C-Command Software Forum

Outlook 2016, very large Exchange accounts, and SpamSieve

I have a client computer who has a very large (25GB) Exchange mailbox. This mailbox also has thousands of unread messages in the inbox, and tens of thousands in other folders. The Deleted Items folder gets 200+ new messages per day. It’s a pretty high-volume mailbox.

I recently upgraded the client from Office 2011 to Office 2016, and we are using the “Outlook Filter Mailboxes” script. Since then we are getting lots of beach balls, “not responding” errors in Activity Monitor, and generally sluggish, unreliable behavior.

With the removal of scripting, could some of these issues be related to the “Outlook Filter Mailboxes” script having to reevaluate the unread messages? I know that it flags items it’s already looked at as “good”, but I wonder that perhaps this still might create problems.

It really stinks that MS removed both scripting and scheduling. This is a real problem. (And yes, I’ve submitted multiple requests to MS to add those features back)

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice?


SpamSieve doesn’t reevaluate the messages because it’s already marked them as good. However, if you have a large inbox it takes Outlook a really long time to figure out which messages are unread and not already marked as good. It should be much faster if you move the messages that are read or marked as good to another folder (i.e. out of the inbox).

Thanks for the reply. This makes it even more of a shame that Microsoft removed not only scripting, but also scheduling. So the user has to manually move old mail out of the inbox.

Do you have any suggestions for managing an inbox that might get 600 new messages in a day? And also for managing the Junk Mail and Deleted Items folders, if possible.

Thanks again.

The user also rightly complains that Outlook 2011 handled his mailbox just fine. It wasn’t until we “upgraded” to 2016 that he ran into trouble.

The main reason we started installing 2016 was because of the elimination of the Outlook Mail Database, that seemed to cause problems for quite a few of our users.

I’m submitted my suggestions to Microsoft, unfortunately they seem unlikely to do anything about it.

Not currently. I’m looking into the possibility of having Outlook - Filter Mailboxes automatically move the good messages to a separate InboxClean folder. That would automatically keep the main inbox from getting too full.

What problems do the Junk and Deleted Items folders cause for you? The Folders preferences do have a way to auto-delete from the trash.

I don’t think this user would want his new good mail moved out of the inbox. It would be much more useful to him to move mail older than maybe 30 days or so.

In Office 2016, how do you automatically delete old mail from Deleted Items? I don’t see anything in the folder properties that would allow me to do that?

If the inbox is getting 600 new messages each day, it would be way to slow to let them accumulate for a month.

Tools > Accounts > Advanced > Folders > When Outlook closes, permanently erase deleted messages > One Week Old

This is an exchange account, and I don’t have a Folders option. Just Server/Delegates/Security. Perhaps that’s in a later version of Exchange Server? We’re running 2010.

Here’s a development - About 15 minutes ago, my user turned off the Outlook Filter Mailboxes script, and since then he says he’s had no stalls or beach balls. So it seems that something is causing problems related to either the script or SpamSieve. Is there some sort of data we could collect for you to help figure out what might be going on?

OK, I was looking at an IMAP account. I don’t have Exchange configured at the moment, but I do recall the options being different there. Perhaps it can be configured on the Exchange server?

I’m pretty sure the delays are due to Outlook determining the contents of the inbox. The script will log to Console if this is in fact what’s taking a long time. You can search for “SpamSieve [Outlook Filter Mailboxes]”.

I’ve checked on server-side rules. The server isn’t apparently allowed to automatically delete a user’s email. We may be upgrading from Exchange 2010 to 2016 in the future. Hopefully that will add some management options. I hear the webmail client is very good.

Is that console log user-specific? I might log in remotely to check it for the user. I’d like to not have to interrupt what he’s doing.

Yes. It’s easiest if you can open Console before the relevant text is logged.

Okay, my user has been reporting that Outlook has been working perfectly since he disabled the Outlook Filter Mailboxes script. I am going to arrange for a time when he’s away from his computer, so that I can gather some data from the console. I’ll let you know what I find.

He would love to keep using SpamSieve because of the sheer volume of mail he gets, but we’ll need to work this out.

Thanks again for your help.

I’ve downloaded some console data from the client computer. The system is hanging consistently when the script evaluates the unread messages. Getting messages like this one:

default 16:14:15.780179 -0400 logger SpamSieve [Outlook Filter Mailboxes] Outlook took 17 seconds to get 3193 unread messages from Tirerack > Inbox

I’ve attached some log files, if you want to take a look.

Thanks again.

SpamSieve Debug.zip (153 KB)

This is what I thought was happening. To speed it up, you can move the bulk of the messages from the inbox to another folder.

Also, it looks like the Outlook training script files are damaged. You can fix that by choosing “Install Outlook Scripts” from the SpamSieve menu.

Thanks, Michael.

The latest version of the script now has an option called pGoodFolderName to do this automatically.