How to stop Office/Outlook 2003 from synchronizing

By ebecca ·
This seems to be a common and frustrating problem, and I haven't been able to find an answer anywhere. My computer periodically tells me that Microsoft Office 2003 is synchronizing folders. While it's doing that - and it takes awhile - not much else can happen. I use only one computer, and I have nothing to synchronize. Can anyone tell me how to turn off synchronization?
Thanks so much!

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Looking Good

by c.e.johnson In reply to Possible Success?

Starting Outlook with Spybot running and Zone Alarm disabled, I got a "synchronizing folders" message for maybe 15 seconds, and my e-mail started downloading.

Starting Outlook with Zone Alarm Pro (the new version) running and Spybot disabled, I got a "synchronizing folders" message and it went nowhere. IE7 also slowed dramatically.

So, at least in my case, it appears to be an issue with Zone Alarm.

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What About Going to the Source?

by Cambria777 In reply to How to stop Office/Outloo ...

Does anyone know a good way to contact Microsoft directly about this issue? Since it's baffling so many people on many different websites and since it's been going on for a long time now, seems like maybe the folks that wrote the code should explain what is actually "synchronizing" and how to properly turn it off. They ought to address this issue in Outlook's HELP, but they don't. Haven't found anything yet in Microsoft's Knowledge Base, but surely SOMEONE at Microsoft can solve this problem. Or maybe not...??

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I tried

by mike In reply to What About Going to the S ...

and after a few email exchanges I received the message below. If several people contact Microsoft maybe they'll come up with a better response. The "case number" [or whatever they call it] was 1032115169 OL2003: How to disable synchronizing feature.

Here's the last response:
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your reply and updates.

Mike, based on my experience, Outlook performs a synchronization at the same time when doing Send/Receive action. I'm afraid we are unable to disable synchronization action separately while S/R feature enabled.

I understand you'd like to know what Outlook is synchronizing for. Based on my knowledge, Outlook usually synchronizes the data from time to time in order to keep your folder structures and messages are up to date with your mailbox on the Server.

Actually, I personally think what you would like to implement is very reasonable and understand how frustrating it is when you find that the product does not meet your needs. I'm indeed sorry for the inconvenience that this by-design feature of our products has caused you. I will forward your suggestion to our development team so that they may improve this by an update patch to be released in the future.

As a workaround, you could keep Outlook work offline to finish your job. When you need to Send/Receive messages, please get Outlook work online and switch to Offline when S/R is finished.

Hope this helps. If you have any further concerns or questions, please feel free to let me know. Keep me posted. Have a nice day!

Best regards,

Online Support Professional

Microsoft Office Online Support

Microsoft Global Technical Support Center

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Try this & let me know?

by CorporateLackie In reply to How to stop Office/Outloo ...

I have a buddy with the same problem, and in trying to research the issue found several possible fixes --- If anybody has any success with these let me know?

1) Temporarily disable your firewall and any/all spyware monitors, and any integrated anti-virus, AND Disable all your Outlook add-ins.

2) As last resort, Recreate your mail profile.
There is a nice explaination of this here:


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Does anyone have a good answer

by fdepino In reply to How to stop Office/Outloo ...

I've tried almost every recommendation on this board to date but Outlook still is synchronizing and I haven't been able to download an email for 3 days. This is driving me crazy!!! I am running XP/Outlook 2003/ and have 3 POP 3 accounts setup. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance

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Did you try the suggestions in my post? (#59)?

by CorporateLackie In reply to Does anyone have a good a ...

I am trying to locate a fix as well...
Did you happen to see my suggestions in the post above - #59?


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Same Problem with Outlook 2007

by victord66 In reply to Does anyone have a good a ...

I'm having the same issue with this "sychronizing folders" with Outlook 2007. Anyone have a definate answer as to stopping it? Thanks.

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Same Problem with Outlook 2003

by kimkeely In reply to Same Problem with Outlook ...

I too am having this problem and have tried all solutions without resolve. This is a pain. I have used Outlook 2003 for years and have had no problem until recently. I have added no software or hardware with the exception of a spybot program. I disabled that and still no resolve. This is causing havoc in sending emails with attachments. Help.

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Microsoft Outlook is Synchronizing folders

by rubenrleon In reply to Same Problem with Outlook ...

I'm using Outlook 2003 SP1, I have multiple pop3 accounts and I've had this message now for about 6 months. I'm still able to get the job done but it definitely slows things down. I've been searching everywhere on the net for a solution and I've watched this post for some time. None of the fixes appear to be anything but temporary.

Microsoft's attitude is basically "Tough luch suckers, maybe we will create a patch or a fix in a future release".

I feel like I'm being held hostage with crappy software. I'd pay a couple hundred bucks easy to have this stupid thing fixed. I'll be watching to see if anyone out there comes up with something.

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Not a Fix, and is a Pain, but it works

by djautin In reply to How to stop Office/Outloo ...

I am using Outlook 2003 and using Microsoft One Care for adware and virus prevention. Nothing that I have tried fixes this problem. Instead of staying at a stand still, I simply open Outlook Express and download the email, and the open Outlook and import the new messages from Express. This has worked each time for me without any trouble, but it can be a pain. I also found that Outlook will hang when it encounters a larger than normal email, which then sends Outlook into the Sync Folders problem. On a few occasions, I have successfully closed Outlook, and then logged into my webmail and elimated the large email, and then re-opened Outlook and it grabs all of the email without incident. Just my two cents. Thanks.

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