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When attempting to relocate emails to a designated folder within Outlook, you might encounter the following error message: ‘Operation can’t be performed because the message has been changed.’ This issue has also been reported by users when sending emails. Wondering how to resolve it? This blog post will delve into several potential solutions for this error.
message has been changed

Outlook by Microsoft is a widely favored email platform employed for the exchange of electronic messages. It includes a capability to relocate designated emails to specific folders, aiding in the retrieval of crucial correspondence within the Outlook interface. Nevertheless, there are instances when this procedure encounters an obstacle, leading to the display of an error message stating: “Operation can’t be performed because the Message has been changed.” Rest assured, you can resolve this issue by implementing the solutions provided below.

Prior to delving directly into the solutions, it is crucial to grasp the typical causes underlying the occurrence of this error.

Reasons Behind the Error – ‘Operation Can’t be Performed Because the Message has been Changed.’

  • Damaged Installation: There is a possibility that the error might be because of a damaged installation of MS Office or because any MS Office file gets corrupted during the installation.
  • Outlook Configuration: Some of your Outlook configurations might restrict the program from performing on your system.
  • Email Scanning: In some instances, this error might occur if you enabled email scanning through antivirus. You can temporarily disable the scanning to fix the issue.
  • Add-Ins: Sometimes, some of the installed add-ins start causing conflict with Outlook. You can temporarily disable these add-ins to check whether the error is solved or not.

Having gained an understanding of the typical causes behind this error, let’s now proceed with putting the potential solutions into action.

Methods to Fix Error – ‘Operation can’t be performed because the Message has been Changed.’
Solution 1 – Disable Conversation Clean Up Options
  1. Open Outlook, then click the File tab.
  2. Select Options tab from the left pane.
  3. Select Mail tab in the Outlook options window.
  4. Scroll down to find conversation clean up and uncheck the option ‘when a reply modifies a message, don’t move the original.’
  5. Click Ok and restart Outlook to check whether the error resolved or not.Click Ok  and restart Outlook

Note – If the option above is already unchecked, please check or enable it and then restart Outlook. Next, proceed with the previous steps to uncheck it once more and restart Outlook again.
If the issue persists, try unchecking all available options in Conversation Clean Up and then restart Outlook. This may resolve the problem.

Solution 2 – Remove Add-Ins

Occasionally, errors may arise due to installed add-ins. To address this issue, follow the steps below to disable these add-ins:

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook, and then click on the File tab.
  2. Select Options tab from the left pane.
  3. Select Add-ins tab in the Outlook options window.
  4. Select COM Add-ins from the right pane in the Manage drop-down menu and then click on the Go on the Go tab
  5. Now, remove all the add-ins and click Ok to save the Ok to save the changes

Once you’ve finished following these steps, go ahead and restart Outlook to see if the issue has been resolved.

Solution 3 – Repair Office

Occasionally, this error may occur due to corrupted Outlook or Office files. In such instances, it is necessary to initiate an Office repair. Please proceed with the following steps:

  1. Open the Run Command using Windows + R key.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and click ok
  3. In the Program and Features window, drop down to Microsoft 365 apps/Office app. Right-click on it and select Change
  4. Select Quick Repair, then click Repairclick repair

Once the repair process is finished, launch Outlook to verify if the error has been resolved.

Solution 4 – Turn Off Autosave in Outlook

This approach proved effective in resolving the error for numerous users. You can also attempt it by following the steps outlined below:

  1. Open Outlook, then click the File tab.
  2. Select Options tab from the left pane.
  3. Select Mail tab in the Outlook options window.
  4. Scroll down to navigate the Save messages section.
  5. Uncheck the box – ‘Automatically save items that have not been sent after this many minutes.
  6. Then click ok

Once the process is finished, verify if the problem has been resolved. If not, activate the autosave function.

Solution 5 – Configure IMAP Account Settings

You can use this method to fix the issue only if you are an IMAP account user in Outlook. Follow the below steps to configure IMAP account settings:

  1. Open Outlook, then click on the File tab.
  2. Click on Account Settings, then select Account Settings from the Account Settings
  3. Now, double-click on your IMAP account to open IMAP Account Setting window.
  4. In the Folder Settings section, type Inbox inside the Root Folder Path field.type Inbox inside the Root Folder Path field
  5. Click Next, then click OK to save settings
Solution 6 – Use Microsoft SARA (Support and Recovery Assistant) Tool

The Microsoft SARA Tool serves as a desktop application designed for troubleshooting and diagnosing various issues. If you encounter problems with Windows, Office, or Office 365, consider using this tool. It conducts tests on your computer to pinpoint the underlying causes and offers optimal solutions for resolution. In cases where the tool cannot directly address the issue, it will provide helpful suggestions.

An Automated Tool to Repair Corrupt Outlook PST Files

Certainly, the aforementioned remedies will assist in resolving the ‘operation cannot be executed due to Message alteration’ error. However, if the Outlook files become corrupted, these solutions will be ineffective. In such a scenario, resorting to an automated PST repair tool can be instrumental in rectifying the issue.

You can go with a Kernel for Outlook PST Repair tool to quickly repair corrupt/damaged Outlook data files(.pst) and recover deleted items. Users can utilize this tool to save retrieved items from PST files in various formats such as DBX, EML, HTML, MSG, and more. Moreover, it has the capability to repair password-protected and archived PST files from any version of Outlook. It also comes with an option to split PST file by date, size, and folder without altering the original data structure. Overall, it’s a powerful tool for accurately repairing corrupted and oversized PST files.


I trust that the aforementioned solutions will effectively guide you in resolving the error. Please attempt each of these remedies to overcome the issue. However, if none of these methods prove successful, it is possible that the Outlook PST file is corrupted.

In such a scenario, we suggested employing a sophisticated PST repair tool.resolve PST corruption issues. Anyone can easily use this tool because of its user-friendly interface and repair damaged/corrupt PST files within minutes. Try its free demo version to learn more about the tool.

Kernel for Outlook PST Repair