Sync Issues in Outlook

sync issues in Outlook

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If you have used the Mailbox Cleanup tool to look at the size of your Outlook folders, you may have noticed three or more folders starting with “Sync Issues.” While you can empty the “Sync Issues\Conflicts” folder with the Mailbox Cleanup tool, that still leaves others. We will discuss sync issues in Outlook.

Sync Issues in Outlook

The Sync folders typically hold messages telling you about problems encountered with syncing emails in Outlook with those on the email server (or vice versa). This generally occurs when you have been working offline, and Outlook is unable to connect to the mail server, or you have had some sort of connectivity problem.

What are the Sync Folders for?

Sync Issues

Outlook synchronizes with your mail server on a regular basis in the background. This allows you to send email from you Outlook on your computer and still see the message in the Sent Items folder when you check Outlook in the O365 online portal.

The Sync Issues folder holds the logs for synchronizations. Therefore, any general problems or delays in syncing with the mail server are recorded there.


You may have different copies of the same email if Outlook has had a problem syncing with the mail server. This can happen if you use Outlook in more than one location, such as your laptop at home and your phone when you’re on the go.

The Conflicts folder holds any different copies and allows you to choose which you would like to keep. If you previously made any changes to an item (such as a mail, a task, or a calendar event) on your phone and it is not appearing in Outlook, it is probably here.

Local Failures

Outlook will designate something as a failure and put a copy into the Local Failures folders when it can’t send it to the mail server.

Outlook will keep trying to sync. Therefore, just because an item is in this folder, it does not mean it wasn’t successfully sent to the server eventually. It just means that Outlook struggled to send it for a while.

Server Failures

The Server Failures is the opposite of the Local Failures folder. Whereas the Local Folders contains items that Outlook is unable to synchronize to the mail server, Server Failures contain items that Outlook could not synchronize from the mail server. While the Local Failure items are visible at all times, the Server Failure items are only visible when you have an active connection to the mail server.

Because Server Failure messages are much rarer, this folder often does not appear in the Mailbox Cleanup > Folder Sizes window.

Can you Delete These Messages?

Yes, you can delete sync issue messages similar to any other message in Outlook. These are messages that most people who use Outlook are unaware of because they come from the Exchange Server and are used by administrators to troubleshoot issues.

The majority of the time these messages are of no use to you, unless you are troubleshooting an Exchange issue. If you have never done this and you need the space, then you can probably delete them without a problem. However, these messages tend to be very small, alt-text messages, so you may not gain a lot of space by deleting them.


For more information or if you are experiencing Sync Issues in Outlook using your CA email account, don’t hesitate to contact us with the link below!

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