Update for Outlook 2013 breaks folder pane

Update for Outlook 2013 breaks folder pane

Summary: A non-security update served by Windows Update today for Office 2013 users causes problems with Outlook. This is just one in a recent series of quality control problems for Microsoft updates.


[Update: This story has been edited to fix an incorrect link to the update description.]

One of the many updates served today to users by Microsoft through Windows Update is causing problems for users running Office 2013.

Sept 11, 2013 -- 15:05 GMT: Microsoft pulls buggy Outlook 2013 update

The update, labeled "Update for Microsoft Office 2013 (KB2817630) 32-bit Edition" or "Update for Microsoft Office 2013 (KB2817630) 64-bit Edition", contains bug fixes, and stability and performance improvements. After applying it, many users are reporting on TechNet that the Outlook folder pane is left empty. Many are also reporting that uninstalling the KB2817630 update fixes the problem.

The update is not one of the security updates released today, nor does there seem to be a hint of it in the non-security updates announced for today. But as shown in the screen capture below, the update is offered to users of Outlook 2013:


Quality control has been a problem lately for Microsoft software updates. Three separate updates recently (see Related Articles nearby) have had to be withdrawn and reissued after additional work.

Furthermore, today's Patch Tuesday updates were supposed to include 14 bulletins, according to the Advance Notification issued last week. Only 13 were issued today. I asked Microsoft about the missing update. Microsoft’s Dustin Childs, Group Manager, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, gave this statement:

We are committed to delivering high-quality security updates for our customers and extensively test each bulletin prior to release. During some additional testing after advance notification, we determined one of the updates was not quite ready. We have not detected any attacks against this issue, or any of the others addressed today, and we'll continue to work on the bulletin and release it once it is ready, through our regular bulletin release process.

Topics: Security, Microsoft, Software

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  • How does something like that get past even the first reviewer?

    What - does a programmer somewhere write the patch, compile it, and then just say "well, that should work" without actually installing it and then launching the bloody program?

    I wonder what the testing criteria was for this fix - "makes the client run faster". Well, I guess if you can't get to your inbox because the folder pane is gone, technically the client would be a bit faster, wouldn't it?
    • Updates for Office today

      I had the same problem with today's update. I am not sure that a particular update was the problem. Some people said it was KB281009 which caused the folders panel in Outlook to become blank. However that update issues a failure. This article says it was KB2817630, but in the end that update did not cause me a problem. On one computer, after encountering the problem I did a system restore to a restore point before the update. The problem got fixed. Then I installed all the non-office updates. Then I carefully installed subsets of the updates testing Outlook at every step. Apparently the problem did not occur with Outlook 32 bit, but only with 64 bit (not sure but I think so). During this process some of the updates mysteriously disappeared. Finally when I had them all installed, including KB2817630, Outlook was still working.

      On my other computer the restore point was corrupted and I was not able to restore. I spent some hours on the phone with Microsoft support and in the end had to uninstall Microsoft Office and re-install it. Then I carefully installed the updates as above successfully, including KB2817630.

      The only problem remaiing is update KB281009 which still reports an unknown problem (code 80242009 ). I even downloaded it and tried to install that update. The install says it was successful, but it lies because Windows still sees it as required. I ended up having to hide this update. I plan to re-open my Microsoft case tomorrow and report that this office 2013 64bit update fails to install on two computers.

      In my opinion, based on my evidence above, I suspect that the problem in Outlook occurred not because of any one update, but because of the order the updates were applied. I suspect Microsoft may have miscalculated the order that the updates should be applied.
  • Outlook 2013 itself is a big bug --> excessive sychronisation

    After installing Outlook 2013, we suddenly had huge blowouts of data, which led to our website going down because we had exceeded our download limit.

    The problem was that unlike Outlook 2010 that only did incremental synchronisation, Outlook 2013 re-synchronised all the emails throughout the day, up to 6GB on one day, when the total email store was less than 1GB!

    Pity any enterprise that implements it and finds that their system communications lines are saturated all the time.
    • Cached Exchange Mode...

