When you send an email, it should arrive in the recipient’s inbox in no more than a few seconds. Sometimes, however, the email will show up as queued in the outbox instead. The outbox is a temporary folder that emails are held in while they are in the process of being sent. The email client understands that you have clicked the send button and is trying to process that action, but it can’t do so immediately.
Until the action can be completed, it will queue the email in the outbox. Here are some of the reasons why this happens:
1. Your Email Settings
Your mail might automatically get sent to the outbox thanks to your settings. Some email clients have it set up this way so that you can manually send all your queued emails just in case you’re working with poor internet or if the email client takes a while to establish a connection with recipient inboxes.
2. Recipient Spam Filters
The recipient’s email client may have security measures in place that automatically hold incoming emails until it makes sure they aren’t spam. Once the email has been verified from the recipient’s side, then it disappears from the queue.
3. Internet Connection
You need a stable internet connection to send and receive emails. If the connection goes out before the email gets sent, it will be queued until the connection comes back. Likewise, a slow, unstable internet connection may not be sufficient to send the email.
The longer the email is, the more bandwidth it needs to get sent, since the message contains more data. A standard, 200-word email only needs about 20 kilobytes of data, while emails with attachment files and pictures need hundreds of kilobytes. You can test your internet speed online by simply looking up ‘internet speed test’ and clicking on any browser-based bandwidth tester.
Though, if your internet connection is so bad that you can’t even send a text-only email, you may not even have the bandwidth to run those tests. If you can, then it means that the problem isn’t with your internet connection, but with your email provider.
4. Email Provider
If your email client is down for maintenance or is having server problems, then it will queue emails until the problem is fixed. File a ticket with the email provider’s customer support and ask if there’s an estimated time for when the servers are back up.
You can also check the server status yourself by searching ‘[name of your email provider] down checker’ and going to downdetector.com for real-time server updates.
5. Large Attachment File
If your email contains a very large attachment file, it may take a while for the email client to process the file and then send it. Likewise, it may take a while for the recipient’s client to process the incoming data. You need to let the email client process the file, but if it’s taking too long, you may need to compress the file to reduce space.
6. Email Sending Limit
Some email clients have a daily sending limit to reduce spam. For example, if you use Gmail Workspace, you cannot send more than 500 messages per day if you have a trial account. If you have an Outlook Live account, the daily limit is 300 emails per day. You should receive a message when you’ve hit that limit. Once the daily limit is reset, the email should disappear from the queue.
Tips and Tricks to Avoid Queued Emails
These tips will help ensure your emails won’t get queued at all, or at least less often:
- Upgrade your email account to increase your daily send limit.
- Make sure you’re working with a stable internet connection before sending emails.
- Ask recipients to whitelist your email address to bypass their spam filter.
- Change your email settings if it’s set to automatically send emails to the outbox.
- Compress large attachment files or send them via Google Drive.