I have a client who has been having this problem for several months now. It started out of the blue. No one else in that site has the same problem. Although the computers are not exactly the same, they all share a commonality in that they are all Dell OptiPlex workstations running Windows 10 Pro and Office 365 Business Premium Office suite.
What happens is while using Outlook, whether it’s changing from one folder to another, Outlook will randomly freeze and up at the title bar it will say (Not Responding) and then down below in the system tray where the Outlook icon is, it will pop up a black notification box that says “Microsoft Outlook Outlook is trying to retrieve data from the Microsoft Exchange server outlook.office365.com.
I cannot re-create the problem at will. It sometimes takes an hour or two for it to randomly appear again.
I have tried the following:
- Clean Boot
- Disabling or having the computer prefer IPV4 over IPV6 via Microsoft’s registry fix
- Disabling hardware acceleration in Outlook
- Clean install
- Online repair of Office
- Multiple new Outlook profiles
- Outlook safe mode
- Changing out the network card
- Tried only via wireless
- I will come back to this list when I remember what else I’ve tried
- 11/19 – Replaced the entire network stack, router and switch
- 11/19 – Replaced the entire workstation with a brand new Dell 7070 with the following specs:
- Intel Core i9 9900K
- 32 GB Memory
- 512 GB PCIe NVME SSD
- Intel Gigabit PCIe NIC
- Fresh install of Windows 10 Pro with it being joined to a domain as well as a fresh install of 64-Bit Office 365. The problem has happened on both 32-bit and 64-bit
I have tried using Process Monitor by monitoring Outlook.exe, but nothing of significance is ever shown.
Everything I’ve found online says it might be due to too many items in the calendar. There is a total of 151 items in the calendar.
The other thing I’ve found is that there are too many e-mails. I find that hard to believe since my own Office 365 account has much more than this end-user and I do not see the same problem.
A few people mentioned updating their router’s firmware fixed it for them. I installed all firmware that was available for their router and the problem remains.
I have the end-user’s Exchange account set up in a Windows 10 virtual machine and the same version of Outlook the end-user uses on the Dell OptiPlex.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to recreate the problem. However, I have not used it as a normal end-user would meaning, for eight hours a day, sending e-mails, receiving, etc. so it’s hard to say if it truly does not happen on this virtual machine.
The Dell OptiPlex in question has the following specs:
256 GB Samsung Solid State Drive
8 GB Memory
Windows 10 Pro
Office 365 which is the equivalent to Office 2019
There is a caveat. This entire problem is closely related to something with Quick Books 2019 Pro.
Sending e-mails from Quick Books often times will cause Outlook to freeze up and or it takes a very long time. Sending e-mails via Outlook also tends to cause the error message to occur; however, it does also happen when not using Outlook.
I’ve confirmed the portion that affects QuickBooks and Outlook sending e-mails is a bug on Intuit’s end. That is an ongoing bug with absolutely no fix, other than a workaround, which is to use the send forms feature after queuing several e-mails to be sent.
I am still trying to find a fix for the main problem which is when using Outlook 365 or Outlook 2016 with two Exchange accounts and two shared mailboxes, when just clicking on an e-mail in the inbox, Outlook freezes completely, it says NOT RESPONDING at the top, the bars are greyed out as though it’s about to crash and is not responding to any mouse clicks. On top of that, a small window pops up at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen which says: Outlook is retrieving data from the Microsoft Exchange Server outlook.office365.com.
At this point, the only thing we have not changed out is the cable run that the computer plugs into up to the patch panel. I am having that tested tomorrow with a cable certifier. If it comes back as certified and good, I don’t know what else to try. I am at my wit’s end. I cannot believe that even after a brand new, maxed out computer, it still happens. It shouldn’t be, but it is.