MS Outlook can incorporate multiple email accounts from different servers, including web mails and MS Exchange. With Cached Exchange mode, the Exchange mailbox will be accessible in Outlook even when the connection is down. Recently, some of our clients told us that they are facing one issue where Outlook is not updating such mailboxes that are associated with Exchange. Basically, when the user opens Outlook, all the mailbox folders are updated. But some problems can occasionally arise due to several reasons, and here we are going to discuss updating issues with Exchange.

Causes behind the ‘Outlook not updating mailbox folders’ issue

There can be several key factors behind the issue Outlook stops updating the Exchange mailbox folders:

  • OST file update is slow due to the large size of the file.
  • OST file is corrupt.
  • There is an interruption in the synchronization.
  • The auto-update feature is disabled by the user.
  • Outlook has lost the connection to the Exchange Server.

Solution 1– Try updating folders manually. Sometimes due to poor internet connectivity and other reasons the content and folders in Outlook do not get updated automatically. To update it manually, you need to click on the Send/Receive tab on the top of the Outlook screen and click on the Update folder option given there. The update will happen, if you still can’t see your updated content, then you might have a different issue, move to the next step.

Solution 2– Try working on Offline and then on Online mode by switching between them. For this, click on the Send/Receive tab on the top of the Outlook screen as earlier and click on the Work Offline button. Close Outlook and open it again, and now click on the Send/Receive button again and de-select the Work Offline mode by clicking on it.

Solution 3– To deal with the problem, you can start with clearing the Offline items from Outlook. As you know that you can use Outlook offline anytime with the help of the cached data it has stored. This cached data not only helps you operate Outlook on offline mode, but also improves the performance. The problem arises when the offline items do not match with the online items, due to any sort of connectivity issues. So, the best option you are left with is to clear the offline items so that this issue could be resolved. Follow below-mentioned steps to do so:

  • Start with a right click on the folder and select Properties from the menu.
  • In the general tab click on the Clear Offline Items and all your Offline items will be removed.
  • Now on the top of the Outlook screen click on the Send/Receive tab and click on the Update folder.

Note: This will surely solve your problem. But, this solution will remove your files locally, click on the Synchronization tab and there you will see the details about the offline and server folders. There you will see that offline items are zero, but Server still contains items. After performing this, open Outlook again so that Outlook can download all items from Exchange again.

  • First close Outlook and open Control Panel by clicking on the Start button.
  • Click on the Mail in Control Panel.
  • Select Data Files from the Mail setup dialogue box. This is where all the data files used by Outlook are listed; they are listed with their respective locations.
  • Now select your OST and click on the Settings tab.
  • Now, in the Advanced tab click on the Outlook Data File Settings.
  • Click on the Compact Now in the Outlook Data Files Settings dialogue box and click on Ok.
  • Wait until the process takes place, and once it is done you will notice that the size of your OST has decreased.

Solution 4– Try using Scanost.exe for the cause. If you are using Outlook XP, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2007 then you can use this OST integrity check tool to repair an OST. It is an inbuilt utility of MS Outlook, and you can find it at:

C:Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPI\scanost.exe” in Outlook XP.
C:Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPINT\scanost.exe” in Outlook 2000
C:Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPI\scanost.exe” in Outlook 2002
C:Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\scanost.exe” in Outlook 2003
C:Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12” in Outlook 2007

Now, you know where to find this utility in which version of Outlook, but before you run it, it is advisable to close all the running instances of Outlook.

Solution 5– As we have already discussed that due to the cached data, the offline and online data may mismatch, so to overcome with this issue it is advisable that you disable this option from the settings as below:

  • In Outlook, click on the File tab.
  • In the info section click on the Account Settings and from the drop-down click on the Account Settings.
  • Now, in the E-mail tab click on the Exchange account.
  • Select Change from the options mentioned above.
  • Now in the Microsoft Exchange server section clear the Cached Exchange Mode box.
  • Now close everything and open Outlook Again.

By performing these methods, you can solve the update issue. As you can see that how important OST is when it comes to this issue, so if none of these methods work, then you can try to repair OST with OST recovery tool , which is an outstanding solution to every problem related with your OST.

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When the manual solutions provided above do not work, you can move ahead and try a professional solution – the OST Recovery tool. The tool will be checking the OST files for corruption and recover the entire items, including the deleted ones.