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Why does Outlook often hang when I delete a message from my mailbox?


Some of my users occasionally complain that Outlook hangs when they delete a message from one of their larger mailboxes. Although the message does eventually delete, it can be several minutes before Outlook becomes responsive once again.

How can I improve this experience for my users?


The only time you should ever see such a delay is if you are expunging a message from a mailbox that is particularly large in size.

The server-side operation that manifests as Outlook being unresponsive, is the entire mailbox, minus the message/s you have deleted, needing to be written out to disk and then reassembled as the new, updated mailbox. This will naturally take some time for a large sized folders and can be severely exaggerated by other factors including a heavily fragmented disk and slow read/write access.

In Version 14.01, build 3539, Gordano introduced the ability to optionally defer the purge of a mailbox so that this operation is executed behind the scenes out of work hours. With this enabled, when a user deletes a message from a large mailbox it will either disappear from your mail folder or Outlook will strike a line through the deleted item. This, however, does not mean that the message will have been physically deleted from the mailbox as the whole point of this feature is that this is performed automatically, out of hours. It is merely perceived to be deleted by the end user.

This change can only be made via the Variables at either the domain or system level. The variable is MaxFolderPurgeSize and its values are:

  • 0 – never defer purge (default setting).
  • >0 – defer purge if mailbox folder size (in KB) is greater than the value you set. This is the original mailbox file size before deleted items are taken into account.

So, if you set the value you be 1000000 (KB), any messages marked for deletion on mailboxes over the size of 1GB will be purged out of hours. Any mailboxes that are less than 1GB will be purged during normal operation.

Please ensure that you stop and start the IMAP service each time a change is made here.

Please note:
You must enable the scheduling of the timed event which is primarily responsible for triggering the purge execution. Failure to enable this will mean that your mail items will never purge.

Please navigate to the admin interface, select a domain under “Domains and Users” and select the “Purge settings”.

Select ONLY “Expunge deleted messages” and nothing else,  then set the value to purge every 1 days.Then finally choose to purge all folders.

This setting will result in all folders being expunged overnight,  but will not delete any mail except the ones that the user has deleted.

See Also:


Keywords:imap collab hang purge expunge delete mailbox

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