Microsoft Outlook bug prevents viewing or creating emails worldwide

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An update to Microsoft Outlook released today for the desktop client introduced bugs that prevent users from creating or viewing messages.

Today Microsoft released Outlook version 2104 build 13929.20372, and after installing the update, users of the click-to-run desktop client found that they could no longer view emails correctly or create emails. again.

When trying to view an email, instead of seeing the entire body of the message, they only see a small part or a single line of the email, as shown below.

Missing Outlook Email Content
Missing Outlook Email Content
Source: BleepingComputer

To make it even more frustrating, when creating a new email message, every time you press Enter, all previously written content will be deleted as shown below.

Outlook email text disappears when you press Enter
Outlook email text disappears when you press Enter
Source: BleepingComputer

In a crash status message in the Microsoft 365 admin center titled “EX255650: Issue affecting the display of email content in Outlook,” Microsoft states that it has identified the root cause of the issue and released a fix.

Title: Issue affecting the display of email content in Outlook

User impact: Users may not be able to view the content of email messages in Outlook.

More information: The impact is specific to the Outlook client and users with access to other protocols, such as Outlook on the web or the Outlook mobile app, can view the content of messages on these platforms as Potential workaround while our fix is ​​being applied.

Current Status: We have identified the underlying cause of the impact and are applying a fix. This fix will gradually reach all affected users over the next four to five hours. After users receive the patch, they will need to restart their email client to apply the patch. In some circumstances, users may need to restart their client a second time for the changes to take effect. We plan to complete this process and restore service for all affected users by May 12, 2021 at 3:00 UTC.

We encourage affected users who are able to do so to take advantage of the workarounds described above in the “More Information” section of this article as we complete the troubleshooting process for this issue.

Scope of impact: This issue can affect any user attempting to view an e-mail message in the Outlook client.

Root Cause: A recent change to systems that make it easier to manage text display for content in the Outlook client has had an impact.

All affected users will receive the update within the next 3-4 hours and will need to restart Outlook for the fix to be installed.

If you previously disabled Microsoft Office updates, you must re-enable them to receive this update from Microsoft.

How to fix Microsoft Outlook issues

If you are experiencing this problem in Microsoft Outlook, users have reported that you can correct the bug by reverting to a previous version of Microsoft Outlook.

BleepingComputer has tested this method and fixed issues with our Outlook desktop client.

Method 1: restore Microsoft Office to the latest version of April 2021

To revert to April 23, 2021, publish and troubleshoot Microsoft Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Open a command prompt by clicking on the Start menu and typing CMD. When the “Command Prompt” result appears, click on it.
  2. In the command prompt type cd "C:Program FilesCommon Filesmicrosoft sharedClickToRun" and press Enter.
  3. You will now be in the ClickToRun folder. Type officec2rclient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.13901.20462 and press Enter.
    Entering commands in the command prompt
    Entering commands at the command prompt
  4. Microsoft Office will now download the specified version of Microsoft Office and revert to that previous version. Please be patient as this may take a few minutes or more, depending on your computer speed and internet connection.
    Rolling back Microsoft Office to the previous version
    Rolling back Microsoft Office to the previous version
  5. When the updates have been installed, a screen will appear stating “Updates have been installed”. You can press the close button on this screen.
    Microsoft Office updates have been installed
    Microsoft Office updates have been installed
  6. Microsoft Outlook will now be restored to the previous version and you should be able to restart Microsoft Outlook.
  7. You can now close the command prompt by clicking the X button.

Method 2: Start Microsoft Outlook in Safe Mode

If you do not want to revert to a previous version of Microsoft Office or if you cannot find the ClickToRun folder, you can launch Microsoft Outlook in Safe Mode to fix bugs until an update is released.

It should be noted that when starting Outlook in safe mode, all add-ins will be disabled, including security add-ins.

To start Outlook in safe mode, please follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Ctrl on your keyboard, then launch Microsoft Outlook. Outlook will start to start and then ask if you are sure you want to start in Safe Mode.
    Do you want to start Outlook in safe mode?
    Do you want to start Outlook in safe mode?
  2. You must now press the Yes and Outlook will start in safe mode with the add-ins disabled.
  3. Once Outlook has started, you can confirm that you are in Safe Mode, as the title of the Outlook window will say “Microsoft Outlook (Safe Mode)” as shown below.
    Microsoft Outlook started in safe mode
    Microsoft Outlook started in safe mode
  4. When you are done using Outlook, you can simply close the program.

It should be noted that you have to repeat this procedure every time you want to start Outlook in safe mode.

Please let us know if these methods work for you.

How to turn off Microsoft Office updates

If you want to prevent Microsoft Office from automatically updating to this buggy version, you can temporarily turn off updates.

To prevent Microsoft Outlook from automatically updating, follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Click on the To file menu.
  3. Click on ‘Desktop account‘at the bottom left of the sidebar.
  4. When the account screen opens, click the ‘Update options‘then select’Disable updates. ‘
    Disable updates in Microsoft Outlook
    Disable updates in Microsoft Outlook
  5. A User Account Control (UAC) prompt will now display. At this prompt, click the ‘Yes‘to allow the deactivation of updates.
    Microsoft Office UAC prompt
    Microsoft Office UAC prompt
  6. After pressing the Yes button, you will come back to the Outlook account screen, and it will indicate that updates are off as shown below.
    Microsoft Office updates are disabled
    Microsoft Office updates are disabled
  7. To exit the Account page, you can press the button Esc key on your keyboard.

Microsoft Outlook updates will now be disabled, and you can reverse these steps to re-enable them when a fix is ​​released.

This is a developing story.

Update 5/11/21 18:32 PM EST: Added Safe Mode instructions for non-ClickToRun Outlook users.
Update 5/11/21 7:00 PM EST: Added instructions on how to temporarily turn off updates for Microsoft Office.
Update 11/5/21 8:20 PM EST: Added Microsoft update statement.


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