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Monday, October 15, 2007

Outlook Error Fix: The messaging interface has returned an unknown error.

Today I had a mess of issues with my laptop computer - an IBM T60. Specifically, the issue was squarely with Microsoft Outlook 2003, and coincidently right after I installed Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Outlook.

I spent way too much time on Google trying to find the solution, so I am creating this post to make it easier for the next person that searches for this. Even then, the solution was not clear, but with some basic modifications -- the fix was in.

The error was not immediately available, as I was able to log into my Microsoft Outlook & Exchange session via Exchange Cached Mode, then the problems began. When I tried to send 'New Mail' or 'Send/Receive', or 'Reply', or 'Reply All', or 'Forward' -- I got the dreaded error message:

The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists please restart Outlook.


Regardless of the sequence, restarting Outlook or even rebooting the machine did not solve the issue. Even a re-installation of the Microsoft Office Professional 2003 Suite provided no help.

What was the fix? It was actually pretty simple. I first went to my Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook directory and tried to delete the .srs files associated with the problem. That did not work well. Then I deleted my entire profile in Outlook, restarted Microsoft Outlok 2003 and created a new profile.

Then, like magic -- the problem was solved.

If you encounter the error...
The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists please restart Outlook.

...simply remove and recreate the profile on your machine. That will get Outlook and Office Professional working properly again.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, wish I could have found this 12 hours ago. Who new it was so simple. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yup, fixed it for me too. Really pissed off I just wasted an hour of work time for *no real reason*. Why do people still tolerate Microsoft? *sigh*...

Just to hopefully make this show up on search engines faster, the problem i encountered was getting the error "The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists please restart Outlook." when clicking on New to create a new mesage in Microsoft Outlook Professional 2003 ... Piece of crap... :P

Magnus said...

I had the same problem but a different solution:

http://www.stjernstrom.com/blog/post/2008/04/Weirdest-Outlook-Problem-Solution-Ever.aspx

Anonymous said...

I got this error when I was trying to print calendar details. The fix for it is very simple

Select file Print

Then Select Page Setup

Untick Taskpad under Options.

Problem solved

Ken Hanscom said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. These odd Outlook errors can be quite annoying!

-Ken

Keith Falk said...

still no dice for me; i'm trying to send an hotmail e-mail using outlook 2003 w/outlook connector. additionally, i am sending it w/a verisign id... i've emptied/deleted, restarted, etc.... does profile refer to the account, or what, exactly?

Ken Hanscom said...

Hi Keith.

Profile refers to the "container" that holds the various email accounts that you have. It's similar to your user profile in Windows. One way to see the profile -- the actual configuration item that needs ot b delete is by going to the control panel and clicking on the mail icon.

-Ken

Jeremy Witt said...

Well done! I'm busy uninstalling and reinstalling, downloading updates...and here's the answer!
Thanks!

JDW

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,

Luck I have found your post, otherwise I would have already reinstalled my OS. Many many thanks for this great experience sharing.

Best regards,
Herry

Anonymous said...

Awesome!!! For sure, the IT folks at my company need to read this..All they had to offer was reimage my machine! And I read it & fixed myself in 5 mins. Thanks a ton!!

Nicole said...

Silly me didn't realise that this would completely wipe out my contacts as well ... bye bye contacts!!!

Ken Hanscom said...

Nicole,

Removing the profile and then creating a new one WILL NOT delete / wipe out the contacts. All you need to do is re-associate the PST (Personal Folders) with that profile and your contacts will return.

-Ken

Anonymous said...

Hooray! this was so so very helpful!! i'm all fixed up now!

Alvaro said...

well guys !!
i tried that, but i cant even acces create a new profile.
when i click on that option it return with a message saying "operation failed"
may hours on this.
so far i am asking where forums are available :(

Anonymous said...

What a wonderfully simple fix.

Thank you.

Mario said...

Thanks so much, I spent hours uninstalling, getting updated still didn't work. It didn't help the computer is so old and slow. But your fix worked great I just wish I had found it at 8:00am not 4:30 ;)

Anonymous said...

I had the same error message problem, and spent many hours on google searching for the fix....I used the idea above from "Magnus", and emptied my whole deleted message folder and now its fixed, works great now.....wish I would have found this sooner...try it, may work for you...

Anonymous said...

yeah, this fixed me up also. Thank God for google

Anonymous said...

fixed for me to....

thanks to google... but more importantly thanks to you!!

Anonymous said...

Worked for me as well. I had already tried creating a new Outlook profile, but had not actually deleted them all first then created a new one from scratch - which worked like a charm.

Angie said...

I have created a new user profile but how do I re-associate old files with the new profile?

Anonymous said...

I can't find the profile??? I went to Control Panel and Mail and it shows my mail connection - do you remove that and then reconnect?? When I am in Outlook I can't find anything under Tools, Options, H E L P!

Alexis said...

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. This problem has happened to me twice. The first time I could not delete from Inbox or Outbox (so I kept sending the same message over and over because it was stuck in Outbox). The first time this happened, I was able to delete from Sent items, so I dumped a bunch of email and it solved the problem.

The second time this happened, I couldn't delete emails from any folder. I tried deleting and re-adding profile, but it didn't work.

What ended up working is pressing the delete key and shift key at the same time, which allowed me to clear out a bunch of email and make room in Outlook again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quick fix!!!

Tekzo said...

I've been going up and down with this error struggling to get it right. TX u rock man!

Anonymous said...

I had inherited a newer office computer after a layoff, and copied over my .ost and .pst from my older laptop.
I had been getting these unknown error messages since July and the IT folks couldn't fix them

this did
thanks so much
Ken

Doug Mortensen said...

I was having this problem trying to download internet calendars (.ics files) that I subscribe to. Creating a new Outlook profile fixed it. Thanks a ton!!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

You are the best. But what is the reason behind that?

Anonymous said...

resolved..
i empty my OL trash and everything gonna OK.