Tip 1038: Outlook 2013 messages deleted from IMAP account reappear

I'm seeing reports that when users delete messages from an IMAP account, the deleted items reappear.

Files that are deleted reappear later, sometimes randomly, even though the Trash folder was previously emptied. The trash folder sometimes shows there are one or more unread messages in it, but when looking in the folder, it appears empty.

The solution: delete the IMAP account from your profile and recreate it.

IMAP accounts in Outlook 2013 use an offline file (.ost), not a *.pst as in previous versions and the conversion of an existing account doesn't seem to work correctly all the time.

Note: with the switch from *.pst to *.ost, contacts, calendar, and tasks can be stored in the IMAP *.ost file. Before removing the account from your profile, switch to the Folder List (Ctrl+6) and look for folders labeled "(This computer only)". Any non-mail folders should be exported to a *.pst file before you remove the account.

IMAP folder list in Outlook 2013. This account does not have any non-mail foldersIn this IMAP account, I don't have any non-mail folders and can safely remove the account without losing data.

Published November 5, 2012. Last reviewed on November 4, 2012.