Computer and Email Resources
Department of Radiology

Outlook Express email error: 

"Message is no longer available on the server"

When using Outlook Express, you may periodically get the error "Message is no longer available on the server." When this happens, here is how you can open these messages?

Outlook Express maintains a copy of message headers and message bodies on your computer.  Periodically, this local copy can get out of sync with what is on the UW IMAP server where your mail is actually stored.

When this happens, you can get the "message is no longer available on the server" error for new messages. Another symptom of the same problem is that a message is marked deleted, but cannot be purged from your Inbox.  If this happens, you can delete the local copy of your messages to force Outlook Express to create a new one based on what's actually on the UW IMAP server.

Here's how to do this in Outlook Express for Windows:

  1. In Outlook Express, display your folder list for your UW email account.

  2. With your right mouse button, click on the folder exhibiting the problems (usually this is the Inbox).

  3. From the resulting pop-up menu, choose Properties.

  4. Click the 'Local File' tab, then click 'Delete', then 'Yes' to confirm.

  5. Click OK. Don't be alarmed that you now see no messages in your Inbox. They are still on the server.

  6. Click on another folder in your folder list, then click on your Inbox again to re-create the local copy. Your message list sould return, and the previously unavailable messages should now be available.