Microsoft Outlook is one of the popular email clients that is used by a lot of people worldwide for sending and receiving emails. Like Gmail, Outlook also has a feature to move specific emails to a particular folder. This feature is useful when it comes to searching for important emails in Outlook. If any kind of error occurs in Outlook, it makes it very frustrating for the users. In this article, we will talk about an error message “The operation cannot be performed because the message has been changed” that occurs in the Outlook desktop app while moving the emails to a particular folder. Some users have also experienced the same error message while sending emails.
The operation cannot be performed because the message has been changed
There are some temporary fixes that some users have tried and were able to solve the problem. We have described these solutions below:
- Mark Unread the message you are experiencing the error with while moving it to another folder. After that, you may be able to move it to the desired folder.
- Delete the email that you want to move to a particular folder. This will move it to the Deleted Items. Now, open the Deleted items and right-click on your email to move it to the desired folder.
- Open another email message and then the one you are experiencing the error with. Now, you may be able to move it to the desired folder.
The above fixes are temporary fixes, hence, they will not solve the issue permanently. If you want to get rid of the problem permanently, try the following solutions:
- Run Microsoft SARA (Support and Recovery Assistant) tool
- Disable Conversation Clean Up options
- Delete the email from Drafts
- Troubleshoot Outlook in Safe Mode
- Disable your Antivirus Email Scanner
- Contact Kaspersky customer support (solution for Kaspersky antivirus users)
- Configure IMAP account settings (solutions for the users with an IMAP account in Outlook)
- Turn off Autosave in Outlook
- Perform an Online Repair
Let’s see these solutions in detail.
1] Run Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant Tool
Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant Tool is a desktop client that helps users troubleshoot and diagnose issues. It runs tests on a computer to identify the cause of the problem and offers the best solution to the users to fix the issue. You can run this tool if you are experiencing an error with Office, Office 365, and Windows. If this tool fails to fix the problem, it will give you some suggestions to fix the issue.
The steps to run the SARA tool are listed below:
- Visit microsoft.com to download the SARA tool.
- Run the installer file to install the tool on your system.
- Run the tool, read the Microsoft Services Agreement, and click I Agree if you accept the agreement.
- Select the app you are experiencing the problem with and click Next.
- Select the problem and click Next.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
2] Disable Conversation Clean Up options
Disabling the Conversation Clean Up options has fixed the issue for a lot of users. Hence, there are high chances that this solution will work for you too.
Follow the instructions below:
- Launch Microsoft Outlook.
- Go to “File > Options.”
- Select Mail from the left side in the Outlook Options window.
- Scroll down and uncheck the “When a reply modifies a message, don’t move the original” option. You will find this option under the Conversation Clean Up section.
- Click OK.
- Restart Outlook.
If the above option is already unchecked in Outlook Settings, check or enable it, restart Outlook, then follow the above steps to uncheck the same option and then restart Outlook again.
Check if the issue is fixed or not. If you still experience the same issue, uncheck all the options in the conversation Clean Up section in Outlook and restart Outlook. This should fix the issue.
3] Delete the email from Drafts
If you are receiving the error message “The Operation cannot be performed because the message has been changed” while sending emails, there might be an existing email in Drafts for the same email address. This issue can be fixed by deleting that email from Drafts. Follow the instructions below:
- First, open Drafts and check whether there is any email message saved for the same email string. If yes, you have to delete it. But before you do so, copy the entire email message from the Compose email window and paste it into any word processing software or text editor tool, like Notepad.
- Close the Compose email window. You will receive a popup message asking you whether you want to save this email or not. Click No.
- Now, open your Drafts and delete the email.
- Open the Compose email window, paste your copied message there, and click Send.
The message should be sent this time without displaying the error message.
4] Troubleshoot Outlook in Safe Mode
Some users have found the following Add-ins the cause of the problem:
- Adobe Send & Track for Microsoft Outlook – Acrobat
- Kaspersky Outlook Anti-Virus
If you have installed any of the above Add-ins, disable these Add-ins and then check if the error occurs. This will save your time in troubleshooting Outlook in Safe Mode.
If you did not install these Add-ins, proceed ahead and troubleshoot Outlook in Safe Mode to identify the problematic Add-in. We have explained the entire procedure below:
- Press Win + R keys to launch the Run command box.
outlook.exe /safeand click OK. This will launch Microsoft Outlook in Safe Mode.
- Now, go to “File > Options.”
- Select Add-ins from the left pane in the Outlook Options window.
- Select COM Add-Ins in the Manage drop-down menu and click on the Go button.
- Disable each Add-in and then try to move or send the email and see if Outlook throws the same error message. If yes, disable another Add-in and then move or send the email. Repeat this process till you stop receiving the error message.
When you are able to move or send the email without receiving the error message after disabling a particular Add-in, that Add-in is the culprit. Now, exit Outlook Safe Mode and launch Outlook in the normal mode. Remove the problematic Add-in.
5] Disable your Antivirus Email Scanner
Some antivirus programs come with an Email Scanner. The Email Scanner in antivirus software scans emails and attachments before you download them. Sometimes this Email Scanning service causes some issues with Email Clients. If your antivirus software supports the Email Scanning feature and you have enabled it, you might be experiencing the issue due to this service.
Disable Email Scanning and then try to move or send your email messages. This may fix the issue.
6] Contact Kaspersky customer support (solution for Kaspersky antivirus users)
Some users have stated that the error was fixed when they disabled Kaspersky antivirus. Disable Kaspersky antivirus and check whether you are able to send or move the emails. If yes, we suggest you contact Kaspersky customer support to get this issue fixed from their side.
7] Configure IMAP account settings (solution for the users with an IMAP account in Outlook)
Outlook offers three types of accounts, Exchange, IMAP, and POP. If you are using an IMAP account in Outlook, this solution may help you fix the issue.
Follow the instructions written below:
- Launch Microsoft Outlook.
- Go to “File > Account Settings.” Click Account Settings again.
- Double-click on your IMAP account and click More Settings.
- Click on the Advanced tab.
- In the IMAP Account Settings window, type Inbox in the Root folder path field.
- Click Next and then OK to save the settings.
Now, you should be able to move and send the email.
8] Turn off Autosave in Outlook
Turning off the Autosave option In Outlook has fixed the issue for many users. You can also try this fix but after disabling the Autosave feature, Outlook will not save your email messages automatically to Drafts.
The instructions to disable this feature in Outlook are listed below:
- Launch Microsoft Outlook.
- Go to “File > Options.”
- Select Mail from the left pane.
- Scroll down to locate the Save messages section.
- Uncheck the checkbox that says “Automatically save items that have not been sent after this many minutes.”
- Click OK to save the settings.
Restart Outlook and check if the issue occurs. If this does not fix the issue, you can turn on the Autosave feature again.
9] Perform an Online Repair
If none of the above solutions fix the issue, performing an Online Repair to Microsoft Office is the last hope. If you still experience the issue after preparing Outlook, we suggest you contact Microsoft support.
Why do I keep getting an error message in Outlook?
There are many reasons for which you receive error messages in Outlook. One of the most common reasons is the internet connectivity issue. Sometimes, Outlook throws error messages due to a poor or unstable internet connection. The most common reason for which many users experience several errors in Outlook is the corruption in .pst and .ost files. In this case, repairing the .pst and .ost files can fix the problem.
How do you reset Outlook?
Both Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating systems have a built-in option to repair and reset the installed apps. The option to reset Outlook is available in Windows 11/10 Settings.
Hope this helps.