Outlook emails stay in Outbox after Windows 10 upgrade

email-settings-pop-imap-btconnect-outlookAre you getting your Outlook emails stuck in your Outbox after upgrading to Windows 10? I’ve seen this happen on several machines and it really seems to be a problem where Windows corrupts the Outlook database and/or profile on many versions of Microsoft Office (2007, 2010 and 2013). The easiest fix and one that I’d recommend here is to delete or move the stuck emails then close all programs that are open such as Outlook.

Now we can use the in-built Windows “System File Checker” that will scan your PC and repair any corrupt files that it finds. To do this:

  • Click Start
  • Type cmd in the Search box
  • Right-click Command Prompt and then click ‘Run as administrator’. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation then type the password or click ‘Allow’
  • In this black window (the command prompt) that appears, type in sfc /scannow noting the space before the forward slash
  • Press enter and go and grab a delicious cup of coffee because this will take a while

Note: Do not close this Command Prompt window until the verification is 100% complete. The scan results will be shown after this process is finished.

Technical information for nerds
The sfc /scannow command will scan all protected system files, and replace corrupted files with a cached copy that is located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache.
The %WinDir% placeholder represents the Windows operating system folder. For example, C:\Windows.

The time taken to complete this scan is different on every PC but usually can range from 20 minutes to an hour or more. If it solves your problem (which it has on over 50 client PCs to date) then please take a minute to drop a comment below or maybe buy something through our shop to say thanks.


Cannot open Word document, get jibberish on screen

Microsoft Office problem gibberishWhy can’t I open a Word or Excel document sent to me?  It comes up as loads of jibberish on the screen.

A very common problem this one and I’m asked about it very often. The usual scenario is that “Person A” sends “Person B” a document and they are unable to view it. This leads to countless lost hours and backwards and forwards with documents, when all that is required is a simple update on Person B’s computer.

For the terminology here, remember “Word” and “Excel” are part of the Microsoft Office package.

You may be suffering a common problem where you cannot open an Office 2007 document because you have Office 2003 installed.  To identify this, look at the 3 letters at the end of the file.  For example:

report.doc = Word 2003 format
report.docx = Word 2007 format
sales.xls = Excel 2003 format
sales.xlsx = Excel 2007 format

Some people will have the file extension (those last 3 letters) viewing turned off.  To rectify this look at my article here, then come back:

How to show file extensions in Windows

So what is the solution to this Microsoft Office jibberish problem?

Opening report.docx with Word 2003 will not work unless you have the “Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for 2007 Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint File Formats”  – a downloadable installation program which Microsoft offer to resolve this issue.  This program is free of charge and can be downloaded here:


The rtf format is opened by most word processors such as Wordpad, Word, OpenOffice Writer etc so is a good format to ensure maximum compatibility if you are not sure what program the document’s recipient has.  To avoid problems I generally save in .doc format rather than .docx, even when using the Office 2007 suite, if I am sending a document to an unknown recipient. Better still, sending as a PDF allows your document to show as you intended because often the recipient will have different margins, paper size etc.

Please drop me a quick comment below if this helped to resolve your problem!

Remove all hyperlinks from a Word document

The procedure to remove all hyperlinks from a Word document is quite straightforward but a well-kept secret.

This annoying behaviour often happens when you copy and paste text from a website. There is a simple way to remove all hyperlinks from word file.


Remove all hyperlinks from a Word document at once:

Select all of your text by pressing Ctrl+A

Press Ctrl+Shift+F9

All hyperlinks will be removed at once and you should be left with plain un-linked text.


Another trick I use to remove hyperlinks (and any other formatting) is to paste the copied text into Notepad. Copy the text again and then paste it into anywhere you want (Word, WordPress etc).

Outlook – “Unable to open your default email folders” error

This article describes how to fix this error using the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe). This works on Microsoft Outlook 2000, 2002 or 2003. If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2007 or 2010 you will need to use the Office Diagnostics tools to perform a similar operation.

Symptoms: You open Outlook and get the error “Unable to open your default e-mail folders. Errors have been detected in the file ….Outlook.pst”

This is because your Outlook data file – the one ending .pst – is corrupt. Repairing it is fairly straightforward but will take time. To do this, close all open programs and search for the file “scanpst.exe” on your PC. This may not be found unless your computer is set to show hidden and system files. I have found the location of this file varies drastically, it can typically be found in:

C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice12 (or Office 13 etc)
C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMSMAPI1033


Even a corrupt backup could be better than none at all, never work on a file without a copy. I would call this Outlook.pcrmb or similar and place it in a new folder that describes what stage the repair is at, eg “corrupt_pre_scanpst_repair”

Open the scanpst.exe program and it will ask for the location of the corrupt .pst file. Navigate to it and allow the program to make a second backup copy. Allow time for it to repair. It may say “not responding” but look for the activity on your PC, the hard drive light may be permanently flashing showing it is working hard on the repair.

When finished it will tell you and you simply need to restart Outlook. I suggest deleting unwanted emails, emptying deleted items then compacting the database.

Finally save a new backup of the .pst file and archive.pst where necessary.