This article is intended to assist users in solving database corruption cases in Outlook 2011/Outlook 2016 for Mac when connected to an Exchange mailbox.

Sometimes Mac users report that Outlook 2011/Outlook 2016 for Mac is not syncing properly (or syncing quite slowly, freezing frequently) with Exchange. The problem usually is not a connectivity issue between the mail client and the mail server, but rather a local Outlook database corruption.

  1. Keep your mail sorted into folders

    In many cases, Outlook does work properly with folders as large as 5.000 items and more, but decreasing the folder size can improve the performance drastically, and generally this is the first troubleshooting step to be done in a case of slow/freezing Outlook client.
    You can move the items using Outlook Web App client.
    Read the following Microsoft Office article for more information:
  2. Keep the number of subfolders in Inbox and Sent Items to minimum

    Instead, it is preferable to create new folders on top level. The same level as Inbox and Sent Items are for better performance.

    Sub-folders and top folders
  3. Move folders and multiple items in OWA

    Moving big folders or a lot of items at once in desktop Outlook client takes significant time to synchronize with the server. Moving a lot of items can often cause disruption in the mailbox if the connection fails for a moment, for example, due to high network usage or your computer’s CPU load. On the other hand, changes made in Outlook Web App occur directly on the server and thus happen instantaneously.
  4. Clear affected folder's cache in case of content mismatch

    If you see that Outlook 2011/Outlook 2016 for Mac and Outlook Web App folders don't match, you may want to reload the cache to fix the issue. Read the Knowledge Base How To Fix Entourage And Outlook 2011 Synchronization Issues for more information.
  5. Re-create the Microsoft Office Identity

    If the Outlook 2011 client becomes slow and unresponsive, or stops syncing completely, while Outlook Web App and/or other clients work fine, it is most likely an indicator of corrupted Outlook database. In this case, it is recommended to rebuild, or remove, and re-create the Microsoft Office identity or Outlook Profile on Outlook 2016 for Mac. If you do not have any other mailboxes in your Outlook profile, we recommend removing and re-creating the identity. Please read the following articles How To Manage Outlook 2011 Identities and How Do I Manage Outlook 2016 For Mac Profiles for more information.