How to auto refresh my inbox mail in Outlook 2016 and 2019?

Last update: September 2019
Applicable to: Outlook 365, 2019, 2016, 2013; Windows and macOS

Here’s a question we got about Outlook not getting automatically updated:

Unlike my Gmail account, it looks that my Microsoft Outlook 365 folders are not automatically updated with incoming email messages. Looks to me that the new email items are updated probably once in 15-20 minutes. My question to you is how can i possibly set Outlook to automatically update its Inbox folder more often, if possible as often as Gmail does. If that’s not possible, can you explain how often Outlook checks for email? Thanks!

If you ever used Microsoft Office Outlook as your PC e-mail client, you might have noticed some delay in your inbox refresh. Typically, it takes your incoming mail a bit more time to arrive when compared to web email services such as Yahoo Mail, GMail and Those typically auto update your inbox folder entries whenever new email hits your mailbox.

In today’s tutorial, i will show you how to make your Outlook inbox refresh automatically in shorter intervals so it always stays up to date with the latest incoming messaging:

Outlook inbox auto-update on Windows

  • Open  Outlook, and hit the Send/Receive button.
  • Click on Send/Receive Groups drop down box and Select Define Send/Receive Groups.

post 1

  • Under All Accounts, Click on Schedule an Automatic Send/Receive every.
  • Change the Minutes value from 30 to a smaller number. Note that setting this value to less than 5 min might lead to duplicated entries in your inbox.
Special Bonus: Download the Free PDF version of our Outlook 2016 Tips and Tricks guide.

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  • After changing Close the Dialog box.
  • Now your Outlook inbox will automatically refresh every 10 minutes.

Increasing the refresh rate of all your Inboxes

  • In the Send/Receive Groups dialog (steps to open it explained beforehand), go to “Setting for group All Accounts
  • And then set the Schedule an automatic.. value to the required refresh rate. Again – beware the fact that too frequent updates could lead to duplicated Outlook email entries; which are generally time consuming to fix.

Auto-updating the Outlook calendar

To ensure your Outlook calendar is always up to date, proceed as following:

  • In the Send/Receive Groups dialog, hit the Edit button.
  • Then in the left hand side, ensure that your email account is marked.
  • Then under Folder Options ensure that your Calendar folder is marked.
  • Hit Apply.

Auto-update you Outlook global address / contact lists

  • Same as in the section above, just ensure that the Contacts folder is marked for auto sync.

Note: You can always trigger an update of your email folder by hitting F9.

Inbox auto sync in macOS

If you are using Outlook on macOS  to read your Gmail, Hotmail or Exchange email, you can shorten uour Outlook folders synchronization interval, so that  auto updates will be enabled and launched more often.

Kindly proceed as following:

  1. Open Outlook for MAC
  2. In the left bar, you’ll note your GMail, Hotmail / or Exchange Account.
  3. Make a right click and select Account Settings.


  1. The Accounts dialog will appear, at the bottom right of the screen hit the Advanced button.
  2. Open the Server tab and set your sync interval accordingly as shown below – Note that for IMAP accounts (GMail and the minimum value is 2 minutes.


Note: for slower connections like cellular hot spots, you might want to consider to check the Download message headers only box.

  1. Hit OK.
  2. Close the Accounts dialog.
  3. You are all set :-)

Additional Reader questions

Refresh Outlook manually

Couple of readers asked how to manually trigger an update of their mailboxes.

On Windows:
Update all Outlook folders:

This procedure will trigger a Send/Receive action on all Online and offline accounts (could be exchange, Hotmail/, Yahoo, GMail) that are setup in your Outlook.

Side Note: that you might as well define specific Accounts/Folders group and trigger an update on those specifically. For example – refresh only your private GMail account and not work Exchange during weekends.

  1. Open the Send/Receive tab.
  2. Hit the Send/Receive All folders button (or simply hit F9).
Update a specific folder:
  1. Open the Send/Receive tab.
  2. Hit the Update Folder button.
On macOS:
Refresh your entire mailbox:
  • Enter the Home tab.
  • Hit the Send & Receive button.
Update specific folder:
  • Open the Organize tab.
  • Hit the Sync Folder button.

Use VBA to refresh your mailbox

The method SyncObjects  can be used in order to sync one or more Send/Receive groups for a specific user. In case you are interested in building a macro to automate your auto syncs, feel free to ping me via the contact page.

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