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Jason Jones
Jason Jones, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 15824
Experience:  Several years of supporting Mac systems.
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I have Outlook 2011 for Mac. I am trying to use the tasks functionalit

Customer Question

I have Outlook 2011 for Mac. I am trying to use the tasks functionality, but when I select the Tasks view, the screen appears to refresh frequently and takes me out of whatever task I'm looking at and goes back to the first task in the list. This makes it unworkable. Any tips please?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Can you clarify if you create a new Task the other window vanishes?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No - I can create new tasks without any problem. The issue is when I look at my tasks in the Task view, and want for example to scroll down or even just highlight a task in the current view, within a few seconds the window looks like it is refreshing, and I go to the top task again. But creating tasks is not an issue.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
OK so you are not double clicking on a Task just highlighting them so they show up on the right? Or do you have it set to show up Below?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I am just highlighting so they show up on the right. Or scrolling down to see one that's below the first 25. In both cases, it comes back up to highlight the top.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
OK Please go to the Apple logo on the upper left of the screen, go to About This Mac (DO NOT Select More Info), and tell me the Version (under Mac OS X), the Processor and the Memory, it is all right there.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Version 10.8.3


Processor 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7


Memory 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Ok.

I want you to check some things that may or may not be affecting the situation. I am required to post any procedure as an Answer even if it is just a diagnostic test, so please ignore the Rate to Finish box and Reply to Expert after you have tried that.

Restart the computer while holding the Command and R keys to boot to Recovery HD partition, when it boots select the Disk Utility and Continue. Then select Macintosh HD on the left and first Verify Disk on the right and if that is OK Repair Permissions. If Verify Disk is not OK try to Repair Disk.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is this likely to affect any of my other apps?

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Only in a good way usually it is general maintenence and diagnostics.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK - here goes. Will report back as soon as done.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
OK after that do nothing and let me know
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK - we're back now.


 


1. Disk was OK.


2. Repair permissions found quite a few things to repair.


3. Restarted, and I didn't see this message from you, so I'd started Outlook to see if it was fixed and report back to you, but the issue was still there.


4. Apps seem to be launching a lot slower. It took forever for Firefox to come up so that I could see this window and answer you.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Certain things might have to be rebuilt, it should speed up. Ok

Quit Outlook if open, then hold down the Option key and open Outlook, this will open the Microsoft Database Utility, rebuild the database then quit when done and open Outlook.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK. Done. Outlook launched more quickly again, but the issue is still there.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Try going to View when in Tasks and change Reading Pane: to below, hidden and back again maybe that wil reset it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sadly not! Still doing it (in all three views).

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
OK go to Outlook / Help / Check for Updates
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'd already tried that, and there were none (but just did it again for good measure).

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Ok quit Outlook, then open Terminal in your Utilities folder and paste this then hit Return:

rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Outlook.plist

Then open Outlook and click on Continue at the bottom right.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

done. the issue's still very much there. do i need to undo it somehow?


 


it actually looks as if it's constantly querying a database and rebuilding the view whenever it runs the query. on occasions, all the tasks disappear for a split-second before being repopulated with the top task highlighted.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
OK in that case let's try resetting the Spolight Index:

Go here and download Maintenance for your system version, install it, run it and follow directions then leave the default boxes checked but also check Spotlight Index and then click on Execute. Restart after.

http://www.titanium.free.fr/downloadmaintenance.php
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK - done. Do you want me to start Outlook normally, or something else?

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Yes see if there is any change
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

There is change. I've now lost all my tasks. Fortunately, I took the precaution of backing up with Time Machine just before I ran Maintenance.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I've been waiting to see whether it just needs to rebuild the tasks database, and then they would re-appear, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Should I restore from time machine?

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
That may be the problem, that should not have affected the Tasks in Outlook only the Spotlight Index. Have youy tried the rebuild?
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
You should not do anything yet let the Spotlight Index rebuild itself.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK - the tasks are back. But the problem is still there. To be honest, Mike, I think I may have to just stop using Tasks, as it doesn't look like we're getting any resolution. It might just be (yet another) MS bug?

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.

You might try moving them to a new category a few at a time and see if that helps. It is not happening here.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

But it's happening for all categories at the moment - I have about 8 set up. Are you meaning to set up new categories alltogether and move them there a few at a time? And if so, the Task view would still have the tasks from the new and old categories together. Or do you mean something else?

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Yes sorry I meant make a new Category like Family 2 or whatever you want and then go to Family category select all and right click on them and go to Categorize / Family 2 to move them.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK - done, and issue is still there.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
You know what... mine just did it but I was moving the mouse. Give me a minute.
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
I think I accidentally brushed the scroll wheel it jumped to the top. What model Mac is that?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

MacBook Pro. And it does it whether or not I am near the pad.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
How are you sorting the items? It seems to happen only when I am sorting by Priority as that can be changing with time. Try clicking on the Title tab to sort that way does it stil happen?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorting by due date (which is how I like to see them as I usually have a lot in there). That said, I've switched to title, and it still happens.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Ok one last thing to try open Terminal:
Copy and paste:
sudo mdutil -E -i off

hit Return enter password

Then:
sudo mdutil -E -i on

hit Return

Restart the computer
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

:(


 


It teases my by not doing it for a minute, then it starts all over again.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Try this again:

Quit Outlook if open, then hold down the Option key and open Outlook, this will open the Microsoft Database Utility, rebuild the database then quit when done and open Outlook.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Nope! Sadly not.

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
OK many of those thing have worked for others I'm stumped. I'll opt out, sorry.
Expert:  Jason Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question today. My name is Jason. I look forward to helping you today.


I see that you have been working on this problem for quite a bit of time.

Do you still need help with this problem? If so, may I start a screen sharing session on your computer and help you resolve the problem? I will send a remote link within minutes after your response, so please keep refreshing the page.


Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jason. Happy to do it. But are you able to see what we've already tried? I'd hate to lose another few hours trying the same things?

Expert:  Jason Jones replied 4 years ago.


Yes, I have read through all of the previous dialogue.



Thank you.

AFTER YOU CLICK THE LINK BELOW, you can continue.

Please, click the following link and allow the remote app to run: http://67.192.95.188:8040/?Session=aa43f56d-5a7d-4109-8dbf-12826fbb1e31&SUPPORT=NET


Then on that page click the big green button on the bottom of the page that says, "I agree, Run RemoteDesktop".

Please, click the following link and allow the remote app to run: http://67.192.95.188:8040/?Session=aa43f56d-5a7d-4109-8dbf-12826fbb1e31&SUPPORT=NET

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK - I don't have Java runtime, so downloading it first.

Expert:  Jason Jones replied 4 years ago.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Jason - this is going to take a while, and I need to go pick up my son from scouts in 15 minutes. Can we try again tomorrow?

Expert:  Jason Jones replied 4 years ago.
Yes, we can continue tomorrow.

Just post a message here when you are ready to continue.

Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Great. Thanks Jason.

Expert:  Jason Jones replied 4 years ago.


You are super welcome.

Thank you.