How to Disable the Synchronize for Files in MS Outlook

By Chet Carrie

While the Microsoft Outlook synchronization feature can be a real help to those managing multiple accounts and files on one or more PCs, many people don't want to wait the up to half an hour it can take to automatically sync all files. On faster computers, sync time usually isn't a problem, but with older, slower processors, the sync function can slow things down even more. Thankfully, you can turn the sync feature off and on as needed, saving valuable load time.

Step 1

Open the Microsoft Outlook program from your computer's desktop and allow it to fully load. If a sync screen starts, press "Cancel" to continue. If your computer is slower, allow all screens to load fully before proceeding.

Step 2

Find the "Tools" tab in the top left menu bar of the program. Scroll over the button to open the drop-down menu and select the "Options" button. This will open a screen giving you access to your account options and preferences.

Step 3

Click the "Mail Setup" tab to open the sending and receiving options for your accounts and groups. If the box labeled "Send immediately when connected" is checked, uncheck it to stop Outlook from trying to send faulty or unsent files whenever you load the program.

Step 4

Select the "Send/Receive" button. This will allow you to modify sync settings for all your groups and accounts. Deselect "Perform an automatic send/receive when exiting" to stop your program from synchronizing when you log off. Make sure any existing sync settings for separate accounts or groups are also deselected.

Step 5

Click the "OK" button to apply your settings and close Outlook to test the new settings. Reopen Outlook and the program should not start auto-synchronizing your offline files.

Tips & Warnings

  • Microsoft has many support sites and forums designed to help troubleshoot programs like Outlook (see Resources).
  • Turning off synchronization functions in Outlook may result in email drafts or other files in queue to not be sent or received.
  • After turning off sync functions, you will have to check your accounts manually.