How do you Force Outlook 2019 to "synchronize"?

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  1. Posts : 66
    Windows 10 Professional 21H1
       #1

    How do you Force Outlook 2019 to "synchronize"?


    I recently restored my Windows 10 Pro on my laptop with an image from 2 days ago for reasons that had nothing to do with Outlook. Everything looked great after the full restore. All programs ran like they are supposed to. Nothing required any attention except... Outlook.

    None of my previously defined folders and subfolders in Outlook had any email items in them. I checked and my .pst file was where it was supposed to be and about the right size - 4.7 GB. So I knew that my email items were still there.

    I stumbled upon an apparent solution which was to stay in a folder long enough for Outlook 2019 to start to "synchronize" automatically, where it indicated such at the bottom of the Outlook window next to the connected status. The emails started to magically appear as the synchronization was going. Then synchronize suddenly stops and so do the saved emails.

    So how do you force a "synchronize" to complete the job of repopulating the saved folders?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by bobhurd; 19 Apr 2021 at 01:29.
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  2. Posts : 7,086
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #2

    Are you using an IMAP mail server?
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  3. Posts : 66
    Windows 10 Professional 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Yes, I am. I am having trouble with getting all my "Inbox" entries in their respective folders.

    The "Sent" items, I have "synchronized" one by one and they are all done now.

    - - - Updated - - -

    To further elucidate: The Inbox emails that I am missing are stored in the.pst file on my hard drive. I know they are in there because of the large file size.

    I organize my emails into yearly "archives". Thus for the purposes of illustrating the problem, My "1997" "archive" only has emails from January 1, 1997 through June 27, 1997 and there are a lot of them. So not having any emails whatsoever from June 28, 1997 through December 31, 1997 is ludicrous to say the least.

    (Obviously my ISP has not had my 1997 emails stored on their server for decades).

    EDIT 1: The solution appears to be that of having endless patience while Outlook extracts the individual emails into their assigned specific folder. One must be in that folder for the extraction from the .pst file to occur. So I am plodding along year by saved year.

    EDIT 2: Apparently the Edit 1 method does not always work with each folder. So, I am left with the original question:

    How do force Outlook 2019 to perform what Microsoft calls "Synchronize"???
    Last edited by bobhurd; 19 Apr 2021 at 01:32.
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  4. Posts : 870
    11 Home
       #4

    Just adding any PST file(s) to an Outlook profile would not result in any folders in those PST files synchronizing with any account. For an IMAP account, only the email folders in the IMAP folder tree (the folders related to the IMAP account in the Outlook nav pane) would synchronize with the server. (You can go to the synchronization settings by hitting Ctrl+Alt+S, and, you can look for sync issues in the sync issues folder by going to the folder list before hitting Ctrl+6.) Adding the PST file(s) to the Outlook profile can be done by going to File | Open & Export | Open Outlook Data file. If not all the contents of the files appear after that, then be sure to clear everything from the "filter" at the bottom left.
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  5. Posts : 66
    Windows 10 Professional 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #5

    hdmi said:
    Just adding any PST file(s) to an Outlook profile would not result in any folders in those PST files synchronizing with any account. For an IMAP account, only the email folders in the IMAP folder tree (the folders related to the IMAP account in the Outlook nav pane) would synchronize with the server. (You can go to the synchronization settings by hitting Ctrl+Alt+S, and, you can look for sync issues in the sync issues folder by going to the folder list before hitting Ctrl+6.) Adding the PST file(s) to the Outlook profile can be done by going to File | Open & Export | Open Outlook Data file. If not all the contents of the files appear after that, then be sure to clear everything from the "filter" at the bottom left.
    Finally, a useful reply to my query. Thank you.
    I am going to try your fix(es) after I perform a complete system image which is occurring right now as I am composing this post.
    Question: Did you intend to type Ctrl+6 in your response, because that action seems to do nothing.
    Also, I do see that there is a filter applies at the bottom left of the Outlook window. I do not know how this got set, but more importantly, I don't know how to clear the filter.
    Once again, this problem has nothing to do with my remote email server. My IMAP account has not had these emails for many many years. All my emails are contained in the .PST file. I will "mess" with the Outlook Data File once my system image is complete in about an hour and a half.
    Thank you again for a useful response!
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  6. Posts : 889
    W10-2009 19042.1348
       #6

    I just created some screen shots to illustrate how to remove the filter: rt-click in the bottom left corner where the 'filter' message is:
    How do you Force Outlook 2019 to "synchronize"?-outlook-filter-2.png
    and deselect the 'filter' button. There are other ways also (via the View menu). I don't know why I bothered with the screen shot, the words are enough.

    <Correction!>: what I described just turns on or off the info that a filter is in place - silly me! Go to View>view settings to see what filter is applied (it will probably say 'advanced) and change it: click Filter..., go to advanced tab, clear all.

