Outlook 2013 never finishes synchronizing subscribed IMAP folders

Hi everyone,

I recently encountered some problems with Outlook 2013 and IMAP: Outlook never finishes synchronizing my subscribed IMAP folders for my IMAP email account. Everything was working fine (had the laptop off during vacation) and is weird now that I've come back.

Here is what I observe:

  • When I start outlook it successfully receives new emails, but only once
  • Soon after starting outlook it tries to synchronize the subscribed folders (indicated in the status bar), but that process never finishes
  • This leads outlook being unable to receive any further emails (I assume it waits for above operation to finish). When you "force" outlook to update a particular folder by clicking on it, in addition to the status bar for the current tasks, it displays "synchronizing inbox" which never vanishes either

  • The only way to receive further emails is to restart outlook
  • When I close outlook, the outlook.exe process remains active (indefinitely) and I have to kill it.
(screenshots are in German, as my Office is in German, I assume things look similar in English)

I have tried the following to solve the issue:
  • Restart outlook
  • Restart computer
  • Deleting .ost files
  • Repairing .ost files with ScanPST.exe
  • Reinstalling (repairing) Office
  • Uninstalling Office, wiping the Outlook folders, wiping the Outlook Mail profile, Reinstalling Office
  • Tried all the things listed here: http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/news/general/imap-issues-affecting-outlook-2013-and-office-365-functionality (only update KB2837618 was installed, show only subscribed folders was unchecked anyway, declaring inbox as the root folder didn't do anything, except make some folders vanish)
  • I disabled "Get folder unread count for subscribed folders"
  • I used OffCAT to scan outlook, but it didn't report any critical issues
Does anyone have an idea how I can fix this problem?

Question Info

Last updated May 13, 2019 Views 28,730 Applies to:


Doing a lot more digging after re-encountering the problem after a fresh system setup, it seems that it is necessary to create the IMAP Email accounts before(!) any EAS accounts. This at least did the trick for me.

I still hope this gets fixed in the future.

Original Message:

Hello Aravinda and thanks for the response.

I forgot to mention that I did try the safe mode and disabling of Add-ins as well (without any further luck).

I got it working again by using a system restore point prior to the problematic updates, then removing Office 2013 with the Fix-it tool from Microsoft, updating Windows except for the problematic update and then reinstalling office.

After reinstalling office, outlook used my email account configuration that came with the system restore point (so I did not have to recreate the accounts in outlook). I luckily saved my AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook folder since after system restore Outlook was expecting different files than there were.

So, I found a way of making this work again but I guess it was rather brute-force.

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