and storage of all messages, events and etc in ‘.ost’ file. Often deleting these files help in resolving ‘Outlook not updating inbox automatically’ issue. Here are the steps to delete ost files:

  • First close your Outlook account and exit from it completely.
  • Now go to the search bar at Windows start and type ‘Run’ which will open a dialog box.

run box

  • Then type “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook\”  in the run box and press enter.


  • Now you will see display window of Outlook folder. Browse and open  .ost file from the folder.
  • Right click on the .ost file and select delete to complete the process.  

Solution 3: Increase the inbox refresh rate

Is your Outlook not receiving emails and not updating automatically? Well, perhaps the refresh rate is too slow. Here is how you can tweak it. 

Note: This process works on Outlook 2007 and older. 

  • Open Outlook. 
  • Click on ‘File’ Option. 
  • Select Options>Advanced 
  • Next, press on the ‘Send/Receive’ tab. 
  • Scroll down to the settings for group Section. 
  • Now Select Send/Receive Groups drop down box and Select Choose Send/Receive Groups.

send and receive

  • Click on All Accounts. 
  • Mark the option for Schedule an Automatic Send/ Receive Every _ Minutes. 

increase size

  • Choose how often you wish the app to update the folder.
  • When satisfied with the changes, click on Close. 

Solution 4: Set Auto-Update

Sometimes users forget to set up auto-update for their Outlook inbox. Here is how you can set auto refresh in Outlook 2016, 365, 2013, 2010, or older: 

  • Launch the Outlook app on your device. 
  • Click File > Options>Click Advanced
  • Scroll Down and then Click the Send/Receive tab. 

click Send/Receive button in outlook

  • Now, select Send/Receive Groups. 
  • Click on Define Send/Receive Groups. 

send and receive

  • For each account, select the Schedule an Automatic Send/Receive. 

select the Schedule an Automatic Send/Receive in outlook

  • Tweak the frequency of the refresh rate. 
  • Click on the close button. 
  • Now your inbox will start refreshing automatically. 

Solution 5: Repairing the Outlook account

Microsoft Outlook may stop syncing the mails. To fix this issue, you need to repair the account. The below-mentioned steps also help in fixing ‘Outlook 2013 not updating automatically’ issue. 

  • Launch Outlook on the computer. 
  • Click on File at the upper left corner. 

Click on File at the upper left corner in outlook

  • Click on Info. 
  • Select the Account Settings option.

click on file in outlook and then click on info

  • Choose the account you are having trouble with. 
  • Click on Repair. 

Repairing the Outlook account

  • Review the email account settings. 
  • Click on Next. 
  • Now the repair process will begin. 
  • Once it is over, click the Change Account option. 
  • Once again, review the settings. 
  • Click on the Next button. 
  • Click on Close. 
  • Lastly, click on Finish. 

Solution 6: Reinstall Outlook

Is your Outlook 2016 not updating automatically? Reinstalling the software may fix the issue. 

Note: The steps mentioned below apply to Outlook 2003 and later versions. 

  • First open the Control Panel. 

open control panel

  • Click on Programs. 

click on the program in control panel

  • Select the Add or Remove Programs option.
  • Locate Microsoft Office. 

Locate Microsoft Office in control panel

  • Click on the Uninstall button located next to Office. 
  • Confirm the action when prompted. 
  • When the program gets uninstalled, reinstall the Office suite once again.

Conclusion: Often, due to one reason or the other, Outlook stops syncing and updating emails automatically. However, this issue can be solved easily. Just follow the fixes mentioned above and get your inbox to refresh and update automatically. If you face any issue then feel free to contact us on our helpline number for assistance 

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