    For some reason I have never been able to fathom, if you drag and drop (or copy in any other way) complete folders from an Imap folder to a locally-stored (in .pst file) folder, some filter (which presumably is set by Outlook) is retained, which hides everything. This flummoxed me in the past until I discovered what was going on.

    trying to help, Martin

    - - - Updated - - -

    Replying to myself: I just copied a folder from my gmail imap 'structure' to a local .pst folder:
    How do you Force Outlook 2019 to &quot;synchronize&quot;?-outlook-empty-folder.png
    Nothing there, right? But (and this is coming back to me), that is because the view has been set to 'mark items for deletion', as shown by selecting the View tab, and then 'view settings':
    How do you Force Outlook 2019 to &quot;synchronize&quot;?-outlook-view-settings.png
    (I'm afraid the colours make the title bar hard to read). Changing the view to one of my saved ones makes the contents appear:
    How do you Force Outlook 2019 to &quot;synchronize&quot;?-outlook-foler-contents-visible.png
    Now I did not drag and drop the folder from imap to the local folder (because that does, by default, delete the item from imap, which might explain why it is marked 'deleted' - but that is of course silly behaviour), but I did a rt-click and selected 'move', which worked (the imap original was retained), but in that case why does the copied folder have a 'deleted' attribute? I think its a bug in Outlook (in my case 2010, so your experience may be different).

    I think the 'mark for deletion' view thing is in addition to the 'advanced filter' thingy - who knows what Outlook may do tomorrow? Martin the mystified (this post made more confusing by my updates).

    update again: The reason changing the view from 'marked for deletion' to something else is that this also removes the filter, unless a filter is set in the new view. So one can either just remove the filter, or change the view. As I don't want or need a 'hide items marked for deletion' view in my local pst folder structure, changing the view works best for me. Sorry for the confusing posts. This may now make some sense if you were unfortunate enough to see the interim versions! Martin
    Last edited by mngerhold; 19 Apr 2021 at 04:56.
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  7. Posts : 66
    Windows 10 Professional 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Outlook 2019 not showing all emails that are in my .PST file


    How do you Force Outlook 2019 to &quot;synchronize&quot;?-2021-04-09-outlook-2019-synch-problem.jpg

    This is what I see when I look at my 2018 Inbox. I only see from January 1, 2018 through January 6, 2018 and no more. It is similar for other years going back to 1996. The rest of that year (2018) is definitely in the .PST file. Outlook just refuses to populate the rest of the year out. You'll notice that there is no filter applied. Also, note that the folders for 2019 Inbox and 2020 Inbox are fully populated (January 1 through December 31) for their respective years. One other item to note: I am NOT having this problem with my Sent folders. They are put in separate folders for years going back to 1996. They populated when I went to the selected year and Outlook "synchronized" the folder for each year as I methodically went through each year form 2020 back down to 1996.

    In short, the emails are there for my Inbox folders, but not completely showing up for years prior to 2018. However all my Sent folders back through 1996 are displaying properly.
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  8. Posts : 889
    W10-2009 19042.1348
       #8

    I don't know what is going on with your slow appearance of emails. As hdmi said, there should be no synchronising going on with a local file - I certainly don't see any (Outlook 2010). Is it possible that the view we see is of folders that are actually contained within your imap-connected .pst file (one that Outlook automatically creates, and one cannot move)? If so, could it be that the synching is the emails being slowly uploaded to the server (for some reason)?

    To test that, try to open the local .pst file via the File tab>Open dialog - the contents should appear immediately. Of course, you may respond that you have that file open already - in which case nothing will happen (if my experience of attempting to open a file a second time is anything to go by).

    If you are willing, you could provide a screen shot showing the complete folder hierarchy, and where the inbox archive fits in. (some people are concerned about revealing their email address, but if some miscreant wants to waste time scraping mine from a png file, good luck to them - you have already revealed yours once). This is mine:
    How do you Force Outlook 2019 to &quot;synchronize&quot;?-outlook-folders.png
    The top level folder is my local .pst file, the others are imap connections, associated with .pst files that Outlook buries in my profile.

    Note that just because a .pst file is large, it does not necessarily mean it contains what you think - until a file is compacted, deleted items still take up space, even after emptying the deleted items folder.
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  9. Posts : 66
    Windows 10 Professional 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #9

    mngerhold said:
    ...Note that just because a .pst file is large, it does not necessarily mean it contains what you think - until a file is compacted, deleted items still take up space, even after emptying the deleted items folder.
    I knew that someone would bring this issue up about deletion of emails. I can assure you that having kept my emails through several versions of Windows and several email programs over the years since 1996, I am not going to be overtly or even inadvertently deleting content. I think there is a bug in Outlook 2019. I just have to get advice (from this forum) and see what does work. Eventually, something will inevitably work. In a worst-case scenario, I still have a full backup of my last laptop where I have found an old version of my .PST file in that backup. So, there is always that route to go. It's just a lot of hoops to jump through and I didn't want to have to work that hard to get everything back. But it appears like I have no other choice.

    I do sincerely appreciate all the help that I am getting here.
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  10. Posts : 889
    W10-2009 19042.1348
       #10

    OK, so it is not full of deleted emails! I didn't expect it was. But have you tried opening the file? If it is already open, close it, shut down Outklook, start up again and open again. There may be a bug in 2019, and I'm afraid I have no experience to be of any help.
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