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Help please - delete icon greyed out on inbox..! (Outlook possessed!)

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brian henderson

unread,
Apr 15, 2008, 5:48:46 AM4/15/08
to
Hi All,

I'm running Outlook 2003 on XP. Both Office & XP are patched up to the eyeballs.

I use Outlook as a pop mail client to gmail, so every mail I pull down goes into the inbox of a PST.

The problem that's driving me nuts is that the delete icon on the standard toolbar in between the "move to folder" and "reply" buttons becomes greyed out - BUT ONLY ON THE INBOX.

If I click on an email within the inbox to view it in the preview pane, it's still greyed out. If I click on an email in any other folder, it's not greyed out.

When the icon is greyed out, the delete key on the keyboard doesn't work either. So the only way to delete an email from the inbox is to double-click on it so it opens in another window. Then the delete icon (which gets moved across to the right some) is no longer greyed out (and the keyboard del key then works too).

I've run the repair option within Outlook - I even opted to reset (ie lose) all my customisations and shortcuts back to the defaults. I've nuked the accounts & profiles & re-added the PST - and a new PST and the problem remains. I've had a shower & changed my socks and my car is also fairly clean. The blood tests haven't come back yet so what more can I do......???

I'm dying to know what has caused this - nearly as much as I'm dying to be rid of it....!!!

Thanks...!!!

BH :(


K. Orland

unread,
Apr 15, 2008, 11:00:01 AM4/15/08
to
Perhaps some toolbar corruption? Close Outlook. Search for and rename
outcmd.dat. Open Outlook again. Let me know if this helped at all, there may
be some other solutions if it doesn't.

The outcmd.dat file is likely hidden so unhide hidden files and folders,
plus make sure you can see known file extensions.

Good luck!

--
Kathleen Orland - MVP Outlook
Outlook Tips: http://www.outlook-tips.net/
http://www.howto-outlook.com/

brian henderson

unread,
Apr 15, 2008, 6:14:32 PM4/15/08
to
Hi Kathleen,

thanks for the suggestion. I tried it as per below. I can see that Outlook has now created a new one but sadly - the problem remains.

Any other thoughts?

:)

K. Orland

unread,
Apr 16, 2008, 11:54:02 AM4/16/08
to
Have you vacuumed the cat? Walked the dog? Changed the baby?

Did this version of Outlook ever work for you without this issue? When did
it start? Since you're on XP, can you recover to when it did work?

--
Kathleen Orland - MVP Outlook
Outlook Tips: http://www.outlook-tips.net/
http://www.howto-outlook.com/

brian henderson

unread,
Apr 16, 2008, 6:21:37 PM4/16/08
to
It used to work when I first set up the machine. Then about 6 months ago it started to happen. I thought it was odd but I just put the problem aside for when I had time to look in to it.

So that was 6 months it's been happening. And like everyone, I've installed & uninstalled a lot of stuff since then. So even if I had a restore point that old, I don't think it would be a good idea to apply it.

Any other way I can kill off the toolbars?

Thanks :)

brian henderson

unread,
Apr 17, 2008, 5:57:36 PM4/17/08
to
Oh, And I just created a custom toolbar & added the del button. When I put it up there, the same thing happened.

So I think there's something down deeper in the works that's telling Outlook to not allow deletions from the inbox.

Does anyone know where this setting would be stored? In the reg somewhere I suppose..???

Any help much appreciated...!

;)

brian henderson

unread,
Apr 18, 2008, 9:50:23 PM4/18/08
to
So this has never happened to anyone else???

Come on - I've read some of the solutions to other problems in this forum & there are some very clever people here.

Please help.....!!! *aaaaggghhhh......*

:cry:

Mary

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Apr 19, 2008, 11:49:03 AM4/19/08
to
Messages can be deleted. The Inbox is a system folder and cannot be deleted.
Change focus to the message and you will be able to delete it.

"brian henderson" <brianhe...@lycos.com> wrote in message
news:eva#OBcoIH...@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...

brian henderson

unread,
Apr 20, 2008, 8:59:06 PM4/20/08
to
[quote title=Mary wrote on Sat, 19 April 2008 11:49]Messages can be deleted. The Inbox is a system folder and cannot be deleted.
Change focus to the message and you will be able to delete it.

