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Outlook 2013 downloading multiple copies of email messages from some accounts

Posted on 2014-03-01
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Last Modified: 2014-03-13
Outlook 2013 / Windows 7 Pro 64
I recently switched from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2013.
I have multiple email accounts and receive mail via POP3.
I use the same .pst file / Inbox for all of them.
After switching to Outlook 2013 I had the rather expected problem of lots of old emails being downloaded again.  That phase is over now.

However, on some accounts I am receiving multiple copies of the same new emails.
I have tested this by sending myself emails to the one account I'm sure is doing this and I received, so far, 3 copies of the test.

The mail server is 3rd party and under my administrative control.  I can see that the mail is not being forwarded to any of my other accounts.  It only delivers mail to the given address.

Of course, I can "clean up" the Inbox of duplicates but that's a nuisance by itself.
I'd like to fix this while keeping my normal settings (as above) intact.
e.g. I get POP3 email on my cell phone too, and on my laptop and on this Outlook 2013 desktop.

Why would this suddenly be happening and what's the cure?
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Question by:Fred Marshall
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39898065
I have multiple email accounts and receive mail via POP3. I use the same .PST file for all.

Go to the Send Receive Group Settings and enable the main account to send/receive and disable the other accounts that have the same incoming email address.

Outlook-2003-Send-Receive-Groups
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39898160
I get POP3 email on my cell phone too, and on my laptop and on this Outlook 2013 desktop.

What is happening is the last downloaded email pointer is getting mixed up when you change devices.  Use IMAP or Exchange  when you are wanting to sync mail from  multiple devices (recommended)

Or on your desktop or whichever primary device have it not keep any emails when it gets the mail from the server. (not recommended)
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Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 39910379
There are no Outlook accounts that receive from the same server account / address.  Each Outlook account is for a different incoming address.  

The last downloaded email pointer (on the client) should not get mixed up.  That would be normal behavior .. i.e. to NOT get mixed up.  This works all the time just fine with hundreds of accounts and clients.
If the pointer were at the server then I would add that in fact, the problem appears to be that it's getting mixed up for the SAME client - as this is the main client and the other clients are rarely used.   In fact, not used while this problem is occurring.  I only mentioned the other clients to provide the reason for leaving messages on the server.

I intend to continue using POP3.  That's what I'm trying to get a handle on here.

I am beginning to believe that the .pst file is corrupted and am looking for ways to gracefully fix it or start a new one without losing messages.
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 39910408
Outlook will only download multiples if it gets mixed up about clearing the server mail or marking it Read.

Back up the PST files and then find SCANPST in your Outllook program folder. Run SCANPST on each PST file. Delete your Outlook Profile. Restart and make a new profile and new accounts (manually) and import the mail into the new accounts. See if that stops duplicate downloads.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 39927850
I set up a new profile and the problem seems to be fixed.
I HATE IT when this happens!!   :-)
Thanks  John Hurst!  You made me do what I was avoiding.....
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39928406
@fmarshall - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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