Duplicate Emails in Outlook

Are you one of those people (like me) who like to use Rules in Outlook to redirect your messages? Have you ever been confounded by duplicate emails when they reach their final destination? Well, I may have a solution for you.

I have been using an internet fax service, called MyFax.com for quite some time, now. In an attempt to keep my Inbox cleaned out, I have set up a Rule in Outlook 2007 to have all MyFax deliveries go into an @Faxes folder and pop up a message letting me know I have a fax. I can stop what I’m doing, open the email, process the faxed item (in PDF) and then delete that email notification. It works quite well.

However, in the last few months, I’ve noticed that I’ve been receiving two such identical email deliveries. Same story with the MyFax Delivery Verifications on faxes I have sent through Outlook from my desktop. This morning, I finally decided enough was enough and called MyFax Support to find out what’s the deal. What on earth could they have changed or upgraded in their system that’s causing such consternation to me, a busy lawyer? The representative, Mike, looked at all possibilities within my account and decided it wasn’t on their end. I thanked him and turned my attention to Google and my tds.net email account Settings. No real luck. So, let the games begin!

I logged in to MyFax and sent myself a fax to see where it would go in the tds.net mail server online. Straight to my Inbox. Only one copy. Next, I went to Outlook and clicked on Send/Receive and watched two copies of the same email pop into my @Faxes folder. Curses! And then, I received two copies of the Verification indicating the fax had been received on the other end.

Time to dig into the Outlook Rules. What I found is two different Rules for the same emails. Aha! As I worked my way through tweaking here and resending faxes there, I discovered that two Rules will create duplicate email messages. I also deleted those Rules and started from scratch, so I have no screenshots for the @Faxes Rule. I do, however, through another discovery shortly thereafter, have screenshots for another set of duplicate Rules to show you.

Here’s a shot of the first Rule in my list for the Macs In Law Offices listserv folder, which had over 13,000 messages in it this morning. I only just realized that could have been cut in half, based on this finding.

1st Rule in List

The next shot is farther down the list in my Outlook Rules. Note the difference in the details in the bottom window of each shot.

2nd Rule in List

Now, see the final screenshot, which shows a section of my  email list and two sets of duplicate emails. They do not show the time, but you can see that the sender, subject, date, date and size are identical.


So, go and check on your Rules in Outlook if you’re having this problem. It’s a simple solution, although it did take some time to diagnose. By the way, this would also be how you would automatically send a copy of an email to another folder; use two Rules.

Do you  have a similar story? I’d love to hear it. Heck, I’d just love to have anyone comment, so I know you’re reading my stuff. Have a great day!

About Kris Krol

Kris Krol is an attorney in private practice in Lansing, Michigan. Since 1998, she has increased her knowledge about the “business” of practicing of law. Specifically, she has learned how to streamline her practice and to maximize various software solutions in the practice of law. In 2005, she began an 18-month transition to a completely paperless office.
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