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  • Receiving duplicate emails in MS Outlook

    Posted on WSVictor Delta Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Productivity software by function MS Outlook and email programs Receiving duplicate emails in MS Outlook

    This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  mn– 1 month ago.

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    • #2001473 Reply

      WSVictor Delta
      AskWoody Lounger

      I have used Outlook 2003, in POP3/SMTP mode, to access 5 email accounts for many years. All are working fine but my main Gmail account started behaving oddly a week ago. It started repeatedly downloading the same incoming emails and also stopping after about 14 emails with error message 0x800CCC0F ‘The connection to the server was interrupted’. None of the other accounts were affected (inc. some other Gmail ones).

      I tried deleting the account in Outlook and then recreating it from scratch but that didn’t change anything. I checked that the account did not have the ‘leave a copy on the server’ box ticked. Then, suspecting a corrupt ‘Mailbox Manager’ file somewhere, I removed all the emails from the Gmail inbox using the web access and went to send/receive – hoping that with nothing to download everything would get back to normal. To my surprise, Outlook started downloading 245 emails from the main account but, as before, got as far as about number 14 (10 – 15 seconds) and then stopped and put up the same error message as before.

      This is driving me mad! I wonder if anyone has any suggestions as to what I can do to fix this please.

      PS As a temporary workaround I am using the forwarding facility on my main account to send new emails to another Gmail account which then come in to Outlook 2003.

    • #2001485 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      I have used Outlook 2003, in POP3/SMTP mode,

      Oh dear. You know, I’m fairly sure there are unfixed bugs and even vulnerabilities in Outlook 2003, and it’s out of support… Oh well. Also POP3 has very limited capabilities.

      Yes, POP3 can be a bother since it relies on the server knowing which mails are new and which are old. So, download starts, client receives some messages, then connection gets interrupted and the server never receives acknowledgement that those messages have been transferred. So it’ll retry.

      As to why it gets interrupted… do you have SSL or TLS encryption turned on in that connection and do you happen to have a content-filtering firewall? If the firewall finds something to block, well, there’s your interruption. It can only find things if encryption is off, or it gets to filter things inside Outlook after received data is decrypted.

      Could also be that a message parser bug makes Outlook hiccup enough on receiving specific content, that it then generates the interruption. Things like that were one reason why I started avoiding Outlook for certain kinds of mailboxes back when…

      PS As a temporary workaround I am using the forwarding facility on my main account to send new emails to another Gmail account which then come in to Outlook 2003.

      So are all messages so forwarded or did you skip some? If all messages, do you happen to have SSL/TLS on for this account and off for the first one?

      Really, if feasible, I’d advise switching to an updated mail client and using IMAP with TLS, but…

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2001506 Reply

      jabeattyauditor
      AskWoody Lounger

      You say you tried removing the account from Outlook – how did you do that? Did you delete or rename the associated PST file?

      Do  you have separate Outlook profiles for each of your email accounts, or do you have a single profile with multiple associated mailboxes? (When you launch Outlook, do you have to choose which email account you wish to view or do they all load on a single pane of glass?)

      If you have separate profiles for each account, I’d close Outlook, rename the PST file associated with the problem account, delete the profile for that account (from Mail, in Control Panel), then re-create it. I’d also set the server timeout parameter higher than normal.

      Btw, when you login to gmail directly to clear out the account, make sure your Trash/Deleted Items folder is also empty, as Outlook may be trying to download items from folders other than just the Inbox.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2001727 Reply

      WSVictor Delta
      AskWoody Lounger

      Many thanks for your helpful replies.

      mn- – I use SSL on all my email accounts.

      jabeattyauditor – I removed the main account by going to the Email accounts and then removing the appropriate one. I then closed Outlook and reopened it, and then recreated the account from scratch. I use one profile for all my email accounts so they all come into a single Inbox – which is why I am somewhat reluctant to change to IMAP. Also if I remove the current pst file, surely I will loose all my current filed emails.

      Thanks again.

      • #2001741 Reply

        PKCano
        Da Boss

        If you are receiving doubal emails from one account, check that accoune to see if it is forwarding email to one of the other accounts. If so, you would get one email frim the original “TO” account and an identical one from the account that it’s forwarded to.

        Also, check the other accounts to be sure they are not “fetching” mail from the original “TO” account so you get it from two places.

        original ——————–> Outlook
        \forward —> secind account ——> Ouflook

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2001769 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        I use one profile for all my email accounts so they all come into a single Inbox – which is why I am somewhat reluctant to change to IMAP.

        That can be done with IMAP too in many applications. Windows 10 Mail, Thunderbird, eM-client, Outlook on Mac … but apparently not in Outlook on Windows. Go figure.

        Also if I remove the current pst file, surely I will loose all my current filed emails.

        Outlook tends to maintain a very tight connection between the profile, main account (first added within the profile) and data file (by name) – if you rename the .pst you can reimport it easily but the active connection is broken.

        However, Outlook is still somewhat prone to data corruption in local files … .pst and .ost both.
        This is one possible cause for your interrupted connection, so trying again with a “clean” .pst would be a relevant test case.

        This is why it’s usually recommended to make a backup copy of the .pst regularly and also always before tweaking things, so you don’t accidentally lose anything permanently. You can always bring things back from the copy .pst afterwards if you do that.

        This is another way in which IMAP is safer… you don’t risk losing as much to Outlook .pst breakage as the server can keep folder copies. (If you have enough mailbox storage on the server…)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2001773 Reply

        jabeattyauditor
        AskWoody Lounger

        To rule out PST corruption, close Outlook, make a backup copy of your PST, then run SCANPST against the original. If it cleans things up, great – if it blows up, restore your backup copy.

        SCANPST is slow…

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2001804 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          If it cleans things up, great – if it blows up, restore your backup copy.

          … though sometimes it does neither.

          Had a couple of very different cases of this the other year. One got eventually fixed after enough tweaking with MFCMapi by hand, but the other… didn’t.

          Fresh profile, fresh datafile, and it worked again… but not all data was recovered. Couldn’t determine the exact point when it had been lost from the .pst, either. (No, “backup” folders within the same datafile are NOT good enough as backups.)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2002148 Reply

      WSVictor Delta
      AskWoody Lounger

      Many thanks again. Pleased to report that problem is solved.

      I scanned the pst file with scanpst but this did not solve anything (although some errors were found and repaired). Once again, main Gmail account still got to about 15 out of now 300 emails and stopped with error message 0x800CCC0F.

      Had another think and decided to temporarily disable all the shields on my AV software (Avast) and, hurray, backlog of emails all downloaded and now cleared so I am back to working normally. Shields restarted. Phew!

      Thanks again for everyone’s help. Interesting that it turned out not to be an Outlook 2003 problem after all!

    • #2002183 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      I’ve always found you need to run scanpst until it reports no more errors. Can take 3 or 4 runs.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2002554 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        … or until the .pst is unchanged after the run. There’s a couple of categories of errors it just doesn’t catch.

    • #2002294 Reply

      WSVictor Delta
      AskWoody Lounger

      I’ve always found you need to run scanpst until it reports no more errors. Can take 3 or 4 runs.

      cheers, Paul

      Paul, Thanks for the useful tip.

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