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Two strange behaviors in Outlook with Exchange account (vanishing emai

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Okay, I'm at my wits end here, and am considering just accessing my email via POP, but I thought I'd give one last go at solving the problems.

I'm having two problems, using our organization-mandated Outlook with our new Exchange servers (as of last Spring).

The first, most serious, is what our IT people have called a "synchronization error". What happens is that when I move an email message from one folder to another, if it has a particularly large attachment, on occasion Outlook will, before the transfer has been complete, sync both the originating folder (now sans message) and the destination folder (not yet containing message) with the server. This results in the message, and its attachment, vanishing without trace. I have had this happen large-scale to approximately 1/3 of 60+ messages all containing attachments. I've also watched messages vanish before my eyes with the status update on the bottom of the window saying "Updating messages 1 of ..." and them popping away. I use a Mac; however, I don't think this is the issue as I've encountered others who use PCs having the same problem. In fact, one person in the IT department told me that they don't use the desktop application for precisely this reason and only access email through webmail! Because I work offline much of the time, this is not an option for me.

I was told it happens because I had been keeping too many messages on the server, but even after deleting nearly all my email from the server it still occurs. Does anyone have any idea what might be going on, and if it is fixable from my end? (Or would we need faster servers or something, so that email transfers happen quicker?)

The second problem is that I like to sort my email using rules as it comes in, so I can see only the most important messages in my Inbox. I set up a rule that transfers all messages, except those from the people I work with plus anyone from our organization's domain, to an alternate Inbox, so that just my organization plus people I know correspond with me will appear in the Inbox. However, the rule consistently misses some individuals from my organization. It tends to be from a subset of people within my department, and is fairly consistent with whom it misses. My best guess on this is that there is something going on like my account and their account are held "close" enough that the emails aren't going "far" enough to get filtered (perhaps using some sort of internal address designation instead of including the organization domain, which would be redundant). Since the people closest to me consistently get missed, it sort of messes up the whole point of the filtering! (But since not everyone emails me, and sometimes it misses other people in the organisation, it's not like I can modify the filter to include their name or something). Is there anyway to force MS Exchange to consider a domain-header that should be added?

I do like many features of Outlook, and was quite happy with our new email system, but these problems are making it unusable.

One last question: if I do decide to give up and use POP, would I be able to access an Exchange server using the POP protocol from Outlook? I imagine all I'd have to do is make a new account and give it the pop email server, so I just wouldn't be using Exchange?
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