Microsoft Outlook – Operation Failed

And we have, yet again, another generalized error message from a program, of which the message says very little and explains even less.

This unfortunate error message only seems to pop up once in a blue moon; I literally only hear about someone getting it maybe twice a year.  What happens is that a user constructs an email and attempts to send it.  Upon hitting send, the dialogue box pops up with “Operation Failed” displayed.  You can close and save the email, but you’ll receive the same error every time you try to send the email.  There is only one resolution to this: construct a brand new email message.  This is the only solution; anything else I’ve tried fails miserably.

Typically, the user is not happy about this, because he/she thinks that they are going to lose all their work.  If the user copies and pastes the body contents of the original (faulty) into the new message, whatever is causing the problem does not get copied over.

Unfortunately, I have never found a reason why this happens.  Because the solution is quick and easy, I personally stopped caring and just fix it for users.