Outlook 2013 Slow to Receive Emails – Outlook Slow to Sync

Are you frustrated that Outlook 2013 has serious delays in retrieving email?

Are you experiencing Outlook 2013 Slow to Receive Emails? You are not alone! I’ve received several requests from law firms for a solution. I too had the issue. Email problems can be super frustrating!

Lawyers are Big Time Users of Outlook 2013 Email Client

Frustrated Outlook 2013 User with laptop computer.Lawyers are HUGE users of Microsoft Outlook 2013 machine-based email clients. Why? Lawyers like to have hard-copies of emails on their office and portable machines. Lawyers like to archive their emails. Lawyers like the Microsoft Calendar. Lawyers appreciate that the Outlook 2013 user interface is far more visually-pleasing and user-friendly than most web-based email dashboards.

You sensed a problem, and then when you focus on the issue you discovery there IS A PROBLEM! You are aware of the issue because a long stream of emails will finally show up in a huge grouping in your inbox and some are 10 or even 30 minutes old (or longer). If you, like me, have your smartphone on your desk, you will get an alert on your phone that a new email has arrived; you check your Outlook 2013 inbox, and nothing. If you click the Send/Receive Folders button and the emails come in like proper soldiers, your problem might be repaired by adjusting the Send/Receive Frequency and I have the “Fix” for that below. If clicking on the send/receive button and —still— your emails prove to be delayed somehow, I might have a “fix” for that too.

Before we blame Outlook 2013, have you adjusted your Outlook 2013 Send/Receive Frequency?

The solution may be simple. There is a Send/Receive Frequency setting that used to be easily found in the accounts settings of prior Outlook releases including Outlook Express. What is yours set at?


[expand title=”CLICK – How to adjust Outlook 2013 Send/Receive Frequency”]
Lawyers, in particular prefer to have their Outlook 2013 checking for new messages as often as possible, because it permits them to take action on new messages as quickly as possible. If you have a modern day PC, you will not notice a discernible slowdown of your computer as a result of more frequent email checking. So… Let’s see if your email Send/Receive frequency somehow got reset to the default 30 minutes. Many Outlook 2013 users will have searched in the past for this setting and never found it. In the old days we would click on FILE, Account Settings where it seems the logical place to find such settings. In fact, if I am not mistaken, that is where the Send/Receive frequency setting used to be found in prior releases. But NO, that’s not where they are!

Here are the Steps to adjust the Send/Receive Frequency for Outlook 2013 Email Accounts:

  1. Launch Outlook 2013.
  2. Click on the Send/Receive Tab at the top menu bar (FILE – SEND/RECEIVE – FOLDER – VIEW).
  3. Image of Send-Receive Tab

  4. Click on the Send/Receive Groups drop-down menu in the Send/Receive section of the menu ribbon.
  5. Image of Send-Receive Groups Tab

  6. Click on the Define Send/Receive Groups (which is at the bottom of the list for those with multiple email accounts).
  7. Click on the Group Name for which you want to adjust the Send/Receive Frequency (if you have not set up specific groups, then you simply select the default which is All Accounts).
  8. Image of Send-Receive All Accounts Selection

  9. Adjust the minutes value in the field to the right of “Schedule an automatic send/receive every [ x ] minutes”. That will establish the number of minutes delay between each online check for new emails. Me? I have mine set to check every 1 minute.
  10. Click on the Close button to apply your changes.

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So your Send/Frequency is okay and still Outlook 2013 delays bringing in emails timely?

Your Send/Receive Frequency is set at 1-5 minutes and you KNOW there is still an issue. You find yourself getting pissed off several times a week when a client’s case is being vigorously worked or in the settlement phase where you are firing off emails to opposing counsel and your clients in numerous and frequent back-and-forth threads and there are serious time lags. You have it isolated to an Outlook 2013 issue.

Some detective work will prove you are on the right track.

