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Outlook 2003 problem

How to troubleshoot Outlook

A reader wrote in about problems with Outlook 2003. Our Helproom Expert offered some troubleshooting tips.

QUESTION I'm running Outlook 2003 on a Windows 7 laptop. When I launch the email client, it downloads seven or more copies of each message. Nothing in the settings appears to suggest a solution. I've had the same problem on an old laptop running Windows XP. I use several different email accounts. Can you help me finally find a solution? Adrien Collins

HELPROOM ANSWER We need more information to determine the exact cause of this problem, Adrien. One possible scenario is that Outlook is looking for new email too frequently.

If Outlook is configured to leave messages on the mail server after downloading them, it keeps track of which messages have been downloaded so it can avoid downloading them again the next time it checks for new email. However, if the message-retrieval process doesn't complete, it can fail to keep track of which messages have already been downloaded and therefore download them again. This process could be repeating itself several times (seven, in your case) before Outlook catches up with itself.

With several different email addresses to be checked, it's also possible that Outlook might be getting a little ahead of itself in this way. In any case, you may find the solution you're looking for by increasing the interval between each check.

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