Top 6 Ways to Fix Microsoft Outlook Not Saving Drafts on Windows

Microsoft Outlook saves your unsent or partially composed emails in the Drafts folder. This gives you the option to revisit those emails at a later time instead of having to rewrite them completely. While that’s convenient, there can be times when Microsoft Outlook fails to save your drafts on your Windows computer.

Top Ways to Fix Microsoft Outlook Not Saving Drafts on Windows

Don’t worry, there’s no need to save your drafts elsewhere manually. Below, we share a few effective troubleshooting tips that should get Outlook to save your drafts like before.

1. Configure Outlook to Autosave Email to Drafts

To start, you should ensure that Outlook is set up to save unsent emails to the Drafts folder automatically. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Open the Outlook app on your PC and click the File menu at the top-left corner.

Outlook File Menu

Step 2: Select Options from the left sidebar.

Outlook Options

Step 3: In the Outlook Options window, switch to the Mail tab in the left sidebar. Tick the checkbox that reads ‘Automatically save items that have not been sent after this many minutes’ and enter your preferred duration in the text box next to it.

Outlook Draft Settings

Step 4: Use the drop-down menu to select the Drafts folder and hit OK.

Allow Outlook to Save Drafts

Try creating another draft and see if Outlook saves it.

2. Use Outlook Search to Locate the Draft

At times, Outlook may fail to sort your drafts correctly, making it difficult to locate them. This can give the impression that Outlook doesn’t drafts on your computer. You can try using Outlook’s search bar to locate your draft and see if it works.

Step 1: Open the Outlook app and head to the Drafts folder from the left sidebar.

Drafts in Outlook

Step 2: Type in the subject of the draft email in the search box and hit Enter.

Search For Outlook Draft

3. Disable Cached Exchange Mode in Outlook

With the Cached Exchange Mode enabled, Outlook stores a copy of your mailbox within the local data file. However, this feature can sometimes cause problems and prevent Outlook from saving your drafts. To check for this possibility, you can disable this feature momentarily by following the steps below.

Step 1: Open the Outlook app and click the File menu at the top-left corner.

Outlook File Menu

Step 2: In the Info tab, click on Account Settings and select Account Settings from the list.

Outlook Account Settings

Step 3: Select your email account and click the Change button.

Change Email Settings Outlook

Step 4: Clear the ‘Use Cached Exchange Mode to download email to an Outlook data file’ checkbox and hit Next to save changes.

Disable Cache Exchanged Mode in Outlook App

Restart the Outlook app to check if the issue is still there.

4. Check if the Draft Is Available on Outlook’s Web App

Sometimes, issues with the Outlook app on your PC can prevent it from showing your drafts after saving them. If that’s the case, your drafts should show up in Outlook for the web.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Outlook website in your preferred web browser. Then, sign into your account if you haven’t already.

Sign Into the Outlook App

Step 2: Navigate to the Drafts folder and see if you can locate your email. You can also use the search bar at the top to locate a specific draft quickly.

Outlook Drafts on the Web

If your drafts appear in Outlook’s web app, it’s possible that a faulty add-in or some other issue is causing Outlook app to misbehave on your PC.

5. Open Outlook in Safe Mode

Opening Outlook app in safe mode allows you to run the app without any of your add-ins. This can help you determine whether Outlook is unable to save drafts due to interference from a third-party add-in.

To start Outlook in safe mode, press and hold the CTRL key and double-click the Outlook shortcut. Click Yes when the confirmation prompt appears.

Open Outlook in Safe Mode

If Outlook saves and displays your drafts as usual while in safe mode, you can disable all the add-ins and re-enable them one by one to find the specific add-in causing the issue. Here’s how.

Step 1: In the Outlook app, click on the File menu at the top-right corner.

Outlook File Menu

Step 2: Use the left sidebar to navigate to Options.

Outlook Options

Step 3: In the Outlook Options window, switch to the Add-ins tab. Use the drop-down menu next to Manage and select COM Add-ins. Then, click on the Go button.

Outlook Add-ins

Step 4: Uncheck all the boxes to disable add-ins and click OK.

Disable Outlook Add-ins

After completing the above steps, restart Outlook in normal mode and enable your add-ins one at a time until the issue occurs again. After you find the troublesome add-in, consider removing it.

6. Run the Office Repair Tool

If Outlook can’t save drafts after applying the above fixes, you can use Microsoft’s Office repair tool to repair the app. This tool can automatically find and fix common issues with all your Office apps, including Outlook. Here’s how you can run it.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start icon and select Installed apps from the list.

Installed Apps on Windows

Step 2: Scroll down to locate the Microsoft Office product on the list. Click the three horizontal dots menu icon next to it and select Modify.

Modify Microsoft Office on Windows 11

Step 3: Select the Quick Repair option and click Repair.

Quick Repair Office

If the issue remains, repeat the above steps and perform an Online Repair to attempt a more thorough repair operation. Following that, your Outlook drafts should not disappear.

Repair Office Apps

Save Your Thoughts

It can be inconvenient when Outlook stops saving your drafts and forces you to rewrite your messages. Before you give up and switch to another email app, apply the above tips to fix the underlying issue.

Last updated on 27 June, 2023

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