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Fix slow Outlook IMAP folder synchronization issues

You are reading this article because you have set up IMAP on your outlook and it seems to take a long time to sync the folders/emails.

Step 1 – Root Your Inbox

  1. Click on File.

    outlook menubar
  2. This will show you the account settings. Select your account, click on account settings and account settings again.

    outlook account info
  3. This will show you your account list. Double click on the email account you want to change.

    outlook account list
  4. Now you will see the IMAP settings. Go ahead and add INBOX to the settings as show below.

  5. Click done and close each box and then in the bottom toolbar you should see it “syncing”.

    outlook sync done
    outlook sync status bar

Step 2 – Define send receive groups

  1. Click on Send/Receive > Send Receive Groups > Define Send/Receive Groups.

    outlook define send user group
  2. Click on Edit button.

    outlook send receive edit
  3. NEXT STEP IS THE IMPORTANT BIT. Once done, click Ok button. 

    outlook send receive settings

    It might be a good idea to restart Outlook, this is optional but we find in many cases a quick restart after applying settings clears out some cobwebs.

Step 3 – Uncheck feature in IMAP folder

  1. Right-click on your email account and select IMAP folder.

    access outlook imap account
  2. Before you query the IMAP server, uncheck the box shown below, otherwise, it will only show the subscribed folder. Once you have done that, click the query button.

    outlook show subscribed folders
  3. Now you can see which folders are subscribed and gives you the option to remove large folders from your subscription which will speed up the sync.