Outlook 2010 – error or timeout when synchronizing subscribed folders

I have a couple of non-Exchange email accounts set up in Outlook for various email addresses.  On one of the accounts, I regularly see the synchronize subscribed folders task take more than 30 seconds when performing a Send/Receive All Folders operation.  Other accounts are fine, just one IMAP account is giving me grief.

Well, I finally figured it out after playing with various settings and scouring forums and I now share the solution with you.

By default, Outlook 2010 seems to synchronize all folders every time it checks for new mail.  This isn’t always an issue but if your account takes a while to update you may want to make these changes.

  • In Outlook 2010, go to File – Options – Advanced
  • Scroll down and click Send/Receive, then click the Edit button for All Accounts
  • From the left column, select the account you wish to modify, then
  • Uncheck Get folder unread count for subscribed folders
  • Click the Use the custom behavior defined below button, then uncheck all but the Inbox folder
  • Next, with the Inbox folder selected, click the Download complete item including attachments button
  • Finally, click OK/Close, where appropriate, to get out of the dialog windows and save your changes

Now, when Send/Receive happens you should see no delay in the synchronizing subscribed folders step.

As far as the unchecking of all the other folders goes, the above changes only impact the Send/Receive All Folders action.  When you click on another folder it will synchronize as expected.

I put this in place a few weeks ago and haven’t seen any issues since.  I have only tried this on Outlook 2010 but it may work on earlier versions as well.  Comment if it works for you and on which version.

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2 Comments on “Outlook 2010 – error or timeout when synchronizing subscribed folders”

  1. Tom says:

    Excellent tip, pal! I spent a lot of time talking to My ISP, who tried to coinvince me in everything- from deleting and redefining the Mail account in MS Outlook 2010 up to the reinstallation of the whole Windows 8.1 stuff. I never accept such “support advises”, they are simply stupid and incompetent.
    Thanks for your tip!


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