Hi,

I'm not trying to delete the inbox. I have simply selected the inbox so that the messages (some read some unread) are visible on the right. If I click on any single message once I can view it in the preview pane.

When I have clicked on a single message, the del icon becomes greyed out & I can not delete the message. (Not with the keyboard DEL key either)

One odd thing I have just discovered is that if I highlight 2 or more emails in the inbox, the del icon is NOT greyed out & I CAN delete them. The problem only happens when I select ONE email.

Any ideas? 8o

brian henderson

unread,
May 5, 2008, 8:29:38 AM5/5/08
to
this forum sucks.

ie it works just like microsoft... = pretty, plagiarised & useless when it comes to the crunch.

Brian Tillman

unread,
May 5, 2008, 8:54:40 AM5/5/08
to
brian henderson <brianhe...@lycos.com> wrote:

Perhaps it's just that we, who are simply users of Outlook like yourself,
don't know the answer to your problem. Open an incident with Microsoft if
you want a more timely response.
--
Brian Tillman [MVP-Outlook]

Matt

unread,
Jul 8, 2008, 9:51:56 AM7/8/08
to
I've got the exact same problem... only on Vista (Ultimate) and with Outlook 2007... so it must be a setting or configuration problem. And do you think I to can find the solution...

Brian Tillman

unread,
Jul 8, 2008, 5:58:03 PM7/8/08
to
Matt <mca...@iinet.net.au> wrote:

And what problem is that? You provided no description.
--
Brian Tillman [MVP-Outlook]

Matt

unread,
Jul 8, 2008, 7:29:57 PM7/8/08
to
Huh?

The same problem as described in the rest of the posts in this thread...

I cannot use delete (an email) from the Inbox in Outlook, they are all 'greyed out'. To delete an email from the inbox veiw I have to highlite 2 or more emails... to delete an individual email I have to actually open it up.

Brian Tillman

unread,
Jul 9, 2008, 11:01:20 AM7/9/08
to
Matt <mca...@iinet.net.au> wrote:

> The same problem as described in the rest of the posts in this
> thread...

Always quote a portion of the message to which you are responding. FUDForum
doesn't maintain the context.

> I cannot use delete (an email) from the Inbox in Outlook, they are
> all 'greyed out'. To delete an email from the inbox veiw I have to
> highlite 2 or more emails... to delete an individual email I have to
> actually open it up.

What's "grayed out", the messages themselves? What type of account are you
using? What view of the Inbox have you selected?
--
Brian Tillman [MVP-Outlook]

Matt

unread,
Jul 10, 2008, 10:37:41 AM7/10/08
to
Brian,

It's the exact same problem that was posted by;

Guest

under the subject;

Help please - delete icon greyed out on inbox..! (Outlook possessed!)

On;
Tue, 15 April 2008 19:48

http://office-outlook.com/outlook-forum/index.php?t=rview&goto=362166#msg_362166

And it's all too long to repeat with quotes... but to clarify your question; it's the X button on the toolbar, the delete option on the right click context menu and even the the Delete/Ctrl D option under the Edit menu that are 'greyed out'

Cheers

Brian Tillman

unread,
Jul 10, 2008, 2:02:50 PM7/10/08
to
Matt <mca...@iinet.net.au> wrote:

> And it's all too long to repeat with quotes... but to clarify your
> question; it's the X button on the toolbar, the delete option on the
> right click context menu and even the the Delete/Ctrl D option under
> the Edit menu that are 'greyed out'

And what have you tried in an effort to repair it? What version of Outlook?
What type(s) and number of account(s)?
--
Brian Tillman [MVP-Outlook]

Matt

unread,
Jul 12, 2008, 9:32:52 AM7/12/08
to

And what have you tried in an effort to repair it? What version of Outlook?
What type(s) and number of account(s)?
--

Brian Tillman [MVP-Outlook][/quote]


Brian,

Version; I did mention in my first post that it's Outlook 2007 running on Vista (ultimate)...

Tried; I've repaired the install and re-installed Outlook, but as you should know neither of these will necessarily rewrite registry. I&#8217;ve also trolled through dozens forums and done even more searches of the Microsoft...

Accounts; this has little to do with the problem&#8230; I have Outlook retrieving a number of different types of email (POP, IMAP & SMTP) all to the one inbox.

