How to Clear / Empty Sync Issues and Local Conflicts Folders from Outlook and Prevent Mailbox from Exceeding Size Limit

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Recently I have been getting warning in my Outlook saying the mailbox is full, even after clearing and archiving most of the older emails. After running the Mailbox Cleanup tool in Outlook and looking through the size of each folders, I noticed the 3 folders which are having too many emails but I cannot see those folders in the Outlook thus not able to clear those unwanted mails. The folder names I found in the Mailbox Cleanup are as follows:

  • Sync Issues
  • Sync Issues\Conflicts
  • Sync Issues\Local Failures
  • Sync Issues\Server Failures (it appears sometimes appear)

I finally figured out how to see these folders and take some action on those conflict emails. Here is how you can do that.

Before I explain how to view these folders, you may want to know how you can see if these 3 folders (sometimes 4, including Server Failures) really contain any items. To do that:

In Outlook 2010:

Step 1: Click on File >>> Cleanup Tools >>> Mailbox Cleanup…

Step 2: Click on View Mailbox Size… and scroll through each folders and see how many items are in Sync Issues, Sync Issues\Conflicts, Sync Issues\Local Failures and Sync Issues\Server Failures folders.

In Outlook 2007:

Step 1: Click on Tools >>> Mailbox Cleanup…

Step 2: Click on View Mailbox Size… and scroll through each folders and see how many items are in Sync Issues, Sync Issues\Conflicts, Sync Issues\Local Failures and Sync Issues\Server Failures folders.

Let’s now see how we can make Sync Issues, Sync Issues\Conflicts, Sync Issues\Local Failures, Sync Issues\Server Failures folders visible in Outlook.

Viewing Sync Issues, Conflicts, Local Failures and Server Failures folders in Outlook

As I mentioned earlier, in most cases, we may not be able to view the folders I mentioned earlier

(Sync Issues, Conflicts, Local Failures and Server Failures). These are system folders created by Outlook just like Inbox, Sent Items, Drafts, etc. and cannot be deleted (deleting the folder itself) from Outlook. But we can view these folders and take actions like delete, move, etc. on the items inside these folders. To view these folders, click on Folder List icon appearing at the bottom of your navigation pane.

If you can’t see that:

Right click on the bottom of the navigation pane >>> Navigation pane options… >>> Tick Folder List (You can also try <CTRL + 6>).

Once you do that, you will be able to see all the folders inside your mailbox including Sync Issues, Sync Issues\Conflicts, Sync Issues\Local Failures and Sync Issues\Server Failures folders.

You can now review these items and delete from these folders. Before you delete these items, you may want to consult your company policies and other factors.

Please note that, as I said, you won’t be able to delete these folders itself, but only the items inside these folders.

Some notes on Sync Issues, Conflicts, Local Failures, Server Failures folders and Items

Sync Issues: This folder contains all the synchronization logs that would help you troubleshoot all kinds of email synchronization errors, for example, you are able to see certain emails from Outlook Web Access (OWA) but not from your Outlook.

Sync Issues\Conflicts: Contains multiple copies of conflicting emails.

Sync Issues\Local Failures: Contains items that are not updated on the server, for e.g. you updated an item in your outlook, but the changes are not updated in server due to some reasons.

Sync Issues\Server Failures: Contains items that are failed to synchronize from your Exchange mailbox. Those items which Outlook cannot synchronize from the server are moved to this folder.

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