Outlook 2016 not displaying html content in emails properly

UPDATE: Unfortunately this issue has returned after using Outlook for a while, however closing and reopening Outlook seems to fix it again (temporarily). Time for Microsoft to release an update!

Having upgraded to Office 2016 Professional earlier this month I have come across a frustrating issue within Outlook – an email with html content is not displayed correctly, the alignment is all off and a horizontal scroll bar is displayed so you have to scroll right to see any content. Whilst displaying html content should not be difficult for an email application, many users with 2016 seem to be experiencing it (see here - http://bit.ly/1X0pk8X).

The particular problem seems to lie with the 64 bit version of Office and does not seem to have been reported on any 32 bit version causing some users to downgrade to 32 bit. This isn’t a great solution and so until Microsoft release a fix we found a quick way of resolving this issue:

  • Open Outlook
  • Click on File, followed by Options
  • Navigate to the Mail section and scroll down to Message Format
  • Untick “Reduce message size by removing format information not necessary to display the message”

This easy fix worked for us straight away however according to Microsoft forums some users suggest that after Outlook has been closed and reopened several times the problem comes back, although we have not experienced this yet!

Hopefully this quick easy fix will work for you and save the hassle downgrading to 32 bit or even reverting back to Office 2013.

Let’s hope Microsoft release a fix soon for those this doesn’t work for!


Thanks for the information about "Outlook 2016 not displaying html content in emails properly". The hopefully temp fix will not have to used very long, but it helped me. Thank you

I keep getting emails that looks strange - especially from Sports-tracker. Det reduce size etc is unticked in my outlook. When opening the email in a browser as proposed by outlook it all looks nice. Any suggestions other than unticking the reduce size choice?

Unticking “Reduce message size by removing format information not necessary to display the message” did nothing :(

Unticking “Reduce message size by removing format information not necessary to display the message” did nothing :(

My office is upgrading to windows 10 and lots of people here are running into this problem. I've tired the work arounds but they don't help. I've had limited success with closing and reopening Outlook but the issue always comes back.

Unticking “Reduce message size by removing format information not necessary to display the message” did nothing for me either. I did find that if I change the format of the email from "HTML" to "Rich Text", it will deliver the email properly. This is a quick workaround until Microsoft fixes the problem.

Unticking the box also didn't work. In Webmail and on my phone everything is working fine. Switching between email formats (HTML/Rich Text) is not working for me. Any ideas to a workaround?

All I get is errors "can't find file" and such when I click on the "if there are difficulties reading this message, click here to open in a browser window". I click on 'view in browser', the browser opens, and the error msg shows up. Seems like Outlook 2016 (not Outlook.com) is supposed to create a temp file and then cause it to open, but it doesn't create the temp file so the browser doesn't have anything to open. Reported it to MS and after 6 weeks they basically said "too bad, we can't help you".

Go to Options > Trust Centre >Trust Centre Settings > Email Security. Then uncheck Read All Mail As Plain Text. That will sort it. Cheers

Worked for me , thank you !

None of these suggestions work. Read all Mail as Plain text is unchecked. So is Reduce Message Size (unchecked). Outlook seems to destroy HTML and XML code that is placed in the body of an email. If you Right-Click and choose View Source you can actually see the HTML and XML tags in the body

Didn't work for me as well. Try following these steps, worked for me: Go to Options > Trust Centre > Trust Centre Settings > Automatic Download > Uncheck "Don't download picture automatically in HTML email messages or RSS items."

Thanks, this is the ONLY one that worked. FIX your act Microsoft, your Shi tty software leads to massive productivity loss

None of these options have worked for me.

Thanks ! This worked for me

worked for me too

Hi i am IT engineer and in my company we are using office 365 we have more than thousand issue on client machine. thank you for my help

Thank you Steve, your fix worked for me.

Untick "Use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for appearance of messages and restart Outlook. That did the trick for me ;)

Unchecking "Use Cascading Style Sheets..." worked for me as well.

OMG, so many different websites searched and check boxes clicked and unclicked with no success, and this is the one that finally fixed it for me, thank you Chiel :) (It's in File > Options > Mail > Message Format, for anyone looking)

Tried all these options and this last one, and nothing.

