Have you ever received a blank email on Outlook? The body of email not showing is a common error on Outlook. Here are its reasons and some quick fixes.
Outlook, introduced in 1997 by Microsoft’s software giant, is more than just an email client. It’s your one-stop solution to stay on top of your meetings, calendar, etc. You can use Outlook’s free standalone mobile app, web version or pay for its full-fledged version that comes bundled in Microsoft Office 365 suite.
Now, all this doesn’t mean the software is free from glitches and email-related issues, especially the problem of the body of the email not showing. Although it’s the most basic and common problem you can experience with Outlook, you won’t like it to happen with your important emails. Right?
So, here are the top reasons why this happens and some quick resolutions to solve the problem. But before that, let’s understand the anatomy of an Outlook email message.
Break up an Outlook email message
As discussed below, you can break an Outlook email message into various parts.
- Header: The header of an Outlook email consists of information such as the message, sender, recipient, and route.
- Main body: This is the main body of the email where you can find the main text (either HTML or plain text). A mix of both can also be included. Second, the various attachments also fall in the body section.
- Footer: In Outlook, the footer appears in the form of a signature. You can customize your Outlook signature according to your preferences from the settings.
So, this is how an Outlook email looks.
Why is the body of the email not showing on Outlook?
As aforementioned, the body of the email not showing an error on Outlook can be caused by a range of factors. These include:
- Outdated Outlook application
- Internet issues
- Damaged or corrupt Outlook data files
- Incompatible plugins
- The font color is set for plain text messages
- The hardware graphics acceleration or just Hardware Acceleration is enabled
- The sender has mistakenly sent a blank email to your address
- Antivirus interference
These are common issues you can think of as the culprits if you see a blank Outlook email body. Let’s now sort out this issue through the following solutions.
How can I fix the “body of the email not showing” issue on Outlook?
Check out my tried and tested solutions for the “body of the email not showing” issue on Outlook.
- Refresh the Outlook application
- Reset your Outlook account
- Restart your PC
- Update Outlook
- Check your Internet connection
- Check with the email sender
- Remove AVG antivirus or any other antivirus plugin from the application
- Restart Outlook in the safe mode
- Check if the font color is set for plain text messages
- Check if hardware graphics acceleration is enabled
- Fix the corrupt or damaged Outlook data files through the PST repair tool
Let’s now discuss each of these in detail below.
1. Refresh/reload the Outlook application
To begin with, refreshing or reloading your Outlook application is the most recommended method to solve the body of the email not showing issues with Outlook. It worked for me and others as well.
To reload the Outlook mobile application, simply close the app, and re-open it. If you’re using the web version of Outlook, reload the browser. To do so, you just need to click on the reload button present at the top of the page. It looks something like the below image.
Alternatively, press the shortcut key combination – Ctrl+F5.
Now, check if the mail’s body shows up or not. If not, you can try restarting your PC as discussed below.
2. Reset your Outlook account
If reloading the web browser in the above step doesn’t work for you, I recommend resetting your Outlook account. If you’re using Outlook’s mobile application, here’s how to reset your account.
- Launch the Outlook application.
- Click on the Email icon at the top left corner of the screen.
- Select the gear icon situated at the bottom left. It’ll open the Settings.
- You’ll see two options. First, mail account, and second, storage account. Select your main email under the mail account.
- On the next screen, navigate to the RESET ACCOUNT option and click on it.
- A confirmation message stating Resetting your account will restart Outlook, do you wish to continue? Click on CONTINUE.
Now, check if the problem of the body of email not showing is solved or not. If not, try the next method.
3. Restart your PC
Just like you reboot your smartphone to solve minor bugs and glitches, similarly, rebooting or restarting your PC can also solve the aforementioned error.
To restart your PC, follow these steps.
- Launch the Start menu using the Windows icon on the screen or hit the icon on the keyboard.
- Click on the Power icon located at the bottom left corner of the screen.
- Out of the three available options – Sleep, Restart, and Shut Down, select Restart.
- Click on Yes if prompted.
Your system will restart now. Check if the Outlook email issue is resolved or not. If not, head to the next solution.
4. Update Outlook
To update Microsoft Outlook 365 to the latest version, here are the steps.
If you’re using the mobile application, you can update Outlook from the Play Store or iOS store as you update the other installed apps on your device.
- Open the Outlook application.
- Click on File.
- On the next screen, click on Office Account from the left panel.
- On the right-hand side, you’ll find the Update options option. Click on it.
- A drop-down menu will open. Select Enable updates to automatically install the next updates.
