Fix: “The Operation Cannot be Performed because the Message has been Changed” on Microsoft Outlook

Many users reported the error message “the operation cannot be performed because the message has been changed” on Outlook while connecting to Microsoft Office 365. As per the users, they see the error message while trying to move an email to the folder.

The Operation Cannot be Performed because the Message has been Changed
The Operation Cannot be Performed because the Message has been Changed Outlook Error

The error is configured to occur on Outlook 2013, and 2016 as well. After investigating we find out there are many different reasons ranging from MS office corruption. So, before directly jumping to the fixes it is important to understand the common reasons responsible for the occurrence of the error.

What Causes the Error “The Operation Cannot Be Performed because the Message has been Changed”?

  • MS Office Corruption – There is a possibility that the MS office files get corrupted or damaged during the office installation and this is might be a reason that causes the error. To fix this try repairing the MS office.
  • Conflicting Add-ins – Sometimes the add-ins start causing conflict with the Outlook and block files. Check if you have installed any third-party add-ins then temporarily disable it and see if this works for you.
  • Antivirus/firewall Confliction – If you are running a third-party antivirus program then this might be conflicting with the Outlook client and causes problems. Disabling the antivirus and firewall program may work for you.
  • Enabled Email Scanning – For many users who have enabled email scanning on their system through the antivirus program may work for you. If this case is applicable in your case the disabling the email scanning may solve the error for you.
  • Outlook Settings – Some of your Outlook settings might be stopping the program from performing on your system. Therefore, it is suggested, to tweak the Outlook settings and check if now the error is fixed.

As you are now familiar with the common culprits causing the error, try the possible solutions that worked for several users to get past The Operation Cannot Be Performed error.

Update MS Outlook

Various updates are released by Microsoft for Outlook to optimize its performance, make it more stable and secure as well as fix various errors and issues. So, if you are not running the latest updated version then installing the latest update may help you to solve the error.

Microsoft might have fixed the current error in the latest updates. Check for the recent Outlook update, download and install it by following the steps given:

  1. First, click the File menu and then click on the Office account option
  2. Now click on the Update Options
  3. And for updating the Outlook program click on the Update Now option.
    Run Update Now of Outlook
  4. Wait for the updating process to complete and once it is finished, reboot Outlook.

It is estimated this works for you to fix the error but if still seeing the error then follow the next possible solution.

Repair MS Office/ Outlook

It might happen while installing the Microsoft Office/Outlook files gets corrupted and causes the error while performing any task. So, here it is suggested to run the MS Office inbuilt tool as this fixed problem with the installation and other issues.

Follow the instruction to run the Repair tool:

  1. Click on Windows + R button, which will open the Run command. Over there, in the text box type appwiz.cpl command and tap on the Enter button
    Open up the Programs and Features menu
  2. After that, a list of programs appears which indicate the program installed on your system.
  3. From there, you need to choose “Microsoft Office Professional” and then click Change
    Change Office Installation
  4. Here, you have to click on the Quick Repair option, and then click on the Repair button to start the repairing process.
    Quick Repair Office
  5. Once the process gets completed then Check whether your problem is fixed or not, if in case you face the same problem then move on to the next solution.

Leave the Email in the Draft Folder

First, write an email, and save the Email as drafts. Wait for a few minutes and then click on the send button.

Sending an email to the recipients after waiting for a few minutes will fix this error OR you can also close the Office and then reopen the office after a couple of minutes.

This quick trick worked for many users to solve the problem.

Remove 3rd Party Add-Ins

The add-ins offer great functionality in MS Outlook and allow you to perform tasks correctly from the inbox. Many add-ins allow performing tasks automatically while creating or viewing messages. But in some cases, the add-ins installed start conflicting with the regular Outlook functions.

So, here it is a possibility that the add-ins are conflicting and blocking certain outlook operations. And removing the add-ins may work for you to fix the Outlook operation failed error message.

Here follow the steps to do so:

  1. First, Open the Office 365 Login | Microsoft Office and enter your email and password and then click on the Sign In button.
  2. Click on the option “Account Settings” which you will get on the right corner side of your PC screen. After that navigate to the context menu option from there click on the “Options” button.
  3. From the left side panel opened, navigate to Add-Ins. From the menu opened, select the “COM Add-Ins” option.
    Select COM Add-Ins Option
  4. Press the “Check Box” to remove the “Adobe Send & Track for Microsoft Outlook – Acrobat”.
    Uncheck Adobe Send & Track for Microsoft Outlook – Acrobat”
  5. Remove the Add-Ins
  6. Try closing and reopening the browser to check whether the error persists or has been resolved.

If in case you are unable to follow the above mentioned steps then it is suggested to disable the COM add-ins following the below-mentioned steps:

  1. First, click on the Windows + R button together to open the Run prompt. Once the dialogue box will be opened, Type “Outlook/Safe”. in the box.
    Running Outlook in Safe Mode
  2. After that, your Outlook will be opened in the Safe Mode, just open any file in Outlook. Click on the File option from the top.
    Open Outlook Options
  3. Once it is done, then move to the Options menu to open the dialogue box “Outlook Options”.
  4. Navigate towards the tab “add-Ins”, opened in the left side panel and in the drop-down menu opened after clicking on “manage menu”, click on “COM Add-Ins”.
    Click Add-ins in Outlook Options
  5. Now disable each Add-In one after another and check whether the error persists or not after disabling each Add-In to know which one was causing the error.

Hope this worked for you to solve the Outlook saying “operation failed” problem.

Check and Disable the Email Scanning

Many antivirus programs have the option to enable email scanning and if you have enabled this option then might be blocking the outlook from sending the email to the draft folder or sending certain emails.

