Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular desktop based email client’s which allows users to send, receive and manage email. Outlook became synonymous with business email, until the concept of webmail took over. However, with the evolution of email and with technological changes in emailing systems, Outlook became quite infamous for many reasons. With the increasing popularity of Unix based systems, Outlook did take a beating and had to part with its market share. This article tries to recount the numerous issues that led to the unpopularity of MS Outlook in the past couple of years.
Once common issue which kept creeping up in Outlook was that the same emails kept on appearing multiple times in Outlook, although they were received only once in the webmail. Some users would suddenly get a barrage of 20 or 30 times the regular emails and would notice that the mails are being repeated. This used to happen and still happens due to a variety of reasons. This usually occurs when your webmail is over quota and the client is unable to login to your account. Hence, it keeps giving you a false indication of mails being downloaded again.
When the Outlook user profile is corrupt, Outlook has an issue in opening up. It can take forever to show the inbox or any user folder. This may occur when your profile is over full or if Outlook suddenly stopped when doing something important. It may also occur when you have an incompatible anti-virus or firewall which is blocking the Outlook process from starting up.
Sometimes the mail sending status shows as if mail is being sent forever. However, this is not necessarily the case, it is a wrong indication due to the Outlook core files being corrupt. This may need a reinstall of Outlook or may need you to switch to a new user profile. While this issue is not addressed extensively online, it is a common source of concern, although the exact cause is yet to be determined. System Administrators rarely bother to investigate the underlying cause of this issue and just suggest that Outlook be re-installed to avoid any future complications.
Outlook has an inherent issue of being able to store only upto 2 GB of mail efficiently. This is due to the fact that by default, Outlook uses the Unicode format to store information in the pst file. As soon as you hit the 2 GB of mail in a single data file, Outlook starts behaving in a weird manner. Corruption of Outlook is imminent. The only question is how big does the file need to get, before Outlook starts acting up. The worst part about this issue is that for some users, Outlook works perfectly even upto 30 GB and then one fine day suddenly crashes and corrupts the mail database. This can be quite a huge loss for someone who has collected thousands of mails over the past few years.
Another frustrating issue in Outlook which is quite common is when the password prompt keeps popping up without reason. This can happen due to several reasons, some of which are not related to the Outlook software at all. In other cases, it is due to an inherent flaw in Outlook which messes up the storage of credentials in the “User Vault”. This means that it refuses to remember your passwords even if you have opted for Outlook to remember them. This issue also appears when Outlook is configured to connect to the mail server through a proxy server and Outlook is unable to communicate with the server for authentication. An incompatible firewall or anti-virus could also trigger this issue.