Outlook 2011 on Mac not syncing mail?


I occasionally have the issue of my Outlook either crashing and then it won’t sync my mail in outlook. It is sad when your phone becomes the more reliable email client. So there is a potential fix for most of you out there.

The Database for the Outlook profile can get corrupted over time and may need to be rebuilt on Outlook 2011 on Mac. To do this you can follow these instructions from Microsoft:

To summarize:

  • Kill all Microsoft Office applications processes (i.e. close them all, including Word, etc).
  • Backup (or copy) your Office 2011 identities folder located in “~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 identities/”
  • Press the Option (Alt) key while clicking on Outlook to open it.
  • It will go into the Microsoft Database Utility mode where you can rebuild the Identity (Database).
  • Choose the Identity you want, normally “Main Identity“. The click Rebuild.
  • Go to lunch. This will take a while.

If this doesn’t work, check out how to make a new Identity in Outlook 2011 on Mac.

If however only one folder does not sync but the rest of them do, i.e. your inbox only has yesterdays mail while the rules that send email to other folders are still recieving new mail, then you can try the to “Empty the Cache” which is to say you can re-sync that folder with the Exchange server by doing the following:

  • Right click (Control + Click) the folder in the folder list on the left side panel of Outlook
  • Click Folder Properties
  • Click the “Empty the cache” button on the bottom.

This will take a while, especially if you have a mailbox with of several gigs of data.

5 thoughts on “Outlook 2011 on Mac not syncing mail?

  1. Pingback: Making a new Identity in Outlook 2011 on Mac « Technobabble

  2. Tried all of your suggestions, even created a new user on the Mac and re-configured Outlook 11 and still the same problem. Only way to get new mail is to clear the inbox folder cache EVERYTIME. I give up.

  3. Hi,
    I had this problem in my Mac and your solution saved me.
    Thanks a lot.

  4. Hi Dennis,

    Any clue on how to clear the cache for the **trash**. I have my Outlook trying to sync my “Deleted Items” folder with the server. Because Trash isn’t a folder (at least not to the Right-Click function) it only permits you to *Sync* that non-folder named Trash. Which does nothing… Still message “0/22” in the Progress Bar window. The other thing is that this seems to suck ALL the bandwidth in the process – so much I can’t even have it open and do anything else. I rebuilt the database already… nothing… Sigh. New identity maybe???

  5. It worked! Thanks very much.

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