Also, I have more than one computer retrieving all the same emails; that is I use 4 computers - 2 run XP, 1 Vista (basic) & 1 Vista (ultimate). All use Outlook 2007 and all are up to date with the current patches etc but only one has exhibited this problem. As I also said in my first post, it must be a setting or configuration problem, only what setting or configuration is causing it is the mystery

Brian Tillman

unread,
Jul 14, 2008, 10:43:46 AM7/14/08
to
Matt <mca...@iinet.net.au> wrote:

> Version; I did mention in my first post that it's Outlook 2007 running on
> Vista (ultimate)...

I see that. I had forgotten.

> Tried; I've repaired the install and re-installed Outlook, but as you
> should know
> neither of these will necessarily rewrite registry. I&#8217;ve also
> trolled through
> dozens forums and done even more searches of the Microsoft...

A new mail profile might be worth trying.

> Accounts; this has little to do with the problem&#8230; I have Outlook
> retrieving
> a number of different types of email (POP, IMAP & SMTP) all to the one
> inbox.

IMAP accounts will always have their own Inbox.

Whenever there are behavioral differences in PCs that are supposed to be
identically configured, a new mail profile on the misbehaving PC is usually
a good place to start.
--
Brian Tillman [MVP-Outlook]

the Butt@discussions.microsoft.com Jabba the Butt

unread,
Aug 30, 2008, 3:40:01 PM8/30/08
to
http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2385/outlook_2007_imap_inbox_purge_delete_items

God, the MS MVP's are as useless as they are rude. I hope this helps.

Hal Hostetler [MVP-P/I]

unread,
Sep 3, 2008, 5:17:48 PM9/3/08
to
Well now, forgive the rudeness, but your instructions are for an IMAP
account, not for a POP3 account, so they don't apply and won't work. Delete
behavior in an IMAP account is completely different than it is for a POP
account.

Hal
--
Hal Hostetler, CPBE -- h...@kvoa.com
Senior Engineer/MIS -- MS MVP-Print/Imaging -- WA7BGX
http://www.kvoa.com -- "When News breaks, we fix it!"
KVOA Television, Tucson, AZ. NBC Channel 4
Still Cadillacin' - www.badnewsbluesband.com

"Jabba the Butt" <Jabba the Bu...@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:44A82674-B2E5-4F52...@microsoft.com...

DrunkenWeasel

unread,
Sep 17, 2008, 2:04:08 PM9/17/08
to
This is odd, I've come across the same error on on of my client's computers.
Outlook 2003 was working yesterday, works today but delete icon is greyed out
when working on emails contained in the Inbox. Tried all suggestions in this
discussion. Delete icon is available when multiple emails are selected,
emails can be dragged to the deleted folder or I can permanently delete an
email with Shift-Del but can not delete single email with icon or delete key.

Darren Rysedorph

unread,
May 2, 2011, 6:24:54 PM5/2/11
to
recreate the PST file and then IMPORT the old one into the new one. The problem may lie in the INBOX folder properties under TYPE. The norm is:

Folder containing Mail and Post Items

If it says something about IMAP...then you know that the solution above will work. This was a tricky one...i hope this helps.

D

> On Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:48 AM brian henderson wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> I'm running Outlook 2003 on XP. Both Office & XP are patched up to the eyeballs.
>
> I use Outlook as a pop mail client to gmail, so every mail I pull down goes into the inbox of a PST.
>
> The problem that's driving me nuts is that the delete icon on the standard toolbar in between the "move to folder" and "reply" buttons becomes greyed out - BUT ONLY ON THE INBOX.
>
> If I click on an email within the inbox to view it in the preview pane, it's still greyed out. If I click on an email in any other folder, it's not greyed out.
>
> When the icon is greyed out, the delete key on the keyboard doesn't work either. So the only way to delete an email from the inbox is to double-click on it so it opens in another window. Then the delete icon (which gets moved across to the right some) is no longer greyed out (and the keyboard del key then works too).
>
> I've run the repair option within Outlook - I even opted to reset (ie lose) all my customisations and shortcuts back to the defaults. I've nuked the accounts & profiles & re-added the PST - and a new PST and the problem remains. I've had a shower & changed my socks and my car is also fairly clean. The blood tests haven't come back yet so what more can I do......???
>
> I'm dying to know what has caused this - nearly as much as I'm dying to be rid of it....!!!
>
> Thanks...!!!
>
> BH :(