Unchecking "Use cascading style sheets" worked for me. I tried unchecking "Reduce message size..." at first, but it had no effect. Additionally unchecking "Use cascading..." aligned the email correctly. Thanks for maintaining this thread.

I have tried everything in this list and still it removes my html

this sucks.

has there been any update on this? none of the issues above worked. in my case im sending the body as a string. ex: "<h1> hello </h1> " and is displaying as is without applying the h1 tags

None of the suggestions on the list worked for me in outlook 2016...

Same problem here for a long time, on two computers. Un-checking the box doesn't do any more than just closing and re-opening Outlook. The sporadic problem will re-appear. Microsoft, get with it.

The CSS fix didn't do it for me but a quick workaround I use is to click "Forward" on the message. The forward version has everything formatted correctly. Go figure.

All of the above didnt work. Do you suggest uninstalling and reinstalling outlook?

So the Fix is -- Go back in File - Options - Mail - Message Format - and Un-check everything. CSS.., Reduce, Encoding.., Convert to ... -- uncheck them all and chose to Format to HTML. CLose Outlook and Re-Open -- *Ta-Da!* -- if still no beuno: Close Outlook / Word, etc, search for Normal.dot - delete this. Re-Open and that should reset Outlook. Its CSS or HTML or normal.dot. I did all 3 and Im good, so who knows.

Ian is the man!!! I tried all the other tricks and nothing worked. I deleted NormalEmail.dotm, restarted Outlook, and my problems were gone!

Update!! SO forget the Mail Formatting. If Outlook is not displaying things correctly, 1) Close Outlook / Office 2) Find & delete "normal.dotm" 3) Launch Word - blank document - look at it and say pretty (just kidding on the last part). Close 4) Open Outlook again and it should be good. Not sure why it is reverting, but its the only fix I have for now.

None of the above worked for me. :-(

Tried all of the many recommendations found all over the WEB, nothing worked for me. Had a look at Outlook Express which comes as part of Office, opened the program and found a setting there that barred HTML content in received emails. Unchecked that and Whammo! I now get HTML in my Outlook emails. A few of the older ones were not complete but all the new emails worked fine. Obviously Outlook shares some settings with Outlook Express. I hope this works for you.

Where can I get the setting that barred HTML content in received emails?

I noticed that although messages received in this format, once deleted they revert back to the correct format. So what does that mean??

I have a server installed prof 7.55 About 1000+ mailboxes. 15 of those mail box Can't receive HTML formatted emails properly. When I send to a mail to those 15 mail inthe server with tables from any mail adreses,,, --> tables change to txt document. it is like copy paste a table from word document to notepad doucment. All tables are gone but data is there without table. I have this problem only in few mail boxes. The other are working properly.

Do I lose a data or my license when upgrade from 7.55 prof to 7.60 prof ? is this upgrade takes a long time? (should I do it in the evening since mailboxes are used in day time )

Thanks a lot for your info. It fixed this annoying bug that was corrupting my archived email.

Very Helpful. Solved the problem. Thanks!

Thank you alot but i am also in trouble that is i have received a mail but don't show attachments in other side in cc email account they are shown all attachments easily so please solve my problem and give me a easy trick to fix this problem. Thanks!

Same issue for me, tried all the solutions and none work. I have this issue on my desktop and my Surface GO so it's not device specific. Email renders perfectly in O365 web.


It's 2019, and am still facing the same issue, this issue has been not addressed till yet from Microsoft.

Same here, traveled all across the internet and there is no fix that actually works. My email was fine for more than a year, until suddenly it just did not want to display the html content. I've had to resort to another shitty mail client just to see my freaking emails! Microsoft this is total shit

Hi, when we receive mail(with varying colored words) from someone in outlook,it does not shows actual format. what is reason behind?

I tried all the fixes listed here, and none worked. This issue has happened to me twice in the last year, and both times the problem was my add-ins. File --> Options --> Add-ins --> click "Go" next to Manage add-ins --> Un-check any add-ins that you don't absolutely need. There's a high probability one of your add-ins is causing your problem!

This is the ONLY thing that worked for me. It was definitely an add on. As soon as I unchecked them all, html starting working/viewing properly again. Thank you.

thanks, that temp fix works. MS need to resolve this rather silly issue


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