How To Stop Microsoft Office Outlook from Synchronizing

Posted on 18 November 2008

microsoft outlook synchronizingI’ve been wanting to know how to stop outlook from synchronizing for a few years now.  Every now and again I tackle the problem but can never find any solutions.

This time, my outlook locks up while synchronizing and it’s really been pissing me off.

When Outlook is open, it begins to download the mail, then the synchronizing icon shows up in the task bar with it’s little message.  Then outlook freezes up and I have to shut it down and send in an error report.

Today, I finally found a solution and am posting it here for my own purposes.  I NEVER want to lose this little piece of information because it finally worked.

How To Stop Microsoft Office Outlook from Synchronizing

If you right click on each of the email folders and select “properties” you will see a check box: Automatically generate Microsoft Exchange views”.

UNcheck this box on each email folder.

You will still get a very brief “synchronizing” message, but ONLY while it is actively linking to your POP account.

There, hopefully I can find this again if and when I need it and maybe help someone else in the mean time.

Btw, before I tried this, I renamed my old .pst file, created a new one, and it still did the same thing.  It WAS NOT a corrupt .pst file.  Then I did the procedure above, then imported my mail and folders from the old .pst file.

and that… is finally that!

56 Comments For This Post

  1. AboutTime says:

    It’s about time someone disclosed this information…..thank you!

  2. SynchThis says:

    I searched high and low, gave up, searched again and again. Thanks so much.

  3. Jon says:

    Is there a downside to this fix? What are Exchange views and what is the impact of not generating them?

  4. Rob - @formerfatguy says:

    @Jon, exchange views work in a client server environment for people who have their outlook connected to their office MS Exchange server

    If you’re using pop or imap, it will have no impact

  5. Greg says:

    Microsoft doesn’t even know how to resolve this issue. However, it works and that’s all that matters. I wish I could tell the whole world because I know hundreds of people with the same problem. I’ll send it out to my email database and maybe it will make the rounds. Thanks so much for finally solving this devastating issue. Previously I could not get anything done while the synchronizing was going on. Regards, Greg

  6. Dee says:

    At last, I was about to pull my hair out with this daily problem, which I’ve been experiencing for months. My local IT guy wasn’t even familiar with the problem and couldn’t help me.

    It got to a stage I started digging a bit deeper for a solution as I couldn’t stand it anymore, as it was REALLY slowing my whole system down when synchronising.

    I then found this link/how-to and was chuffed. Does what it says on the tin, including the very brief icon popping up again when connecting to POP, but no problems. Buy this person a pint, well deserved!!!

    Thank you!!!!

  7. Rob says:

    “Chuffed” and “Does what is says on the tin”

    WTF does that mean? lol

    translation please (glad it’s working for you now)

  8. Ben says:

    Thanks for sharing! I will toast to you with a beer tonight! Like you, this has been a pain for some time.

  9. Rob says:

    and I will accept that toast with gratitude!

  10. andy says:

    my problem is that outlook freezes and crashes the entire system. I can’t access the folders. Is there some way to do this without running outlook? Help please! I am using vista and outlook 2007.

  11. Peter says:

    Another annoying habit of ms Out is when it suggests recipients in the To… bar it puts inverted commas ‘’ this either stops the messages going out or sends them but they dont get delivered. Does anyone know how to fix it?

  12. bob hendry says:


    Will this fix 2007 as well ??

  13. Rob says:

    @Bob, re: fixing Microsoft 2007 Synchronizing issue, I have NO idea. I’d suspect that if they never fixed it in the first place, the bug may have propagated to the latest releases. I’d say give it a whirl and report back. I honestly have no idea. Haven’t upgraded past Outlook 2003 myself.

  14. Chris says:

    @Bob i have tried this on my 2007 today and yes it does work 😀

    Thanks alot

  15. bob says:

    deselected all the folders however on send command still attempts to synch tho’ timescale a big improvement…….(don’t understand what it is synching with)still thankful for improvement

  16. bob says:

    having thought the problem had improved collegue just called to ask why I sent him 10 (multi) copies of a media attachment….anyone any ideas if there’s a link ??? cheers

  17. Rob says:

    @Bob, I’ve had that happen before as well. I’ve always attributed it to the ISP, not the actual sending computer. In my experience, sometimes the isp sends duplicate copies and sometimes the receiving email client fails to send a “delete” command, deleting the copy from the server after it downloads the mail. Both possibly related to the ISP and communications with it.

  18. Richard Laughton says:

    I was trying to work through this but with SO MANY folders it was a lot of work. Then came MICROSOFT OFFICE BETA 2010 and I took the plunge. It appears (I have tested it but no absolute guarantee) that there is an immediate solution to the problem.

