Are you able to send brand new emails originating from your account, but Outlook won’t let you reply or forward from existing emails in your inbox?

You will encounter an error message that states: ‘This message could not be sent. Try sending the message again later, or contact your network administrator. Unknown Error.’

If your send button on your Outlook account is greyed out, this is because your email server settings have been set incorrectly, or your account is in ‘Read Only’ mode.

We will provide you with an extensive guide, that is easy to follow, to help you with your Outlook account.

We have covered the steps you will need to take to fix your ‘Reply’ and/or ‘Forward’ button so you can carry on responding to your emails.

Why won’t Outlook let me reply to emails

outlook won't let me reply or forward

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

From your email account no longer be configured to a corrupt file in your browser, we have generated the reasons why Outlook won’t let you reply to emails.

Reason 1. Outlook not activated

If you were on a trial run for Outlook and you did not activate your account before the trial expired, you will not be able to use the ‘Reply’, ‘Forward’ and ‘Create’ functions.

This is called ‘Reduced Functionality Mode’ 

Reason 2. Email account is not configured

An incorrectly configured email account on Outlook will not provide you with the option to push ‘Send’ because it will be greyed out.

There could be a setting that is blocking Outlook from allowing you to reply or forward an email.

Another reason why your Office 365 Outlook reply is greyed out is that the settings for the mail server are incorrect and the communication between your account and the server cannot occur.

Outlook could have unintentionally removed your account details if there was a system glitch on your device.

Reason 3. Third-party interference

If you access your email via your browser, and a third party application interferes with your account, Outlook won’t let you reply or forward.

This could be from an extension or an add-in.

Reason 4. Update required

Microsoft Outlook will automatically be updated when there is an upgraded version available.

This is a default setting, however, it could be set on ‘Manual’ or the update was disrupted. A poor internet connection can interfere with the Outlook update is installed successfully.

Related Posts:

How do I turn on Reply Forward in Outlook?

outlook won't let me reply or forward

How to fix Outlook won’t let me reply or forward

You can turn on your reply, forward in Outlook by completing these steps to ensure your Outlook account is configured correctly.

Fix 1. Update Microsoft Outlook

Step 1. Launch Outlook
Step 2. Select ‘File’
Step 3. Choose ‘Office Account’
Step 4. Click on ‘Update Options’ and select ‘Update Now’
Tip, make sure your Outlook account is set to automatically update;
File > Office Account > Update Options > Enable Updates
(If ‘Enable Updates’ is greyed out, your automatic update is already switched on)

Fix 2. Re-configure account

You will need to reconfigure your Microsoft Outlook account if it was removed.
The error message ”No valid email accounts are configured” will appear.
Step 1. Access Outlook
Step 2. Click on ‘File’
Step 3. Select ‘Add Account’
You will now be able to enter your email address. You may need to re-enter your password.

Fix 3. Activate Outlook license

If you were on a trial run with Outlook and it has expired you will need to activate your license to be able to carry on having access to your account.
Step 1. Open up Outlook
Step 2. Click on ‘File’ and then ‘Add Account’
You will now be prompted to input your email address. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Fix 4. Open Outlook in safe mode

 If you are a user of a Microsoft 365 Outlook account, you can open up your email in safe mode.
This will help you access your email if there is an extension or add-on that causes the reply or forward issue on your account.
Step 1. On your PC, right-click on the ‘Start’ button
Step 2. Select ‘Run’
Step 3. In the box that appears, type in ‘Outlook/Safe’
Step 4. Now press ‘Ok’
To exit out of safe mode, exit out of Outlook, and re-launch the application.

Fix 5. Check your personalization settings

Another Outlook user could not reply or forward on their email account because they had made too many personalization changes in their settings.
This was specific to the change in a colour theme that was made on their Outlook account.
If you have made edits to the display settings on your email, change them back to the default settings.

Fix 6. Check the Outlook server

If your Outlook account cannot communicate with the Outlook mail server successfully, your account will be faced with issues when you try and operate your account.
This could be due to the email server being down. You can check the service status of Outlook by using ‘DownDetector’.
Keep in mind, if the Outlook server is disabled, you will need to wait for Outlook to fix the issue from their side.
(Did you know; The ‘Ignore’ button on Outlook is used to move a whole email thread to your deleted folder, so you do not get alerted when a new mail from that thread gets sent to you.)


Whether you have an Outlook account for business or personal use, you must be able to stay up to date with any communication that is sent your way.

We don’t need to reply or forward an email as soon as it appears in our inbox, but it is important to be able to respond when we want to, and to ensure our mail successfully reaches our recipient.

We hope you were able to get your Outlook email account back to allowing you to ‘reply’ and/or ‘forward’ on your current mails so your receivers do not need to wait any longer.

If, however our steps were not enough, you can check out Outlooks’s Community Page. You can speak to someone directly on (+44) 344 800 2400.