>> On Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:00 AM KOrlan wrote:

>> Perhaps some toolbar corruption? Close Outlook. Search for and rename
>> outcmd.dat. Open Outlook again. Let me know if this helped at all, there may
>> be some other solutions if it doesn't.
>>
>> The outcmd.dat file is likely hidden so unhide hidden files and folders,
>> plus make sure you can see known file extensions.
>>
>> Good luck!
>>

>> --
>> Kathleen Orland - MVP Outlook
>> Outlook Tips: http://www.outlook-tips.net/
>> http://www.howto-outlook.com/
>>
>>
>>
>> "brian henderson" wrote:


>>> On Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:54 AM KOrlan wrote:

>>> Have you vacuumed the cat? Walked the dog? Changed the baby?
>>>
>>> Did this version of Outlook ever work for you without this issue? When did
>>> it start? Since you're on XP, can you recover to when it did work?
>>>
>>> --
>>> Kathleen Orland - MVP Outlook
>>> Outlook Tips: http://www.outlook-tips.net/
>>> http://www.howto-outlook.com/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> "brian henderson" wrote:


>>>> On Saturday, August 30, 2008 3:40 PM Jabba the But wrote:

>>>> http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2385/outlook_2007_imap_inbox_purge_delete_items
>>>>
>>>> God, the MS MVP's are as useless as they are rude. I hope this helps.
>>>>
>>>> "brian henderson" wrote:


>>>>> On Wednesday, September 03, 2008 5:17 PM Hal Hostetler [MVP-P/I] wrote:

>>>>> Well now, forgive the rudeness, but your instructions are for an IMAP
>>>>> account, not for a POP3 account, so they don't apply and won't work. Delete
>>>>> behavior in an IMAP account is completely different than it is for a POP
>>>>> account.
>>>>>
>>>>> Hal
>>>>> --
>>>>> Hal Hostetler, CPBE -- h...@kvoa.com
>>>>> Senior Engineer/MIS -- MS MVP-Print/Imaging -- WA7BGX
>>>>> http://www.kvoa.com -- "When News breaks, we fix it!"
>>>>> KVOA Television, Tucson, AZ. NBC Channel 4
>>>>> Still Cadillacin' - www.badnewsbluesband.com
>>>>>
>>>>> "Jabba the Butt" <Jabba the Bu...@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
>>>>> news:44A82674-B2E5-4F52...@microsoft.com...

Darren Rysedorph

unread,
May 2, 2011, 6:26:00 PM5/2/11
to

D

>>>>>> This is odd, I've come across the same error on on of my client's computers.
>>>>>> Outlook 2003 was working yesterday, works today but delete icon is greyed out
>>>>>> when working on emails contained in the Inbox. Tried all suggestions in this
>>>>>> discussion. Delete icon is available when multiple emails are selected,
>>>>>> emails can be dragged to the deleted folder or I can permanently delete an
>>>>>> email with Shift-Del but can not delete single email with icon or delete key.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> "Brian Tillman" wrote:

Darren Rysedorph

unread,
May 2, 2011, 6:26:10 PM5/2/11
to

D

>>>>>> This is odd, I've come across the same error on on of my client's computers.
>>>>>> Outlook 2003 was working yesterday, works today but delete icon is greyed out
>>>>>> when working on emails contained in the Inbox. Tried all suggestions in this
>>>>>> discussion. Delete icon is available when multiple emails are selected,
>>>>>> emails can be dragged to the deleted folder or I can permanently delete an
>>>>>> email with Shift-Del but can not delete single email with icon or delete key.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> "Brian Tillman" wrote:


>>>>>>> On Monday, May 02, 2011 6:24 PM Darren Rysedorph wrote:

>>>>>>> recreate the PST file and then IMPORT the old one into the new one. The problem may lie in the INBOX folder properties under TYPE. The norm is:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Folder containing Mail and Post Items
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If it says something about IMAP...then you know that the solution above will work. This was a tricky one...i hope this helps.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> D

Darren Rysedorph

unread,
May 2, 2011, 6:26:38 PM5/2/11
to

D

>>>>>> This is odd, I've come across the same error on on of my client's computers.
>>>>>> Outlook 2003 was working yesterday, works today but delete icon is greyed out
>>>>>> when working on emails contained in the Inbox. Tried all suggestions in this
>>>>>> discussion. Delete icon is available when multiple emails are selected,
>>>>>> emails can be dragged to the deleted folder or I can permanently delete an
>>>>>> email with Shift-Del but can not delete single email with icon or delete key.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> "Brian Tillman" wrote:


