Resolve Outlook 2011 Mac not Syncing Exchange Server Issue

With the increasing cases that reported Synchronization issues between Exchange Server and Mac Outlook 2011, the problem cannot be ignored. It arises when there is a communication issue between Outlook 2011 for Mac and Exchange Server 2007/2010. Due to this, some situations may arise like there can be delayed synchronization, emails may not be synced at all and interrupted email retrieval from Exchange Server to Mail etc. Microsoft provides no detailed information regarding the proper reason for the occurrence of Exchange Synchronization issues with Outlook. However, the article will be discussing about some workaround approaches to help users in resolving Outlook 2011 Mac not syncing Exchange Server issues.

Possible Approaches to troubleshoot the Error

Some of the ideas that user can try to resolve the Outlook 2011 Mac not syncing Exchange server issues are discussed below:

1. Maintain Folders Item Count Under 5000

One of the main reasons is high number of items present in Outlook profile. Reducing mailbox size will help in improving the performance and reducing downtime issues. The best approach is to maintain the folders item count below 5000 along with the items inside the sub folders. It can be done by moving the individual items according to dates within Outlook. Creation and Movement of email folders in Outlook can be done using web mail, as it provides an easy way for the same purpose.

Tip: The items can be sorted by numbering each folders arranged according to the mails exchanged in different month. Mails should not be moved in bulk and wait until the Outlook completes the process before moving the new mails.

2. No Sub folders Creation in Inbox/Sent Items

Instead of creating sub folders inside inbox or sent items folder, custom folders should be created at same level as inbox. In Outlook 2011, create & name the folder and drag the items in it. It is because most of the time, Outlook only synchronizes the inbox and sent items folder while other folders are not much checked.

3. Mails should not be stored in ‘On My Computer’ section

Users of Outlook Mac should not store the mails in ‘On My Computer’ section by manually dragging or copying mails in it. In case of data explosion, mails stored in this section could result to permanent loss of mails if recovery is not possible. To avoid this situation, we need to make sure that it is hidden by clicking on Outlook > Preferences > General Tab > check the option of Hide on My Computer folders.

Tip: When user needs to import mail from an archive, we need to uncheck the option to see the archived mail and make the mails visible.

4. Old Emails should be archived in different file

Archiving the emails present in Outlook into separate files helps in minimizing the risk of data loss. There are many ways to choose the mail for archiving depending on type of users like some may choose to archive old emails or some may choose only the important mails.

5. Create New Identity instead of rebuilding one

The preferred method is to create an identity, as rebuilding the database is not possible while using Exchange. When all the emails are saved locally in archived files, user can create a new profile, setup the account and then import the mail. Microsoft database utility can be used to manage identities by holding the option key and clicking on Outlook icon. New identity will be created, set it as default and re-add the account. Outlook will re-sync folders from the server.

6. Change settings to download Email Headers only

The synchronization time and time to move large sized mails within the mailbox can be reduced when user saves the settings to download only the headers of the emails. However, users need to be online to read the whole email since only the headers are downloaded initially. Reading the content or downloading attachments requires user to be online.


The blog has been aimed to study about the Outlook 2011 Mac not Syncing Exchange Server Issues. As Microsoft provides no information about the synchronization issues, some of the ideas have been described to guide user in resolving the same issue.

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