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Sync services broken : Using outlook 2011 with Mac contacts

3206 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Dec 1, 2012 7:32 PM by kevs55 RSS
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kevs55 Calculating status...
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Nov 15, 2012 7:30 AM

In outlook 2011 I have sync services set to work, but it's broken. Not syncing back over to Mac contacts. Anyone have a clue? thanks.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), imac 27"
  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,385 points)

    Are you using iCloud?

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,385 points)

    I have no idea, works fine for me (local sync, Outlook to Mac Contacts app).Turn SyncServices off exit Outlook, restart Outlook and turn it on again.

  • Steve H Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    This has happened to me several times in the past, but was fixed by turning Sync Services off, quitting/relaunching Outlook, reactivating SyncServices.  Now it has surfaced again but the above no longer solves this issue. 


    A coinciding issue that surfaces at the same time is that Outlook's "Find" feature (to locate emails, contacts, etc) also fails.  I can be looking at a name or an email subject line, type the exact text in the Outlook 'Search' box (upper right corner of the main Outlook window), and the search result comes up "No Results." 


    I've been told that Outlook 2011 uses Spotlight's index.  SyncServices apparently interoperates with the Spotlight index.


    Another coiciding issue is that SyncServices shows 100% processor use in Activity Monitor and force-quitting/relaunching SyncServices via Activity Monitor does not resolve that.


    I can't single out any particular thing that I did to make this break again (e.g. I've not installed any software updates to Office/Outlook, or to MacOS X).


    I'd sure love it if Microsoft would repair Outlook.  A product that's been on the market for >15 years in one form or another should actually work by now.


    They posted a v14.2.5 update in early November - I'll install it, see if that fixes the problem, and report back here.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,385 points)

    kevs55 wrote:


    thanks C, good idea, just tried, no go. I have contacts in Outlook that are new, that just wont move over or sync over to Macs contacts. There is no button to force it to work...?

    Use something other than Outlook, use something that actually works.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,385 points)

    Sync Services is an Apple service that both Entourage and Outlook 2011 can use to sync to Address Book and iCal's local databases, it can not synchronize iCloud accounts.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,385 points)

    My opinions on Outlook are based in solid evidence, which your 'not working correctly' copy only solidifies.


    By all means use Outlook, if you get it to work properly post how, here.

  • Steve H Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I neglected to say that the process of resetting the Spotlight index is to go to System Preferences -> Spotlight -> click the Privacy tab, drag your hard drive icon into it (to stop indexing it), then exit Spotlight prefs, then go back to them, and remove the hard drive (press the '-' at the bottom of the window) from the Privacy list again.  Then close System Prefs.   Then, allow Spotlight to reindex the computer.


    I should be able to verify whether this resolves these seemingly inter-related SyncServices, Outlook, Spotlight issues, this afternoon... - Steve

  • Steve H Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Okay boys & girls..   Success.


    - Both the Mac Address Book / Contacts app and iOS/iPad Contacts app now show all my entries (about 2,000 of them, in my case). 


    - Spotlight now finds  messages and contacts located within Outlook (via the magnifying glass on the right-hand end of MacOS menu bar)


    - Outlook's 'Search' box (upper right corner of the main Outlook window) now shows search results (for contacts in the contact view, mail in the mail view, etc) when I type in a search term, such as a name or part of an email subject line


    Here is what solved this issue for me (try for yourself)


    1) Quit Outlook and all other Office applications


    2) Reset the Mac's Spotlight index:  a) Go to System Preferences -> Spotlight -> click the Privacy tab, drag your hard drive icon into it to add the drive to the list, to stop indexing it, b) exit Spotlight prefs, c) go right back to the same Spotlight prefs and click on the "-" to remove the hard drive that you just added to the Privacy list, d) Then close System Prefs.  Spotlight will begin to reindex the computer (you see a "glowing" spot inside the Spotlight magnifying glass).  Don't go to the next step until this finishes.  To make sure, click on it to see how much longer you have to wait.  If you just see a search box and there's no more glowing dot, it's done.


    3) Go to, then download and install the Microsoft Office 2011 v14.2.5 update, released in early November.   The installer will prompt to force-quit SyncServices and the Microsoft Database Daemon - this is OK.


    4) Shut down & reboot everything (your Mac, your iOS device if applicable). 


    5) Now, test:


      a) Launch your Mac address book/contacts application, verify that your entries are there again

      b) Launch Outlook, see if it finds your emails, contacts, etc from via the Outlook Search box

      c) If you use the Contacts app in iOS (iPad, iPhone), plug the device into your Mac, launch iTunes and re-sync the device.  Then launch the Contacts app to verify that your entries have transferred over


    Worked for me...!

  • Steve H Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    If you meant Outlook Express, it's not that different from "regular" (paid version) of Outlook.  If you are running your computer stand-alone (e.g. not connected to a corporate network and an Exchange server), then both the free or paid version require that you manually query for mail unless you set up a rule to ping your email account on a regularly-timed basis.


    The Apple apps appear to be fine for the non-corporate user - I use Microsoft Office, and not Apple's apps, so I can't tell you much about their advantages or disadvantages - sorry!

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