Strange variant of blank emails - only sending HTML to myself. Outlook 2016 (365)

David Fontaine 96 Reputation points

I've had a strange and tenacious problem with blank emails, but it only appears to be a problem when sending to myself. The emails are only blank when viewed in Outlook on my PC; they have content when viewed on my webmail interface or iPhone. Also, emails sent to others have NOT had any similar problems.

Troubleshooting done to date:

  • Uninstalled McAffee AV, in case it was causing a problem. NO CHANGE.
  • Uninstalled/reinstalled Office 365 (incl Outlook 2016). NO CHANGE.
  • Tried running in elevated mode. NO CHANGE.
  • Scanned .ost. Problems found and repaired. NO CHANGE.
  • Uninstalled Avast AV and associated Outlook add-ins. NO CHANGE.
  • Tried sending as Plain Text. THIS WORKED. (Yay!!)

So, it appears it is a very local and localized problem - only when sending HTML formatted messages. I'd prefer not to have to resort to plain text only, as I often send myself messages with links and images.

Can anyone think of an underlying cause for something this particular? Suggestions?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Outlook Management
Outlook Management
Outlook: A family of Microsoft email and calendar products.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.
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Accepted answer
  1. David Fontaine 96 Reputation points

    Thank you for your help on this. I have not yet had the time to pursue creating a new profile to see if that helps. Given that I can send to myself as RTF as an acceptable workaround, I may just live with it.

    Feel free to close this inquiry for now.

    Thanks and regards,

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  1. ChristyZhang-MSFT 22,336 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hi @David Fontaine ,

    Welcome to our forum!

    What's the version of your Outlook 2016? (File > Office Account > About Outlook). Please make sure you have upgraded your Outlook to the latest version.

    In order to further confirm the problem, please provide information about the following problems:

    • Is there only a specific account on your client that has this problem? If you use other accounts for the same test, does the problem still exist?
    • And does the issue occur in all your emails or some special emails? If they are some special emails, do these emails have any common features, such as only pictures?

    According to my test on my outlook 2016 (version 16.0.5188.1000), I found that when I set the option to read all emails in plain text and send an email containing only pictures to myself, the email will be displayed as a blank email in Outlook client. Please go to File>Options>Trust Center>Under Microsoft Outlook Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings…>Email Security>Under Read as Plain text, unclick Read all standard mail in plain text, and then do the same test to see if there're any differences.

    If the above is not your case, considering the damage of your current profile, it is suggested that you could try to create a new profile(Control panel>Mail>Show profile>Add) and add your account to check if there are some differences.

    If this is still the case in the new profile, considering the impact of some add ins, It is suggested that you try to start outlook in safe mode(win+R>type: outlook /safe) to check whether it works normally.

    Hope the above help!

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