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!

Comments

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Ran into this issue last week (2019!). I couldn't solve it but Outlook opened yesterday displaying evrything right. It seems that closing and opening Outlook more than a dozen times restored the normal behaviour. Strange!

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Looks like there is a known bug affecting older PST files in the 97-2002 file format. From the article on the latest office updates:

All emails are in plain text format for POP3 accounts
Last Updated: June 28, 2019

ISSUE

After updating to Version 1906 Build 11727.20210 you find that emails in your POP3 accounts are now shown as Plain Text rather than HTML as expected. This problem also occurs for new emails that you send even if you select HTML formatting. The issue only occurs if the PST File Format is “Outlook Data File (97-2002)”.

STATUS: FIXED

This issue has been fixed in Version 1906 Build 16.0.11727.20230 released on 6/27/19. To install the updated build immediately click File, Office Account, Update Options, Update Now.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/all-emails-are-in-plain-text-f…

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I just updated Windows 10 (with updates for other MS products switched on) and it didn't fix the problem for me

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

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I was having the same initial problem with viewing and printing emails. The fix for me was changing the View to Compact on the Outlook menu.

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Problem Solved!! Outlook 2019 File | Options | Mail | Editor Options | Advanced | Display Email Content
Uncheck Show Picture Placeholders | OK |OK
Hope this helps all who is looking for a solution to their emails not displaying correctly

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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

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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?

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

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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.

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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.

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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".

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Go to Options > Trust Centre >Trust Centre Settings > Email Security. Then uncheck Read All Mail As Plain Text.

That will sort it.

Cheers

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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

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

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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

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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."

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has there been any update on this? none of the issues above worked.

in my case im sending the body as a string. ex: " hello " and is displaying as is without applying the h1 tags

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 )

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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.

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

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

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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)

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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!

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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.

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

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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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There's an Office patch/update that fixes this. Microsoft support finally advised it after their basic checks, which were a big waste of time. Simply click File > Account > Office Updates > Update Now. Strange thing is, any email in your Current Mailbox that you have already tried to read when this problem existed will still not display in HTML format. New email and anything you didn't read will be fine. Archived email is also fine (before/after the update).

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After an automatic update to Outlook 2016, all my emails could only be read in text. I tried everything on mail and trust centre option settings discussed above but no luck. Then by chance I activated Office Updates to check if there could be further patches by Microsoft to cure the problem and hey presto, there were indeed updates and after these were downloaded and installed, I could read all emails in HTML again.