Best Email Practices












Sometimes email users report that email 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.

  • Keep your mail sorted into folders
    • Though there are no official strict limits for current versions of Exchange in Microsoft documentation, older documentation for Exchange 2000 and 2003 pointed that folders should be kept under 5,000 items for best performance. In many cases Outlook does work properly with folders as large as 10,000 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 case of slow/freezing Outlook client. You can move the items using Outlook Web Access client (For Email hosted by Red Rock Service.)


  • Keep the number of subfolders in Inbox and Sent Items to minimum
    • Instead, it is preferable to create new folders on the same level as Inbox and Sent Items for better performance.


folders and subfolders  (Screen shot from Mac Mail)

  • 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 Access (For Email hosted by Red Rock Service) occur directly on the server and thus happen instantaneously.



  • 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. If you do not have any other mailboxes in your Outlook profile, we recommend removing and re-creating the identity. Please read the following article How To Manage Outlook 2011 Identities.