Disabling the scanning option may help you to fix the error in your case. Well, the steps to disable the option may differ as per the antivirus programs.

Here follow the steps to disable the option in the Avast antivirus program.

  1. Search for the antivirus “Avast” on your system and open it.
  2. Open the menu. On the left-hand side of the panel, click on the Settings option.
  3. From the menu, select the option “Active Protection”
    The Operation cannot be Performed because the Message has been Changed
    Choose Active Protection
  4. Just beside Mail Shield, press on the “Customize[+]” option.
  5. Over here the “Scan Outbound Mail (SMTP)” needs to be unticked. Then proceed by clicking on the “OK” button. Now check if the error has been resolved or not or else head to the next potential fix.
    Uncheck Scan Outbound Mail (SMTP) option

Use the SARA (Support and Recovery Assistant) Tool

Some users recommend downloading the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant (SARA) tool, as this worked for them to solve the operation cannot be performed because the message has been changed office 365 error.

Follow the instructions given:

  1. Download the file from the “Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant Tool” and from the File Directory, run the executable file “SetUpProd.exe”.
  2. Follow all the instructions shown on the screen to set up this tool and then proceed to click on the “Program” which is making this error happen. And then click on the Next button.
    Use the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant Tool
  3. Now, follow the necessary instructions shown on your PC screen, to fix your issue.

After that, check whether the issue you are facing has been resolved or not.

Remove Conversational Cleanups Options in Outlook

Here it is suggested to uncheck the entire options under the Conversational Cleanups in the Outlook app and save the settings. Disabling all the entries may work for you, so follow the instructions given to do so:

  1. Open the Outlook app and from the left side click on Files.
  2. From the menu opened, move to the Options menu and open the dialogue box “Outlook Options.”
  3. In the left menu panel opened, navigate to the “Mail” tab. Move down and click on the “Conversational Cleanups” Option.
  4. You need to disable all the entries in this section and proceed by clicking on the OK button.
  5. Now, disable the “Conversational Cleanups” option.
    The Operation cannot be Performed because the Message has been Changed
    Disable the Conversational Cleanups options
  6. After that, open the Outlook application. You can also try another method by unchecking the option “When A Reply Modifies A Message, Don’t Move the Original”  and then try to open your Outlook application.
    The Operation cannot be Performed because the Message has been Changed
    Uncheck When A Reply Modifies A Message, Don’t Move The Original option
  1. If you get “When A Reply Modifies A Message, Don’t Move The Original” then that means it is already“Unchecked”, so, now click on the check box to tick and it will restart Outlook.
  2. Now follow the same procedure, by moving to Files, then Options, then Menu and then to Conversational Cleanups. Now uncheck the option and to open Outlook again,

Check whether the error you were facing has been resolved or not.

Changes the Outlook Settings

If you have modified certain Outlook settings, then this might be conflicting with operations you were trying to perform in Outlook ad showing the error.

Try tweaking certain Outlook settings and check if the error is prevented. Follow the given instructions to do so:

  1. Open the Outlook app and from the left side click on “File”.
  2. From the menu opened, move to the Options menu and open the dialogue box “Outlook Options.”
    Opening Outlook Options
  3. In the left menu panel opened, navigate to the “Mail” tab. Move towards the section “Saved Messages”.
  4. Click the option “Automatically save items that have not been sent after this many minute’s options” and after setting up the time gap click on OK.
The Operation cannot be Performed because the Message has been Changed
Change Outlook Settings

 

Now check to see the error persists or has been resolved, if still encountering the error, then follow the next solution.

Restore Trash to Inbox

In many cases restoring the deleted emails from the trash folder to the outlook inbox solve the problem. Well, there is no valid reason for this but this worked for many users to resolve the Microsoft Outlook error.

Follow the simple steps to do so:

  1. Find the message you need to shift out of the folder “Deleted Items”.
  2. At the right of the message selected, all the Checkboxes or you can simply open the messages.
  3. Click on the “Move To” option and then select the “Inbox” option where you intent your messages to be moved.
    The Operation cannot be Performed because the Message has been Changed
    Restore deleted emails from trash folder
  1. This will move all the Junk Messages to Inbox.
  2. Once this shifting process gets over, a prompt will be indicated on the screen stating that the messages have been successfully been moved to the inbox.

Now check whether this solution has helped in overcoming the error or not.

Utilize Word or Notepad to Write Mail Content

There is a possibility the message is having some hidden rich text and formatting and this is what prevents the operation from performing. Therefore, copy and paste the mail content to the word document or the Notepad and paste it new email.

This will remove the formatting which might be blocking or preventing the Outlook mail from sending.

  1. Copy the entire mail content into a Word or a Notepad, before sending the email.
  2. Close your email and reopen it.
  3. Now, copy & paste the entire content back into the email and click on send option.
  4. Next check to see whether the error has been fixed or not.

Disable Antivirus Program

If none of the above-listed solutions worked for you then disabling the antivirus program may work for you. There is a possibility that the antivirus program installed on your system might be conflicting with the MS Outlook and causing the error code.

Check for the third-party antivirus application and temporarily disable it by right-clicking the antivirus icon in the taskbar and choosing to disable option.

After disabling restart your computer to let the changes take effect and see if the error message “The Operation cannot be performed because the Message has been Changed” in Outlook is resolved.

So, these are solutions that are worth giving try to circumvent the MS Outlook error. It is estimated the fixes given works for you to get past the error.

Hardeep Kaur
Hardeep is a passionate technical writer with more than 7 years of experience. She has a keen interest in PC games, Windows OS and everything surrounding it. She is a technology enthusiast and fascinated with technology since her childhood days.

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Fix: “The Operation Cannot be Performed because the Message has been Changed” on Microsoft Outlook

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