OL2013: Desktop alert not working on IMAP accounts


V

VanguardLH

Outlook 2013
Windows 7 Home Premium

I have the following accounts defined in OL2013:

- Hotmail (EAS)
- Hotmail (EAS)
- Gmail (IMAP)
- my ISP (IMAP)

When new e-mail is available on the server in my Inbox folder for the
IMAP accounts, Outlook does not notify me about the new e-mail. Well,
under 3 conditions will it alert me:

1. When Outlook is first loaded, it successfully alerts me about new
e-mails in my IMAP accounts. After that, only the conditions 2 & 3 will
work. (I have not yet tried flipping Outlook into offline mode and then
back online to see if that kicks it in the butt to poll the IMAP
accounts.)

2. After condition 1 has elapsed, Outlook tells me about new e-mails in
my IMAP accounts only when there are new e-mails founds in my EAS
accounts (Hotmail). That is, when the EAS accounts have new e-mails and
the desktop alert shows for them, I also then see there are new e-mails
in the IMAP accounts.

3. Click in the navigation panel (left-side tree panel of accounts) on
the Inbox folder for an IMAP account. Then Outlook syncs and finds the
new e-mails in the IMAP account.

So I may only once see an automatically displayed desktop alert about
new e-mails in my IMAP accounts when Outlook loads. After that, most
times I only see new IMAP e-mails when there happen to be new EAS
e-mails. Or, if I remember to check, I click on the IMAP Inboxes to get
Outlook to sync and show the new e-mails.

I leave Outlook loaded all the time to tell me about new e-mails or when
I want to send some. Some condition #1 happens rarely. Typically it
happens so rarely that it catches me off guard to see that there are
IMAP e-mails that are hours or days old. I don't get a high enough
volume of e-mails in my EAS account to reliably let me no about IMAP
e-mails under condition #2. So I have to rely on manually clicking on
the IMAP Inbox (or hitting the F9 key) to kick Outlook in the butt to
notify me of new e-mails in my IMAP accounts.

For all my accounts, I even defined a "new mail alert" rule that runs:

Apply this rule after the message arrives
display "You've got mail" in the New Item Alert window.

The desktop alert pops up in semi-translucent mode at the lower right
corner of the screen. This is a general option in Outlook that applies
(or is supposed to apply) to all e-mail accounts. The New Item Alert
window is a separate window that displays in the middle of the screen
showing the specified text description and the Subject of the newly
received e-mail. Well, that rule doesn't work on the IMAP accounts
(after condition #1 has elapsed). So it looks like Outlook is either
not seeing the new e-mails sitting in the Inbox up on the server or the
new-mail trigger is not firing when Outlook gets those new IMAP e-mails.
My bet is OL2013's synchronizing with the IMAP server is phucked; i.e.,
it is not properly using IMAP's IDLE support or overriding it with the
scheduled mail poll interval to see there are new e-mails in the IMAP
account's Inbox folder.

I see no way to disable IMAP IDLE support in OL2013. Apparently OL2013
does not use the scheduled mail poll interval in lieu of the IDLE
function or to combine IDLE with the schedule mail poll to always insure
OL2013 will retrieve any new e-mails in the IMAP Inbox folder. IDLE is
not a reliable push mechanism. The server may announce that it supports
IDLE but it may not actually do the push when new messages arrive in the
Inbox. Also, mail sessions time out. I believe some RFC recommends 30
minutes for timing out an inactive (idle) mail session but I've seen
postmasters asking how to configure the mail server to lower that to 15
minutes, and sometimes a lot shorter. Well, if the server has expired
the mail session then the client waiting for a push from the server for
new e-mails will never get that push. IDLE is not reliable. Alas,
OL2013 doesn't appear to continue doing the scheduled mail polls in
addition to waiting for the IDLE pushes.

Although I've got a "new mail alert" rule for all accounts, those for
the IMAP accounts don't fire (after condition #1 elapses) until
condition #2 happens. So I cannot merely replace the Desktop Alert
feature with rules that show the New Item Alert window.

I did previously use Thunderbird and it had no problem using IMAP IDLE
to alert me to new e-mails in my IMAP accounts. I left Thunderbird
because its rule set is too limp and it had lots of other defects that I
noted in their support newsgroup. So I went to OL2013 and mostly it was
okay except for not telling me about new e-mails in my IMAP accounts.

For my EAS accounts, OL2013 reliably notifies me of new e-mails. For my
IMAP accounts, OL2013's notification sucks.
 
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