I've configured an IMAP account in Outlook 2013 which, at first, behaves just fine. It syncs the inbox and fetches about 2mb of messages. New messages arrive promptly in the inbox, all seems well.

But after, say, 10 minutes, the synchronization goes crazy. Outlook pegs one CPU core at 100% and the "Sync Issues" folder starts filling with synchronization messages, a new one every second (right on the second) like thus:

Sync Issues

Every now and then it throws in an error:

Sync Error

I'd previously used POP3 for this account on Outlook 2010 without issue, but want to switch to IMAP since I'm using IMAP (without issue) for the same inbox on my iPhone.

I've queried my service provided if they're aware of any compatibility issues with their IMAP service, and the response has basically been "Don't use Outlook 2013 yet, it stinks".

I see various other reports of the same issue dating back to pre-release days with responses like "it's pre-release, sit tight". Well it's been RTM for almost a month now, does anybody know what's going on? Is it a recognised bug? A server incompatibility? Is there any known client-side work-around? (After-all it works without issue for the first 10-20 minutes).

  • 3
    The constant IMAP synchronising also seems to be associated with a memory leak, given enough time Outlook will run out of memory and crash. – Snixtor Mar 5 '13 at 8:34
  • As you can read in many many other posts, Outlook 2013 is not behaving well with IMAP servers. Looks like MS wishes to drop IMAP support and force all users to go the Exchange (Office365) road. – André Schild Dec 13 '13 at 10:35
  • A little late I'm afraid - but how many messages are in your inbox? The iPhone doesn't have any issues because it cuts off replication for only a few days and therefore keeps the number of entries to a minimum. – Julian Knight Jan 13 '14 at 14:22

I have seen this before at work and the solution we found to work for us was to load Outlook in Safe Mode and the problem "went away". The only issue is it did not address the problem.

Open the Command Prompt and type whichever command suits the version of Windows you have installed:

Windows 32-bit

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\Outlook.exe" safe:3

Windows 64-bit

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\Outlook.exe" safe:3

Ensure your copy and paste the entire line, including the " around the file name. You do not need to change to the directory, it will either run or it won't.

If you are unsure of which version of Windows you have, try the second one, then the first one (most new computers are 64-bit installations of Windows).

If this works for you, then create a shortcut and put it where you want with the target as the command is copied from above.

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This error is caused by a misdirected rootdirectory for the IMAP mailbox. Set the mailbox root (in outlook settings) to 'inbox' (in most cases, but check the real name of the inbox via the webmail service of that account) and the error is history.

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