Delay in Receiving Emails in Outlook – Fix Outlook Slow to Load Emails

Written By Ashwani Tiwari
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 4th, 2023
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

It is a very common issue that users face a delay in receiving emails in the Outlook account. In most of all email client and Internet service providers, it will take time to load email messages. The important thing that you need to know is, slow or delay for receiving emails in Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2000 version is not actually the problem of Microsoft Outlook program.

Most probably, the issue is related to the server that delivers and retrieves the messages in your system. The other causes for Outlook preparing to send receive for a long time can be due to the antivirus program installed, the incoming server settings, or the spam filter in your computer or server.

That is, Outlook is slow to receive emails in Outlook account is not an Outlook issue. Here in this blog, we will go through reliable solutions to resolve this issue: Delay in receiving emails in Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, 2000 in Windows OS.

“I am using Microsoft Outlook 2013 since a long time. I am having a very huge PST file and my inbox is having various folders for reliable classification of data. Now when send or receive email messages it takes a huge time to download the message properly. Outlook is so slow to receive emails in the inbox. This is really frustrating and difficult. First I need to know why Outlook profile gets stuck in ‘preparing to send receive for a long time’. And also an efficient solution to fix ‘slow to receive emails in Outlook 2013’.”

Delay in Receiving Emails in Outlook – Why?

Now let us consider the technical part of this issue. Whenever an email message is received into your Inbox, there are some steps to have happened at the back-end for you to open the message and read it. That is when an email has arrived, it will take the default action of writing the receiving email message in the Personal Storage Table database file (.pst).

This is the first process to be taken place when your profile gets an email. Here, it can create a delay in receiving emails in Outlook account inbox. If your PST data file is full, fragmented, damaged, the process of downloading email into a PST file may take time.

So, it is your Microsoft Outlook trying to download and write the received email into the faulty PST data file. This might be the reason why you’re facing a delay in receiving emails in Outlook account. So this is can be a PST file issue. By fixing PST data file issues, you can resolve this problem for a big extent.

Other Solutions to Fix ‘Slow to Receive Emails in Outlook’

There are many other cases, where you may face a delay in receiving emails in Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, 2000. So go through the following cases and its solution to fix ‘slow to receive emails on Outlook account’. see how to manage Outlook email effectively without any errors and issues.

1. Check Hard Drive for Bad Sectors

There are chances for the hard drive to develop bad sectors and as a result, PST file stored in those locations got damaged. This may also generate issues when your Microsoft Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 tries to download an incoming email message and end up waiting for a long time. To fix bad sectors on hard drive, run CHKDSK command (/r) and find out issues and fix hard drive errors.

2. Fragment your Hard Drive

If you are using same Hard drive for a long period of time and not yet managed properly, there are chances for PST file to get fragmented. That is its result in saving incoming as well as your other information from your Outlook account in distributed memory locations instead of in a one contiguous memory block. As a result, MS Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 needs time to write receiving an email message on the PST file. To resolve this issue, you can be fragmenting your hard drive can be a good idea.

3. Compact Outlook PST File

Compacting or reducing the Outlook PST size is a simple and quite easy method to resolve this issue. Any user can try the below mentioned steps to shrink their Outlook PST file. However, there is a chance, that it may help you to resolve the delay in receiving emails in Outlook 2013, 2016 account.

  • Open your MS Outlook profile
  • Go to File >> Account Settings >> Account Settings
  • Now click on Data file >> Chose the PST file to be compacted >> Settings
  • Hit on Compact Now

Note: This is a time taking process depending on the size of your PST data file.

Tool Tip

If you are Outlook user, then you are aware of Outlook data file corruption. So, if  you can repair and fix your PST file using two methods. One is a free inbuilt utility provided by Microsoft which is known as Inbox Repair Tool (ScanPST.exe). But it is recommended to use a reliable third-party application like Outlook PST File Repair Tool. Because this allows repairing severely damaged PST files without any data loss. Download and run the software to resolve PST file issues efficiently.

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Why Outlook Slow to Receive Emails?

It’s a technological problem. Outlook might receive emails slowly due to a large PST file and a slow internet connection. To fix “Outlook slow to receive emails” try adjusting your account settings for a quicker solution.

Related Factors Why Outlook Delayed in Receiving Emails

  • Server Issues
  • PST file exceeds the size limit
  • Too many Outlook Add-Ins
  • Emails with Large Attachments
  • Poor Internet Connection Speed
  • Incorrect synchronization settings
  • Insufficient storage on your device
  • Slow or unstable internet connections


Here in this blog, we have discussed the cause and solution to resolve the delay in receiving emails in Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, 2000 versions in Windows OS. Go through the various reasons why Outlook takes a huge time to download email messages to Inbox. In addition, read the blog and resolve your Outlook 2016 account issue effortlessly.

Commonly Asked User Queries

Why Outlook Send Receive Slow?

Outlook’s slow send-receive process can be attributed to several factors, including a large mailbox, slow internet connection, or server issues. Ensure your mailbox isn’t overloaded, and consider optimizing your internet speed. If the problem still exist, then your hard drive has created bad sectors.

Why there is a delay in receiving emails in Outlook?

Delay in receiving email messages in Outlook account is a quite common problem. This occurs when there is some antivirus program installed in the user system, spam filter in the computer/server or incoming server settings, etc. MS Outlook takes extra preparing time to send receive process.

How do I fix a delayed email in Outlook?

Fixing delayed delivery of email messages in Outlook can be fixed easily by changing the settings in your account.

  1. Open the delayed message (In the Outbox)
  2. Click on the Options and Click on the Delay Delivery option.
  3. Now uncheck the Do Not Deliver Before option and Click OK.
How can I speed up Outlook?

To increase the performance and speed of Microsoft Outlook account, follow the 5 simple ways to speed up Outlook:

  1. Download complete IMAP emails
  2. Disable Add-Ins
  3. Compact PST files
  4. Disable RSS feature
  5. Repair PST files


By Ashwani Tiwari

Being a Chief Technical Analyst, I am aware of the technicalities faced by the user while working with multiple technologies. So, through my blogs and articles, I love to help all the users who face various challenges while dealing with technology.