    I sent this message as a SMILE (part of the BETA Program) to Microsoft:


    I am not 100% sure but it looks as if this is the solution to the MICROSOFT OFFICE SYNCHRONIZING FILES with the Microsoft Exchange Server. I asked about this a few days ago as that option was no longer on the individual FOLDER PROPERTIES. If this is the solution, it is a great solution as it works on ALL FOLDERS and you do not have to go to each one – a big task for a large OFFICE user with many e-mail addresses and folders.

    If this is a TRUE FIX this will be a significant selling feature to the user that is not on an exchange server as the SYNCHRONIZATION disrupted our e-mail every day, many times a day. So far, since I unchecked this box, I have not had that problem.

    I will circulate this to our team in anticipation that it is a correct statement. If not, I am the only one to blame.


  19. N says:

    It did not work for me at all. I am still getting the same message ” Microsoft Office Outlook is synchronizing folders” I cannot send out my urgent emails. I went through each and every folder and unchecked the box but problem still exists. Any further ideas anyone?

  20. scott says:

    Damn I was about to jump when I found this. You are my hero!

  21. mm says:

    So what about when using POP, any hints/ I’m going crazy

  22. Rob says:

    @mm, I am using POP. I only use POP. I think the deal is that it tries to synchronize regardless of which method is being used and hence ties up resources. I’ll never try to figure out why Microsoft does what it does, but it just does.

  23. Rob J says:

    Thank you Rob –
    This has plagued me for a long time and has cost me hours and hours of chargeable time!
    I think this will do the trick!
    Once again, thank you!
    Rob J

  24. Mike says:

    Thanks so much, I’ve been looking for a fix for soooo long !
    Cheers !

  25. kathy says:

    I tried your solution and it workded for a few days and the synchronization started all over again. I am so disappointed. This has cost me so much time. I am not on an Exchange server. This is a new PC running XP with Outlook 2007. Any other clues I could try? Kathy 6/27/10

  26. Hoang Lien Son says:


  27. Douglas Meeks says:

    I would send you a case of beer for that info :) I was about ready to just give up since I have been looking for a solution for almost 2 years. I cannot tell you how great this info is.

  28. Michael O'Shea says:

    I did the “un-check” thing to – to no avail on OUtlook 2007. Then I actually bought Outlook 2010 – and it still does the same friggin thing. I can get emails (slow), but Outlook will not “send” any emails at all.

    This only started for me about 3 days ago.

    WTF? Help – anybody. Can’t believe that Microsoft is letting this happen.

  29. Terry says:

    Thank you for posting this for the rest of us. This same situation has been a nightmare for me for weeks. My system kept hanging and I almost chucked it to buy a Mac. Thanks for saving me endless headaches and significant dollars!

  30. CraigC says:

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for posting this information, very helpful. I feel like oliver asking for more gruel here. But here goes…..

    Does anyone know a way to change this setting on all email folders rather than one by one. We have lots of folders and subfolders and would rather not go through them individually.

    Any ideas?

    Kind Regards
    Craig Clarke

  31. Giorgio says:


    I am glad i have found your web (GRAZIE !!!!)
    can you explain better the PST extension part …I did not understood properly and before apply to personal folders (all of them ) i want to make sure i will have no trouble (business mail box) ….
    today for instance i have been coursing really bad all morning with this hell of outlook sync…
    My opinion: Microsoft with all the governative buddies are keeping a copy of everybody email…(pure abuse of privacy…. but unconsciously approved at the initial set up from 99% of the average non computer expert user) sorry for the long speech…Ciao Arrivederci

  32. Diego Grriffin says:

    i use both open office and microsoft office and i would say that microsoft office is more responsive and user friendly -`-

  33. David says:

    I never had this problem until recently and when it comes up my computer is sending messages I did not generate. I personally think it has something to do with a virus or other malware where the bug is sending messages from my mailing list.

  34. Curtis says:

    Thanks this really worded for me… My problem started when I installed office 2010 pro plus so I went back to office 2007 and it still did the same thing… I’m using office 2007 and windows 7… Just unchecking the Automatically generate microsoft exchange view really worked… It stopped my computer from freezing up everytime it started synchronzing… I had to sit and wait until it stopped so I could continue to do whatever it was I was doing. My computer feels like a new computer now. This is GREAT! Super fast without stalling or freezing up. I guess I will try to install office 2010 again… Thanks

  35. Don says:

    Don’t know if it will work, but I’m posting, as this thread put me on to the problem. Here’s a solution that I’m trying:

    Send/receive interval too short

    Outlook can automatically check for new messages on a set interval. When you set this interval too short, a new auto check will take place before the previous one can finish and thus the send/receive tasks can accumulate so that Outlook is basically stuck in an endless synchronization process.

