How to Fix: Windows 10 Windows Mail Frozen

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Marion writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I am running Windows 10 and my Windows Mail won't work; every time I load Windows Mail it just freezes. For example, normally when I load Windows Mail, the left hand side of the screen displays my Accounts, Inbox, Sent items, Drafts, and Archives - however, almost all of these headings are completely blank. If I move my mouse over top of each section it will show its heading, but I know that isn't right. I can only see a few items in my Sent box but no mail comes through the Inbox. Any ideas? "

My response:

I contacted Marion and she agreed to let me connect to her system via my remote desktop support service in order to review the issue in depth. I launched Windows Mail and noticed immediately that parts of the menu were missing on the left. I then launched task manager and it reported that the task 'hxmail.exe' was causing high CPU usage.

I searched the Internet for a solution, but most didn't explain the process very well. As such, I will put together the steps I took to resolve the issue.

How to Fix: Windows 10 Windows Mail Frozen

  1. The first thing you'll want to do is check the hard drive for errors. To do so: click Start, then type in "this pc" (no quotes); wait for This PC to appear in the list, then left click it. Next, right click the C drive and select Properties, then go to the Tools menu and under the Error Checking sub-menu, click on the "Check" button. If you have any file system errors you will need to reboot. In that case bookmark this page and then come back to it.
  2. The next step is to run 'sfc /scannow' and the DISM command to repair any damaged system files. To do so: click start, then type in "cmd" (no quotes); wait for CMD.EXE or Command Prompt to appear in the list, then right click and select "Run as administrator". A black administrative command prompt window should appear. Use your mouse to highlight the text below:

    sfc /scannow
    dism /online /cleanup-image /restoreHealth
    echo this is a dummy line
  3. Right click over top of the highlighted text above and select Copy, then go to the administrative command prompt you opened in Step #2 and select Paste. The commands you copied in Step #2 should now output onto the command line. This process will take a while - up to 15 minutes or more. If you receive any error messages such as 'SFC /scannow found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them,' then you likely have corrupt Windows system files, which means Windows is corrupt. The only way out of that is backup all your files and reinstall Windows; if you need help with that then you can contact me for assistance.
  4. Assuming Step #3 passed, it's time to try uninstalling and reinstalling the Windows Mail app. To do so: click Start, then type in "PowerShell"; wait for the PowerShell icon to appear, then right click it and select "Run as administrator". Next, use your mouse to highlight the text below:

    Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers |findstr windowscomm |findstr PackageFullName
    echo this is a dummy line
  5. Right click the highlighted text above, then select Copy. Go to the PowerShell window, then right click in the middle of the window and select Paste. The text you copied in Step #4 should now output to the line. The output from the command should reveal something like this:

    PackageFullName : microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_17.6769.40891.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe

    You are interested in the part of the line which is in bold above. Go to your PowerShell window and highlight that part of the text using your mouse, then right click over top of it to copy it into your clipboard. There will be no dialogue menu appearing asking you to copy the text; it will copy automatically. Then, launch Notepad from the Start menu and the select Edit -> Paste to paste the text into notepad.
  6. Inside of notepad, append "Remove-AppxPackage" before "microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps ...". It should look something like this:

    Remove-AppxPackage microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_17.6769.40891.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe

    Once that is done, highlight the entire line, then right click over top, and select Copy from the dialogue menu. That will copy the line into your clipboard. Note that if you are running Windows 10 64-bit, then the line above in bold should look exactly the same as it reads in this article. If you are running Windows 10 32-bit then the line will be different.
  7. Next, go to the PowerShell window, then right click in the middle of the window. The line you copied in Step #6 should output to the PowerShell window. Press Enter on the keyboard to execute the command. This will effectively remove the Windows Mail app from your computer.
  8. Now it's time to reinstall the Windows Mail app. Oftentimes if you uninstall and reinstall an app, that fixes whatever is wrong with it. To do so: click start, then type in "store" (no quotes). Wait for the Windows Store to appear in the list. Once the store loads, go to the search at the top right of the screen and type in "mail" (no quotes), then click the search icon. You should see Windows Mail appear in the list. Click on it, then click the "free" button to install Windows Mail onto your computer. When that finishes, try launching Windows Mail to see if it works. If it does not, proceed to Step #9 below.
  9. Another fix I've read about is to change the locale settings in Windows 10 in order to make Windows Mail work again. To do so: click Start, then type in "locale" (no quotes); wait for the "Change date, time, or number formats" icon to appear in the list, then click it. The "Region" window will appear. Go to the heading that reads "Format: xxx". The pull down menu (by default) will read "Match Windows display language (recommended)". You will want to change the latter to something else - for example, try changing it to "English: United Kingdom", then click Apply, then OK. Then reboot the computer, and try Windows Mail again. If it does not work, proceed to the next step.
  10. Yet another fix is to try launching Windows Mail from a separate user account. To do so we'll set up a "test" user account with password "test", then logoff the current user and login as the test user. You will want to bookmark this page, and optionally print the page so that you can come back to it. To do so: press CTRL + D on the keyboard to bookmark the page. Then, click Start, then type in "cmd" and wait for CMD.EXE or Command Prompt to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as administrator". Use your mouse to highlight the text below:

    net user Test test /add
    net localgroup administrators Test /add
    shutdown /l
    echo this is a dummy line
  11. PLEASE NOTE: immediately following this step you will be logged off the system. Before that happens, please save all your work and close any other programs that are running, except your web browser. After you are logged off, you will need to select the Test user account, then enter in the password "test" (no quotes) to login as the Test user. Following that, you are to launch the Windows Mail app to see if it works properly. You will need to enter in your email address and password for the account to make it work, so make sure you have that beforehand.

    Assuming you are all set with that: right click over the highlighted text in Step #10, then select Copy from the dialogue menu. Then, go to the command prompt, and right click in the window to output those commands. As I mentioned, you will be logged off the system so you can test the windows mail app under the "test user" account and see if it works. If it does work, then we can deduce that your main user account is corrupt. To fix this, you will need to export your data and programs and create a new user account to resolve the issue. Instructions for that are well beyond the scope of this article; if you require further assistance you can contact me for remote desktop support and I will do it for you.

    With that said: if the Windows Mail app doesn't work even under the Test user account, then proceed to the next step.
  12. If you've made it this far then you've done everything humanly possible to try and fix the issue. The only suggestion at this point is one of two options. Option #1: use another mail program such as Thunderbird to sidestep the issue; or, Option #2: backup your system, format the hard drive and reinstall Windows, then reinstall all your programs and re-import all your user data. In Marion's case, that's exactly what we did.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of this is over your head or if you can't get it to work and absolutely must have the Windows Mail app functioning, then I can help using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me and briefly explain the situation, and I will contact you as soon as I can.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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