Paul Liebrand’s Weblog

Welcome to my blog mainly about SharePoint

SharePoint 2007 alerts do not open in Outlook 2007 with Exchange 2003

We have been dealing with the infamous issue that occasionally prevents Outlook 2007 from opening SharePoint 2007 (“SharePoint”) alerts when the client is running in cached mode. This may be old news to some but the solution was recently brought to my attention.

A friend of mine pointed me to a Microsoft knowledge base article (KB930807) which is a hotfix for Exchange 2003, post Service Pack 2 (SP2).

If for some reason your organization cannot install the hot fix, you can always get around the issue by not running Outlook 2007 in cache mode.

Thanks for the KB article Mike!


February 7, 2008 - Posted by | Exchange, Office, SharePoint


  1. SharePoint 2007, Outlook 2007, Exchange 2003. Alerts set in a Rule to go to a certain folder in shared folders. When I first get the message I can open it and read it, but when I try to open it again I get an error. I’m not using Cached mode, so that won’t fix my problem. It’s been working fine until today and it only does it on Tasks list not on SharePoint Issues list and not all tasks only ones after a certain time today.

    Comment by Debbie Jackson | March 25, 2008 | Reply

  2. Debbie — what is the exact error message you are getting?

    Comment by liebrand | March 25, 2008 | Reply

  3. Cannot open this item

    Comment by Debbie Jackson | April 1, 2008 | Reply

  4. When you are in Outlook, what does it say in the lower right corner of the screen? Does it say “Connect to Microsoft Exchange”, or “Online with Microsoft Exchange”?

    Comment by liebrand | April 1, 2008 | Reply

  5. funny thing – when you asked me that it made me think if it had something to do with a rule that I had set up in Outlook 07 to move it to a shared folder on the file server (not connected to Exchange). When I removed the rule and it goes directly to my inbox I can open the email over and over again. HERE’S THE CATCH: another user has the same rule – hers works fine. Another user with no rule at all can’t open the email notice even one time. Sounds more like an Outlook issue rather than a SharePoint issue.

    Comment by Debbie Jackson | April 2, 2008 | Reply

  6. I would definitely check the Outlook connection status in the lower right corner of the screen. If it says “Online with Microsoft Exchange” this might be why you are experiencing these issues.

    Comment by liebrand | April 2, 2008 | Reply

  7. When I’m on the folder list that’s on my file server it doesn’t say anything. When I’m in my inbox it says “Online with Microsoft Exchange.”

    Comment by Debbie Jackson | April 2, 2008 | Reply

  8. “Online with Microsoft Exchange” means you are running in cache mode. Running in cache mode causes these types of issues. Try switching out of cache mode (should read “Connect to Microsoft Exchange” in Outlook).

    Comment by liebrand | April 2, 2008 | Reply

  9. First, let me thank you for your help with this crazy issue. I am not in Cached Exchange Mode. Our deployment of Office 2007 made it so that box is not checked and not changeable (grayed out).

    Comment by Debbie Jackson | April 2, 2008 | Reply

  10. My bad — I got the two mixed up. You are correct — “Online with Microsoft Exchange” is NOT cached mode. One other thing you might want to try is create a new profile and see if you experience the same issue. You might be experiencing a different issue unrelated to the one we discovered, yet resembles the same symptom. I do believe this is an Outlook related issue (like you mentioned) and not related to SharePoint.

    Comment by liebrand | April 2, 2008 | Reply

  11. Thought you’d like to know. This has been partially resolved. It was the Cached Exchange Mode as you had suggested. It can be enabled/disabled in two different places and I, nor any of our “experts” here, knew about or remembered that detail. When I switched it off in BOTH places for one user it resolved ALL of their problems. I, however, still cannot view certain alerts (tasks and discussions) more than once when an Outlook rule sends them to another folder. I have our Exchange 2003 administrator looking into the Hotfix found for this problem, but so far he’s reluctant to apply it until the problem is more widespread. Thanks for your help.

    Comment by Debbie Jackson | May 2, 2008 | Reply

  12. What was the other place you switched it off if you do not mind me asking?

    Comment by liebrand | May 2, 2008 | Reply

  13. I don’t mind at all. In Tools, Acct. Settings, click on the name in the E-Mail tab and there is a place there; also found under the Data Files tab; click on the mailbox, then settings, under the Advanced tab is Cached Exchange Mode Settings. I don’t think that one affects the other because I found it on one users where it was checked in one place but not the other.

    Comment by Debbie Jackson | May 5, 2008 | Reply

  14. Thanks for this! I’ve got all my users setup to use cached exchange mode and nobody can see tasks sent from sharepoint in either their preview pane or if they double click the message to open it. Outlook simply says “Cannot open this item”.
    I wonder if/when there will be a fix for this?

    Comment by Doug Nakatomi | May 22, 2008 | Reply

  15. @Doug – You “do not” want to use cache mode. If you have cache mode enabled then you may have this problem. There is a hot fix for Exchange (KB is listed in the posting).

    Comment by liebrand | May 22, 2008 | Reply

  16. Does the hotfix also work with alerts from WSS 3.0 sent to Outlook 2007 on Exchange 2003? Everything I have read so far is MOSS 2007.

    Comment by MO | August 15, 2008 | Reply

  17. My guess is it would work. MOSS 2007 runs on top of WSS 3.0 and the alert mechanism would be the same.

    Comment by liebrand | August 15, 2008 | Reply

  18. This is what I experienced hoping you will giving the most suitable solution to my case. I have an Alet set to pages library on the changes done there. When I apply alerts to a document library I get that error. so it partially works ! any quick resolution (without risk) , I don’t have access to exchange administration. I’m using MOSS 2007, Exchange 2003, Outlook 2007 ….

    Comment by Ace | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  19. I was able to resolve this by closing Outlook 07, run fixmapi.exe, problem resolved. User was able to open the emails that were previously unable to open. I believe this has something to do with the presence of PGP9 on the computer but could also be a fix for others who are experiencing this error….

    Comment by jamey0077 | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  20. I have a user who is also experiencing the same issue with Sharepoint alerts although her co-workers are OK. She works away a lot so needs to run in cached mode. I have found a quick workaround in that if you click on reply the alert is rendered correctly. Not brilliant but means she doesn’t have to log into Sharepoint to see the alert.

    Comment by TrevorJ | September 4, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for that workaround. Are you guys not able to install the hotfix?

      Comment by Paul Liebrand | September 4, 2009 | Reply

      • Hi, unfortunately the way our support works is that I am but a desktop engineer, and the holly server engineers are not keen to install the hotfix for one user. Maybe if it effects the MD that will change their minds

        Comment by TrevorJ | September 8, 2009

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