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12th May 2021 | by: Western Office

If you are one of the many that use the desktop app/program version of Microsoft Outlook, you may have noticed recently that something was wrong. Microsoft has released an update that broke some functionality with the program, including (but not necessarily limited to): having the body text of all emails missing or blank, in any folder (even when writing a new email); the Autocomplete feature (where it gives you a list of people that you’ve contacted in the past as you start to fill in the To field in a new email) goes upward off the screen. First of all, Don’t Panic! Microsoft has been made well aware of the issue and will be releasing a more permanent fix soon.

In the meantime, there is a temporary workaround that anyone can do and only takes a few minutes, for the most part. In case you don’t want to read further on this page, here is a downloadable PDF version.

1.) Again, Don’t Panic. Nothing in your emails are deleted, it’s purely a visual glitch in Outlook.

2.) To stop Outlook from updating, click on the File menu, choose Account or ‘Office Account’ on the left, then in the middle/right, click on ‘Update Options’ and choose ‘Disable Updates’ in the drop down menu. You may need to say Yes to a Windows pop-up asking for permission.

3.) Close out of Outlook and all other Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher).

4.) Go to Windows Update and press the Pause button 3 times in order to pause the updates for 3 weeks, since each press will pause Windows Update for 7 days at a time. To get to Windows Updates, click on the Start button and go to Settings (the gear icon), then click on the ‘Update and Security’ section/category.

5.) Now we need to run a special command with administrative permissions. To do this, we need to run the Command Prompt as an Administrator. Click in the Search bar near the Start button (or the magnifying glass) and type the letters ‘cmd’. Command Prompt should be the Best Match and on the right it should allow you to click on ‘Run as Administrator’ (or you can right-click directly on the Command Prompt app and choose ‘Run as Administrator’ from there). You may have to say Yes when Windows asks for permission.

6.) A black box window should appear, which is the Command Prompt. Copy and Paste the following text into that black box and then press the Enter key. WARNING: This must be copied Exactly As-Is!

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

This will run the command and pop-up a new window talking about updating Office. You can close the black box Command Prompt but do not touch the Office Updates window.

7.) After a few minutes or so, the Office Updates window will disappear, but it’s not done yet. Wait a little longer and a final popup will appear saying the updates are done and you can continue working with Office. Click on the Close button here.

8.) That’s it, you’re done! Go ahead and open Outlook to test. Look at your emails and try creating a new one to verify all looks good.

If you’d like more information on these two major issues, please feel free to visit the following links:

Hopefully there’s no more issues like this in the future, but at least we’ve got you taken care of. If you require assistance, please don’t hesitate to email or call us and we’ll help you get it sorted out.


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