Troubleshooting a missing e-mail message

If you sent an email that the recipient did not receive or are missing an email that was reportedly sent to you, there are several troubleshooting steps you can perform to try to resolve the issue.

I Can't Find an Email Message

  1. First, check OWA (Outlook Web App) at If you are using a mail client or a forward (look under Accounts in mail settings on OWA), those could be directing your mail to another location entirely. If a mail forward was removed or if a client is no longer downloading your mail, it may start arriving to your original OU mailbox once again.
  2. On OWA, use the Search bar at top-right to search keywords in message, sender, and subject line. This will help you locate the message if it was routed to an alternate folder due to a rule or if it did not exactly match your expectations for what the mail would look like. (i.e. it came from a different e-mail address than expected or had a different subject line)
  3. On OWA, check your Deleted Items folder. The message may have been accidentally deleted.
    • Also click on the “Recover deleted items” button that appears on the banner at the bottom of the screen when you click on the “Deleted items” folder.
  4. Check their Clutter/Junk folder.
  5. Click Settings (the gear-shaped icon on the upper right of the screen) and scroll down to “View all Outlook settings.” Check to see if there is forwarding set up in the Forwarding section.
  6. Do you have an inbox rule set up?
    • In OWA, click on Settings, then “View all Outlook settings”. Under Rules, you should find a list of active rules. Having these enabled will perform certain actions (usually deleting or moving to a specific folder) on any emails that meet that criteria. Be sure to check that a rule is not deleting or transferring your mail somewhere else.
  7. Sometimes, local rules can be set up on email clients (like Outlook or Mac Mail) and those may not show up on OWA, so check please check the rules of your local mail client as well.
  8. The email/sender may have been blocked for security reasons. Users can log into to see if any emails have been quarantined by OU’s security filter. If there is a flagged message that should be cleared, you may select to release it. More information on this process can be found here.
  9. Speak with the individual who originally sent you the mail to verify they are using your correct e-mail address or if they may need to email the file using alternate methods. Information on that process can be found below.


I Can Not Send an Email Message

  1. If you receive an alert that a particular mail has been flagged in the system as spam, it may mean that message was quarantined by the system. If it has been quarantined in error, please visit and open an incident by clicking “General IT Support”. In the request details, please include the contents of this email and request to have the email(s) released from quarantine.  A representative from OU IT will be in touch concerning your request.
  2. If your email account was seen to a high number of emails in a short time, Office365 may block the account from sending all email as a security measure. Accounts with this type of email block will receive bouncebacks for all emails attempting to be sent. This is an automated process, but having an account blocked by O365 is often a sign of a compromised account and will result in OU IT Security locking the account as well.
    • If you think your account has been locked due to sending spam mail, please contact OU IT Support. Information on this process can be found below.
  3. If your e-mail message contains an attachment that is too big or is not an approved file type, you may need to investigate alternate hosting methods for your attachment.
    • The University offers services for hosting your larger files:
      • OneDrive for Business – OU Microsoft 365 users can share files through OneDrive with other individuals. After logging in to, a user can select OneDrive. After uploading your file, one can select the file and then hit the Share option. Enter the e-mail address of the user with whom you wish to share.
      • Dropbox for Business – Dropbox for Business allows teams and organization to securely share files. Just create a folder, share it, and start collaborating instantly. University Departments may purchase Dropbox for Business licenses, available to faculty and staff. For more information about Dropbox for Business, please visit OU IT’s Service Catalog.
    • Hosting your file on a non-OU site
  4. If you can not send any outgoing mail, please make sure you have configured your mail client correctly, including any needed outgoing mail server information. See this article for more.


Contacting OU IT For Support

If you still can not locate or send your mail, you can contact us for assistance. Please see the Need Help page for contact methods. Please provide the following information:
  • Your OUNet ID and OU e-mail address.
  • A description of what is happening with your mail.
  • An estimated time about when this mail should have been sent or received.
  • Information on how you are checking/sending your mail: through OWA, through an e-mail client on your computer, through your phone, etc..
  • The mail client application name and version number.
  • The troubleshooting steps you have already performed.

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Article ID: 84
Thu 9/3/20 10:57 AM
Tue 6/6/23 10:55 AM