Discrepancy between Outlook and Gmail Mailbox

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Bumped into an interesting problem over the last couple of days: I have a client who has a Gmail account that they inexplicably want to use with Outlook. They do a lot of mail sorting, and we started seeing issues with messages which appeared incorrectly in Outlook. When checking on Gmail in the web interface, we have messages which are missing that appear in Outlook. This is the case both for Outlook desktop, and the Outlook mobile apps. Those match up, and Gmail apps match up. I tried adding the accounts as IMAP, and they accurately reflect what Google is showing us in the web interface.

Do I recall correctly that Microsoft caches Gmail to feed to Outlook when you log in as a Gmail account? If so, it seems like the cache is messed up, and I don’t have a solution to that other than “just log on with IMAP,” which isn’t ideal but at least correctly reflects the data in the Gmail mailbox. Anyone seen this before? Any way to get Microsoft to rebuild the cache they keep?

It’s.. it’s really bad to have a user believe they have email saved in one folder and it turns out that it’s not there at all.

Comments (8)

8 responses to “Discrepancy between Outlook and Gmail Mailbox”

  1. wright_is

    IFAIK, Microsoft doesn't cache email. But I don't use GMail, so I don't know whether that is a special case.

    The pre-Microsoft version of Outlook for Mobile aka Acompli cached Microsoft Exchange accounts, which made it impossible to recommend as a corporate mail client. Microsoft changed that.

    • Polycrastinator

      In reply to wright_is:

      Thanks. I was looking for some confirmation and never found it. That could be where I got the idea from. But I'm unable to figure out another explanation. What we were seeing was mail which - even in a freshly set up account - was there when logging into Outlook, but missing in IMAP or Gmail's web interface. That only makes sense to me if it's a cache, otherwise where could that data come from?

  2. BigM72

    Is it possible they have been configured as POP on the desktop?

    Either way, I would push the client to not use this combination (GMail and Outlook desktop). Either change the application or the email service. Outlook.com behaves fine with Outlook desktop.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to BigM72:

      Outlook's handling of Gmail is more than a bit off for sure. I would at least make sure it's connecting via IMAP.

      • Polycrastinator

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Thanks, both. I don't think POP adequately explains things. What we were seeing was email that was visible in Outlook, even in a freshly set up instance and across multiple devices, but not in Gmail's web interface or in IMAP. I can't think of how that could be possible without caching.