Microsoft says Outlook hit by 'email visibility issues' – as in, they're blank

Here's an unofficial fix for those who need their messages now


Microsoft says its Outlook desktop client is suffering serious “email visibility issues” today, with a fix yet to be rolled out. Users have reported either whole emails missing, chunks of data gone, or just seeing the first line of messages.

Folks can use the web or mobile client of Outlook, or the Windows desktop client in "safe mode." Otherwise, you're out of luck for the next few hours.

"We’re investigating an issue with email message visibility in Outlook. Outlook on the web appears to be unaffected," the Windows giant said a couple of hours ago.

Then: "We’re investigating available data to isolate the root cause. Users with access to alternate protocols like Outlook on the web or Outlook mobile can use those as a potential workaround in the interim. More details can be found under EX255650 in the admin center."

And about an hour ago: "We’ve identified the root cause and are applying a fix, which will reach affected users over the next 3 to 4 hours. Users will need to restart the Outlook client to apply the fix after it's received. We expect to restore service to affected users by May 12, 2021, at 3:00 AM UTC."

It's no coincidence that Outlook has broken down on Patch Tuesday, when Microsoft and others emit security fixes and other software patches: an automatically installed update issued by the tech giant – specifically Outlook version 2104 (build 13929.20372) – has seemingly screwed up the desktop client. Some users report fixing the issue by running...

"C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe" /update user updatetoversion=16.0.13901.20462

...to roll back to April's working version (specifically, version 2103, build 13901.20462) but unless the situation is desperate it's perhaps better to wait for the fix and restarting. Microsoft did not respond with more information at time of writing. ®

PS: Salesforce is also suffering a widespread outage at the moment, which has even taken out its status page.

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