    You shouldn’t set the automatic send/receive interval to less than 5 or even 10 minutes. When you have more than 3 accounts I wouldn’t recommend to set it shorter than 15 minutes. A good rule of thumb is to add about 5 minutes for every 2-3 extra mail accounts until you reach 30 minutes.

    An alternative method would be to set 1-3 “high priority” accounts in a send/receive group which checks for new message every 10 minutes and all the other accounts in a separate send/receive group which checks for new messages every 30 minutes (or even longer)

    You can set the send/receive interval in;

    * Outlook 2007 and previous
    Tools-> Options-> tab Mail Setup-> button Send/Receive…
    * Outlook 2010
    File-> Options-> section Advanced-> button Send/Receive…

  36. Sonja says:

    Thanks Rob for sharing this info, it works!! :))

  37. Chris says:

    In Outlook 2007 at least, if you click on the downward arrow next to Send and Receive, at the bottom of that menu is Send/Receive Settings, then ‘Define send and receive groups’. Click on this, Edit, click on the account you don’t want to synch and untick ‘Include the selected account in this group’ and click OK.

  38. Tracy says:

    Thanks! I was experiencing the same frustration and had been trying for years to stop this. Your fix really worked.

  39. Kris says:

    Thanks! I was about to get a new computer so you save me a bundle!

  40. NuclearTrousers says:

    I have solved this on my computer… as above and in Outlook 2007 at least, if you click on the downward arrow next to Send and Receive, at the bottom of that menu is Send/Receive Settings, then ‘Define send and receive groups’. Click on this, Edit, click on the account you don’t want to synch and untick ‘Include the selected account in this group’ and click OK

    To find the account I need to untick I clicked (or double-clicked… can’t remember!) on the SyncManager icon down in the task bar notifications area and this showed me that Outlook was trying to download something from a ‘’ site, seemed something related to RSS. I unticked RSS in the above window and BINGO all sorted!

  41. Frank says:

    How do I stop Outlook 2010 synchronization process

  42. robert kroon says:

    I followed the above instructions…it resulted in reducing the amount of time spent “synch-ing” by about 50% but the synch is still there. Are there any other files that Outlook might be trying to synch that I could work on? I have 2007 at the office and it does NOT do this. I have 2003 at home and the home version is where the problem is. Interesting. You are so correct…when I ask IT people and techies, few if any have “heard” of the problem and no one has any fix. Thanks for your help.

  43. Tula says:

    I am having the same problem but I haven’t been able to fix it. I have Microsoft 2010 and when I right click on the folder properties I don’t have a check box that says “Automatically generate Microsoft Exchange views”. Do you have any ideas?

  44. Stephen says:

    I swear to god that if you were standing in front of me right now I would KISS YOU ON THE LIPS !!!!
    I have been plagued by this problem FOR YEARS !!!
    Oh my god… I just can’t believe it’s over.
    Thankyou thankyou thankyou…

  45. gregg says:

    THANK YOU! wish i had read this years ago. the future is brighter.

  46. Max says:

    @Tula – Try this:

  47. Sydney says:


  48. Tintin says:

    @Rob I’ve unchecked all the folders – Inbox, personal etc.

    Do i have to do the same for Archived folders too?

  49. Sandy says:


  50. Sandy says:

    I tried this. Seemed like it was working at first, but now i see it has started up again. I wonder if this a virus if some sort?

  51. Jack says:

    Have been going crazy for months with Outlook basically freezing while “Synchronizing Folders”. I tried to so called Microsoft Fix and it did not work. I tried this fix and it has worked perfectly. I have sent this to everyone I know that has Outlook. I quickly found out I wasn’t the only one !!!!!!!!

  52. Clyde says:

    If you right click on each of the email folders and select “properties” you will see a check box: Automatically generate Microsoft Exchange views”.

    I do not get this message on any of the folders, but it still synchronizes.
    Now what?

  53. mountainman314 says:

    That box is no longer on the 2010, I can’t get this worthless piece of antiquated junk from downloading all the time…why can’t I used outlook express on a 64 bit program,,,what the hell is wrong with MS, that they don’t fix this piece of crap.

  54. Michael H says:

    Thanks so much, Rob, the Microsoft site and other sites were no help, even telling me to look for things I couldn’t find. Even just unchecking the Inbox helped, but now I’ve unchecked all my folders and just as you said, the folder synchronisation is now only 5 seconds at the beginning of each mail download. I was really wondering what on earth I was going to have to do and your advice should really be more widely known.

  55. ajshaikh says:

    go to C:\windows\offline web pages and remove sync in

  56. Rob says:

    What version is that for aj? I’ve looked in my folder and it’s empty. Maybe because i’ve already fixed the issue? Love to hear back and see if anyone tries this, or even looks in the C:\windows\offline web pages folder to find the file

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