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Outlook 2010 Is Mixing Up Header IMAP Accounts

Updated on June 16, 2015

While using MS Outlook application and accessing a mailbox using IMAP4 in Microsoft Outlook 2010 after synchronizing it with IMAP server; many users encounter situations where body of particular email is shown in body of another email message. Some users face troubles where text from an attachment of an email is displayed as a garbage text in some other message. Some more cases have been found with similar issues where email message body is shown as unconverted MIME text or content in email message is not at all displayed despite of it having message body. All these scenarios with Outlook 2010 indicate that Outlook 2010 is mixing up header IMAP accounts. The issue follows up to a certain conclusion that the glitch is related to the network connection or synchronization.

When any email message is synchronized with the server while sending or receiving the email, the synchronization mainly includes;

  • Headers: This header element is available only for emails and comprises of a descriptive identifier which delivers data information like sender’s name, message subject, time-stamps, size, etc. related to that particular email only.
  • Full Items: Full item will include header, body of message, embedded pictures or objects, and attachments included in the email message.

Now, as headers are extremely important part of any email message to recognize its origin or source, time-stamp, etc. any alteration in the header part or message part or also attachment text can certainly put a user in confusion. This can also lead to major havoc with identities of emails.

What Causes Such Header Alteration Malfunction?

It has been observed that the Outlook 2010 message body comprises of the content or text part belonging to message which was previously opened while accessing mailbox using IMAP4 client. The issue is mainly a server-side issue and is caused due to network communication complications occurred while email message synchronization. Microsoft also makes a hotfix available for its troubleshooting which is applied to the Outlook application. This clears out the internal memory used while email message conversion during network glitches. This will automatically make sure that the message body for new email is completely blank and is not affected by message body content from previous email message.

Problem Can Be Also Caused Due to Some Client-side Issues

External Devices: When external devices like Virus Scanner are installed in the system, it integrates itself with the MS Outlook application. This can lead to many issued with the sending and receiving of emails. An anti-virus has some similar effects also. It is advised to separate such devices from Outlook application by disabling them and then running the application.

Firewall Installed: If the system is having firewall installed with activation of packet inspector. It might not directly affect the Outlook application but in some way or other it can cause the issues as well. You can also try to disable it and see if it works. One can also reconfigure it or update it to latest version.

Troubleshooting Methods for Email Header Mixing Issue

Re-create Profile: It is important to repair the existing broken emails whose headers have been altered. Microsoft suggests re-creating the user-profile which might download the emails again without any malfunction in it. You can delete the existing profile and re-add the user profile, or you can also create new profile.

Re-sync Emails: You can try to move the damaged or affected emails to another folder by logging-in to web-based mail account (or use another IMAP client). Use the Send/Receive option or F9 in order to explicitly sync IMAP account with Outlook application. Then move the messages back to the original folder and re-sync Outlook one more time.

Rename PST: Close the Outlook application and rename the IMAP account PST file as .old. When you will restart the MS Outlook application again, IMAP will build the complete cache again. You can find the PST location through this path: File>> Account Settings >> Account Settings…>> E-mail tab >> IMAP Account >> and location will be displayed.

Remove Account: If Outlook 2010 is mixing up header IMAP accounts despite of following all these methods, you can try to remove the IMAP account and re-add it again. The new account might not have the same issue.


MS Outlook has brought an evolutionary improvement in emailing, but these diminutive issues on the server-side as well as client-side can make the emailing hectic. The troubleshooting methods explained above can certainly solve the issue with already malfunctioned emails. But it is highly recommended to utilize the hotfix provided by Microsoft at first place.


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