Some of you will log into your email server via web-mail ( www.MyLawFirm.com/webmail ) —like you are forced to do while on vacation or traveling and your Outlook 2013 client is unavailable. There they are – but not in your Outlook 2013 INBOX! Similarly, when you log in to your Gmail, Hotmail or other email account on the web, there they are — but not in your Outlook 2013 INBOX. What is wrong?

After dozens of hours I discovered that the issue is not an Outlook 2013 Issue. Wait! What?

I too have faced several Outlook 2013 issues including this delayed email access matter.

We share a common back-story – When you moved from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2010, if you hadn’t already, it is likely you probably switched from using “POP” email settings to “IMAP” email settings for a variety of savvy reasons. And IMAP accounts are part of the problem. We all switched to IMAP because we want all of our devices (office, home and mobile) to have all of our emails including replies, changes, and all threads SYNC’d up. So, yes, IMAP may be the cause of your current Outlook 2013 email delay issues, but the answer is not to revert to POP. That would be silly-stupid! That would be especially foolish for lawyers who must have all their devices reliably sync’d up and because lawyers must be security conscious – a state bar must for lawyer communications. If you already understand all the reasons why we all want to have IMAP email accounts, skip over the clickable link below and keep reading. If you don’t know the difference between POP and IMAP open up this short tutorial:


[expand title=”CLICK – The Differences between POP and IMAP”]

The Differences between POP and IMAP

Both POP (Post Office Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) allow people to get access to their email from a remote server. But that is where most similarities end. POP simply downloads email to your computer, and usually (but not always) deletes the email from the remote server. The problems arise if you have more than one device where you want to read your email (office desktop, home laptop, tablet, phablet or smartphone). Here is why it is bad: You have to delete or file the same email on every device, they do not sync or show the conversations (thread) that you had on another device, and POP is not very secure.

POP – If using POP, logging into each device, you will see lots of unread emails (that you actually read on another device) with no indication of which emails you have read, responded to, deleted, flagged or filed. Any folders you created and organized on one device won’t be replicated on the other devices. That is analogous to the horse and buggy days.

IMAP – If, on the other hand, allows email users to store their emails on remote servers and all devices are sync’d. The IMAP protocol is a two-way connection which allows the email user to synchronize their emails, folders, and settings among multiple devices, which is extremely important today, when most lawyers have an average of four to five devices: their office PC, their home PC, often a laptop for traveling, an iPad because every American must have an iPad, and a smartphone.
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The problem with Delayed Emails in your Outlook 2013 Email Client might be a Windows Firewall Issue.

This solution might just make your day!

If you want to test your system before fixing it, you can TURN OFF Windows Firewall (just for a while). Windows Firewall is a pretty good protection solution and you should keep it on – when not conducting tests. Or, just skip that and go directly to my FIX.


[expand title=”CLICK to learn how to disable Windows Firewall”]

  1. Launch Windows Control Panel
  2. Click on System and Security
  3. Click on Windows Firewall
  4. Click on Turn Windows Firewall on or off (if you have Virus Protection such as Kaspersky, you may have to PAUSE that first)

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One Solution to Fix the Windows Firewall Issue that affects Outlook 2013 Delay in Email Retrieval

If your Outlook 2013 is delaying email retrieval and you’ve checked your Send/Receive Frequency settings, here is a solution that might just be the answer to hours, days, or weeks of futile Internet research that resulted in 1,000’s of other frustrated Outlook users – but with no remedy.

Follow these quick steps to get Outlook 2013 to push IMAP emails as you would expect

  1. Navigate to the Windows Firewall options (Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Firewall)
  2. Click “Advanced settings” on the left side.
  3. Click “Inbound Rules” on the left side of the dialogue that opens.
  4. Find a rule called “Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP-In)”.
  5. Right click it and select “Enable Rule”.

If this solves your problem – would you take a minute out of your busy day and let me know below using the Comment Feature? Thanks!

If this does not solve your problem – turn your Windows Firewall OFF for a full day and please let me know what worked and what didn’t work for you below using the Comment Feature? Thanks!


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