>>>>>>> On Monday, May 02, 2011 6:24 PM Darren Rysedorph wrote:

>>>>>>> recreate the PST file and then IMPORT the old one into the new one. The problem may lie in the INBOX folder properties under TYPE. The norm is:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Folder containing Mail and Post Items
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If it says something about IMAP...then you know that the solution above will work. This was a tricky one...i hope this helps.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> D


>>>>>>>> On Monday, May 02, 2011 6:25 PM Darren Rysedorph wrote:

>>>>>>>> recreate the PST file and then IMPORT the old one into the new one. The problem may lie in the INBOX folder properties under TYPE. The norm is:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Folder containing Mail and Post Items
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> If it says something about IMAP...then you know that the solution above will work. This was a tricky one...i hope this helps.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> D

Jack Toff

unread,
May 3, 2011, 10:21:53 AM5/3/11
to

Did you even bother to notice the dates of the posts you replied to?
2008? Do you really think the O/P is coming back to see these? You're a
real trip!
---

On 5/2/2011 5:24 PM, Darren Rysedorph wrote:
> recreate the PST file and then IMPORT the old one into the new one. The problem may lie in the INBOX folder properties under TYPE. The norm is:
>
> Folder containing Mail and Post Items
>
> If it says something about IMAP...then you know that the solution above will work. This was a tricky one...i hope this helps.
>
> D
>
>> On Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:48 AM brian henderson wrote:
>
>> Hi All,
>>
>> I'm running Outlook 2003 on XP. Both Office& XP are patched up to the eyeballs.

>>
>> I use Outlook as a pop mail client to gmail, so every mail I pull down goes into the inbox of a PST.
>>
>> The problem that's driving me nuts is that the delete icon on the standard toolbar in between the "move to folder" and "reply" buttons becomes greyed out - BUT ONLY ON THE INBOX.
>>
>> If I click on an email within the inbox to view it in the preview pane, it's still greyed out. If I click on an email in any other folder, it's not greyed out.
>>
>> When the icon is greyed out, the delete key on the keyboard doesn't work either. So the only way to delete an email from the inbox is to double-click on it so it opens in another window. Then the delete icon (which gets moved across to the right some) is no longer greyed out (and the keyboard del key then works too).
>>
>> I've run the repair option within Outlook - I even opted to reset (ie lose) all my customisations and shortcuts back to the defaults. I've nuked the accounts& profiles& re-added the PST - and a new PST and the problem remains. I've had a shower& changed my socks and my car is also fairly clean. The blood tests haven't come back yet so what more can I do......???

sol...@gmail.com

unread,
May 21, 2015, 10:54:19 AM5/21/15
to
To resolve the issue with Delete button grayed out and unable to delete emails/messages from Inbox or other folders please visit the link bellow with detailed explanation.

I was able to successfully resolve the issue on mu computer

http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/delete-button-missing-outlooks-inbox/

bill1...@gmail.com

unread,
Dec 30, 2017, 3:59:29 PM12/30/17
to
Thanks for this post as it solved my problem as well. I had the same problem with the delete key grayed out only when trying to delete a single email. Opening the email or selecting 2 or more emails would show the delete key and it would work. Our environment is with Windows 10 and Outlook 2010 (2 different 64bitlaptops).

Our problem 1st occurred when converting the 2 laptops, both with Outlook 2010, from pop3 cable company accounts to gmail. I set both up as imap, but found we preferred the pop3 environment. We then converted to pop3 and that seemed to be when the problem started. After reading many of the prior posts about this problem, I felt it did have something to do with the change to gmail, but would never have found the solution without your post. Thank you so much. Bill W

Bill Chesnic

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Mar 30, 2021, 10:13:49 PM3/30/21
to
HERE'S HOW I RESOLVED THE PROBLEM; UNABLE TO DELETE FOLDER UNDER A PARENT FOLDER, HAD A CLOCK ICON NEXT TO IT.
I created a new folder and copied all files from the parent folder into it. I then deleted the parent folder and the one previously unable to delete went with it. Lastly, I renamed the new folder which resolved the problem for me.
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