Zimbra Outlook Server Failure Notice/Local Failure Notice

These sort of errors will be sent to users’ inboxes with something similar to the following details:

Subject: Local (or Server) Failure Notice

Importance: High

Attachment: sync_response.xml

Email content starts with: This e-mail was generated for technical support purposes.

Email content ends with: Error ID(s) and Type(s)

Make a note the listed Error ID(s) and Type(s) as you will need them later

Common reasons for these errors

  • Most often, the ‘message’ type errors (see How to Fix below) are caused by one or more emails which are somehow mismatched between the server mailbox and Outlook or because of corruption which stops a message from synchronising.
  • Mismatches occur for many reasons – some examples include:
    • Two messages exist in both locations with the same message id, but different content
    • Emails which have been deleted in Zimbra but not correctly synced to Outlook
    • Mismatched emails in the Outlook and mailbox drafts folder
    • Emails moved in a different client before Outlook completes a sync

How to Fix

  • If this is a one-off error then it can be ignored.
  • If it keeps reoccurring (with the same Error ID) continue to investigate the issue.
  • If the type is anything other than ‘message‘ forward the email to your email administrator.

Quick Fix – Empty Trash and Drafts folders

In many cases the error type ‘message’ is caused by mismatched emails in the Drafts and Trash folders between Zimbra and Outlook. Start by emptying both Webmail and Outlook drafts and trash folders:

  1. Empty Draft and Trash folders in Webmail
  2. Repeat in Outlook
  3. Restart Outlook – it should sync and the error should not reappear.

Detailed Fix Instructions

Step 1 – Review sync_response.xml

  • Note the Error ID(s) in the body of the email
  • Open sync_response.xml in your browser
  • Search for the error ID(s) in the sync_response.xml message using the “find” feature in your browser. This should give some insight into which folder contains the problem email(s) and may help you during Step 3.

Step 2 – Locate the Error ID

Use the error ID to lookup the email in Zimbra. You do this by querying your mailbox using a special URL

  1. Login to Webmail.
  2. Open a new tab and type the following URL, replacing the curly brackets with your real details:
    For example, if your email address is user@example.dom and the error ID = 123456, you would do the following:
  3. Press return – this gives you the raw message and you can see the subject, from, to and date sent. Make a note of this information.
  4. Return to your main Webmail tab

Step 3 – Remove the Offending Email

  1. Use the subject or email address information from Step 2 above to search Webmail for the original email.
  2. Once located, delete the email. If it’s important, create a copy and move the copy to another folder, but make sure to delete the original in order to fix the sync issue.
  3. Restart Outlook to force it to sync – it should sync and the error should not reappear.

Making sure the Zimbra Connector for Outlook (ZCO) is up to date

It is good practice to check the version of the Outlook connector – this is usually listed in the email body along with the current mailbox server version. The Outlook connector version should match or be greater than the server version number. Upgrade the connector if not.