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Your IMAP server wants to alert you to the following: Message too large.

Asked by tmikea on 07/21/2013 at 4:35 PM

Windows 7 Pro/Outlook 2013/gmail IMAP. 


I started getting a popup message titled "Microsoft Outlook" with details stating "Your IMAP server wants to alert you to the following: Message too large."


This began happening just after I moved some sub-folders from a local PST to  a new folder  in my <myemailaddr> OST.  The popup message keeps happening and appears to happen each time a send/receive sync is attempted with the gmail server. 


On another PC running Win8/Outlook 2013/gmail IMAP on the same email address, I could see that the new folders under the gmail OST did not have all of the email messages compared to the Win 7 box.


On the Win 7 Box, a search by size found no emails above 18MB in size.  But laboriously going through one folder at a time manually, I found an email with a size of "0 B" (zero bytes).   I opened it up and it contained 4 files which totaled 28MB.   Outlook 2013 for some reason was reporting that this email had a size of ZERO.   BUG


I created a new email and split the attachments between the two emails such that both emails were now less that 20MB.


The above error message went away and the emails sync'ed fine to the Win 8 PC also.


By the way I use as my email provider rather than because Outlook 2013/ uses an Exchange ActiveSync connection and will not allow you to move emails from a local PST to the OST.  This limitation of does not exist with gmail IMAP.



Bonus info:

In Outlook 2013 if you try attaching a 28MB file to a new email you get an error "The file you're attaching is bigger than the server allows.  Try putting the file in a shared location and sending a link instead".  A 10MB file would attach just fine.


Well, in Outlook 2010 on the same Win 7 box mentioned above, I created an email message and attached the 28MB file without any error at all.  I then put the message in a local PST then exited Outlook 2010 and ran Outlook 2013.  I could then take this 28MB email and move it from the PST to a gmail OST folder (without any complaint).   Guess what, Outlook 2013 reports that the big email in the PST is 28GB in size, but the same email in the OST to be '0 B' or zero bytes in size.   At that point, anytime a send/receive is done, the OST folder containing this big email tries to sync with the gmail server and you get the IMAP error described in the title of this article.  Of course it would be too much to ask to be told which email was the offender. 


So it's nice that Outlook 2013 gives you an error if you try to create an email with too big of an attachment.  But Outlook 2013 LETS you move an email from a PST into an OST folder that's too big....only to annoy you later with the above popup message....and you not having any idea which message is too big.













  • Posted by edsherry on 07/21/2014 at 5:50 PM

    I have the same problem.

    Did you fix it ?