If any new update will be available, it’ll now get automatically installed on your system.
5. Check your Internet connection
If you’re not able to view the email’s body, attachments, and other things on Outlook, your internet connection might also be at fault. If the internet speed is too slow, it may take a while to download the attachments and show the main body either.
Hence, switch to the mobile data for a moment and check if you can now see the email body or not. Most users were able to get things sorted out in this way, including me.
If not, I think the sender of the email has mistakenly sent you a blank email.
6. Check with the email sender
If the solutions discussed so far are not working for you, I suggest contacting the sender of the email. Check with them if they mistakenly sent you a blank email. If yes, ask them to resend you the complete email.
If that’s not the issue, the antivirus plugin installed for Outlook is the culprit.
7. Remove AVG antivirus or any other antivirus plugin from the application
You must have read about incidents when users report receiving suspicious emails and attachments from random or strange addresses on email clients such as Gmail and Outlook.
Thus, to keep users safe from such emails, AVG Technologies provides you with a dedicated antivirus plugin called Avgoutlook.Addin for particularly Outlook.
However, at times, the same plugin may become a cause of bother for you since it often interrupts the functioning of the email app and leads to the body of email not showing an error.
Hence, you’d disable it to solve the problem. To do so, follow these steps.
- Launch the Outlook application.
- Use the path – File > Options.
- As the Outlook options page opens, navigate to the Add-ins (or plugins) option at the bottom.
- Click on the Go option at the bottom right corner. You’ll be taken to the list of all available Outlook antivirus add-ins.
- Now, to simply disable the plugin, untick the checkbox, and select OK. To completely remove the add-in, untick the checkbox, and select Remove.
- Restart Outlook.
If the issue of the body of email not showing is still appearing, try launching the app in safe mode as discussed below.
8. Restart Outlook in the safe mode
Restarting Outlook in safe mode is very straightforward and you just need to follow the given steps.
- Open the Run command box. You can use the shortcut key combination of Windows + R to do so.
- Enter the command Outlook.exe /safe and click on OK.
Your Outlook will now open in safe mode. Check if you can now view the body of the emails or not.
9. Check if the font color is set to white
Yes, that’s another common reason for not being able to view the text in emails. If the font color is set to white, you’d change it to black to view the emails. To do so, here are the quick steps.
- Launch the Outlook application.
- Use the path – File > Options > Mail.
- Click on the Signatures and Stationery option.
- Under the Signatures and Stationery window, click on the Personal Stationery tab.
- Scroll down the page until you find the Composing and reading plain text messages option. Select Font.
- On the next screen, go to Font color: and make sure to set it to Automatic or Black if it’s currently white.
- Select OK to apply the changes.
Now, relaunch the application and check if the mails’ body is visible or not.
10. Check if hardware graphics acceleration is enabled
If the hardware graphics acceleration or just hardware acceleration is enabled, you won’t be able to view the body of the emails. Hence, make sure it’s disabled. To do so, follow these steps.
- Launch the Outlook application.
- Follow the path – File > Options > Advanced.
- Find the Display section and see if the checkbox next to Disable hardware graphics acceleration is checked or not. If not, tick it.
- Click on the OK button to apply the changes.
You must now be able to view the emails on Outlook.
11. Fix the corrupt or damaged Outlook data files through the PST repair tool
If the Outlook data files (.pst or .ost) are damaged or corrupt, you’ll need to repair the data files to solve the problem of the body of the email not showing.
The best method to do so is to use Microsoft’s built-in PST tool, Inbox Repair tool, or simply Scanpst.exe.
Follow these steps to use the Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool.
- Browse to the location – Outlook 2019: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16. (Here, Office16 means the version of Outlook you’re using. Hence, put yours here.)
- Launch the Scanpst.exe tool.
- On the tool, enter the file you want to scan and repair under the Enter the name of the file you want to scan heading. You can also browse the location by clicking on the Browse option.
- Click on Start to launch the tool.
- If the selected file is corrupt or damaged, you will get the Repair option. Click on it.
Now, restart Outlook after the repair process is done.
These were the best 11 solutions to solve the body of the email not showing the problem on Outlook.
So, here you go. Although Outlook is an amazing email client for professionals over Gmail, it’s untrue that the platform is free from issues such as the body of the email not showing as discussed comprehensively in the article.
However, it’s easy to solve, provided you know what’s causing it. In this article, I listed down all the possible reasons that lead to a blank Outlook email and the top 11 solutions.
Try the above resolutions and let us know your feedback in the comments below.