Outlook 2003 "the operation failed" error

By ilya ·
Hello, my boss gets very upset when he is replying to an email and when he clicks on send button, all of the sudden he sees "the operation failed" error . (This was a regular email, with no attachments)
So outlook basically was not functioning. Every email that I was trying to open gave me an error "cant open this item". Something has to do with Word maybe, since There is "Word" window on "the operation failed". But I can't disable Word in the Options because he likes to reply in red font. I reinstalled Outlook, and the problem persists. I recreated his profile and will see today if my boss gonna shoot me. I checked for spyware and fully patched this machine. his mailbox is on exchange and 5gb in size. i dont know what else can i try? bomb microsoft?

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Stop using Word as the editor

by rasilon In reply to Outlook 2003 "the operati ...

I'm not sure why you think you can't disable Word. Under Tools/Options/Mail Format, uncheck the "Use Microsoft Word 2003...." options. Then set the message type to "Rich Text". You/he can then format the note with any font/color you want. Frankly, IMNSHO, using Word as the e-mail editor causes more problems than it's worth. Fr example, I've found that if you use Word, you lose the ability to insert hyperlinks to files in your e-mails...

BTW, 5GB is a large mailbox.... Does he *really* need it that large?? One thing that affects the performance of Outlook is the number of e-mail items you have. This actually is more important than the actual size of the mailbox.

Hank Arnold

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His Mailbox is on Exchange

by pnb51 In reply to Outlook 2003 "the operati ...

Have you checked in Active Directory to see the limit on the Mailbox size?

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Disable add-ins

by Aakash Shah In reply to Outlook 2003 "the operati ...

Disable all add-ins in Word and Outlook and close any other programs that might be using or linked to either Word or Outlook. If the problem does not occur after doing this, you will know that there is a conflict with one of the programs/add-ins you just closed.

I had this happen to me once on a Windows 2000 + Office XP system. My problem turned out to be related to Acrobat Professional. After disabling the Outlook Acrobat add-in, the problem disappeared. I made the following change in the registry:

Good luck!

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by itsandip In reply to Disable add-ins

Thanks aakash.its working :)

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ADOBE add-in causes many problems

by gerhard.diefenbach In reply to Disable add-ins

Thank you very much for your reg key fix! It saved my a... tonight!! This ADOBE add-in is the cause for many Outlook and MS Office issues I had in the past.

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"operation failed"

by vamsichrisraj In reply to Outlook 2003 "the operati ...


create a new profile and configure the account again..
i hope u got me..
CTRL panel-->mail-->show profiles--->
new profie..>add a new account--->made that profile as default.


make sure ur addins are not integrated with outlook.


help->detect and repair in outlook

try these steps.You will SUCCEED.

thanks people,

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check third party software

by paxport In reply to Outlook 2003 "the operati ...

If he can send and reply via OWA, it's not the exchange server.

If it's only OUTLOOK, create his profile in another PC. If everything works, we know now, it's related to this PC only.Please uninstall ( not disable) any third party software like SKYPE etc., which would grab the contact list. Restart Outlook or PC if possible!!

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SKYPE did it!

by amannor77 In reply to check third party softwar ...

Had the same problem... it was SKYPE.

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Outlook 2003 "the operation failed" error

by yoyo2b In reply to Outlook 2003 "the operati ...

I feel your frustration as well. I'm getting the same symptoms with 2 colleagues in the office.
I replaced the machines, recreated the desktop profiles, created the outlook profile and still no luck.
The only way to fix it is to close all outlook windows and restart it again, but as you can imagine, that's a pain when you have 8 emails opened.
I've searched high and low for a fix, even installed SP3 which didnt do anything.

Please let me know if you find a fix.

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Acrobat Pro Installed

by Aakash Shah In reply to Outlook 2003 "the operati ...

Is Acrobat Pro installed? If so, disable the add-ins for it. Or, better yet, if you can uninstall Acrobat Pro and then recreate the Outlook and desktop profiles, this will verify whether Acrobat Pro is the culprit.

The reason I am asking you to rebuild the Outlook and desktop profiles after uninstalling Acrobat Pro is because in case Acrobat has made changes to either files in your profile or registry, recreating the profile from scratch will "undo" these changes allowing you to troubleshoot better.

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