      Interestingly, on an article similar to this one (talking about the updates originally), there is a comment thread discussing Cached Exchange Mode in Outlook. Is it possible that you have this turned off on the new installations where it was on previously? That could easily cause your network traffic to spike.
  • outlook folder pane gone

    I have this issue and uninstalling the listed update above did not fix the issue even after rebooting. I am going to uninstall all of the updates from today for Office 2013 and see if that works.
    • Before you uninstall all updates...

      Check to be sure you didn't have multiple KB2817630 installs first. Once you uninstall each and reboot, the issue SHOULD be resolved.
  • Be Careful

    jay_stl, please be careful, I went to do a system restore and my computer completely crashed, blue screen of death. I had to do a repair, it came back, but the updates I downloaded today were still installed so it did not do a system restore, but it did bring the computer back up. I then uninstalled the update. However, it did not make any difference to my Office 2013 Outlook, the folder pane is still not showing up. Not sure what the answer is. I did have some updates that installed and the same ones keep coming back. I'm getting pretty fed up with Windows.
  • The XP updates have been worse

    XP updates in recent months have been causing all sorts of random problems for people I know. In one case, I just shut off all updates after I had to do a repair install to completely fix all the problems an update, or updates, caused to one PC that was running a special and very important application.
  • I found it 3 times

    OK, after revisiting my installed updates, I found the offending KB2817630 installed 3 times, so I removed them all, rebooted and yes my Outlook is back to normal. So for those of you who think they have removed it, make sure it is not showing up more than once. Good Luck!
    • Resolved via selective uninstall of updates

      I resolved the error by by firstly uninstalling
      Update for Microsoft Outlook 2013 (KB2817629) 32-Bit Edition, then uninstalling
      Update for Microsoft Office 2013 (KB2817630) 32-Bit Edition

      I then re-installed the Outlook 2013 (KB2817629) update. After the necessary reboots, all is well.

      I noticed from the update history that the KB2817630 returned after the process was complete, but the problem was still resolved.
      Nick Chettle
      • This worked...

        I had the same solution as Nick Chettle.

        Remove all of the mentioned updates (and yes there are multiples of each) and then restart. Also make sure your Outlook is exited during the uninstallation.
  • Resolved by uninstalling KB2817630 - twice

    When I used "View Installed Updates", I noticed that KB2817630 appeared twice.

    I uninstalled the first of the two and allowed the required reboot. I launched Outlook 2013, but the left navigation pane was still empty/broken.

    I uninstalled the remaining copy of KB2817630 via "View Installed Updates" and this time, after the required reboot, launching Outlook 2013 reveals that the previously empty/broken left navigation pane was functioning properly again.

    My environment: Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)

    Thanks for the information.
  • Outlook Folder View Lost After KB2817630

    same here, Resolved by uninstalling KB2817630 - twice.
    Microsoft needs to start doing much better at Patching/Testing.

    Starting to concern me, as the question has to be raised, What happens if Microsoft ( already hurting) destabilizes as a company further. This will affect MANY around the world, and also the economy. IT people understand SPOF Single Point of Failure......So many rely on MS, what happens if they become Half a company of what they are now.....or worse?

    One ( and businesses must ask themselves that). Disaster Recovery.
  • Ditch Outlook 2K13 Period

    Outlook.com's features the same items and the end user doesn't have to sweat that load for patches. Until your business runs Windows 8.x Outlook.com works well enough. Also, by the time your business gets 8.x it's baked in email program should be all grown up and be able to handle enterprise scenarios.
    worse comes to worse, you could always do Thunderbird ;-)
    Crashin Chris
  • Too many platforms for MS ?

    The more the plumbing the easier it is to stop up the drain.
    Alan Smithie
  • Thanks, but...

    I've read that uninstalling some of these updates creates an even bigger problem with Windows Update.

    I'm going to wait for no more than a week before Microsoft addresses this issue.
    In the meantime, my folder pane is minimized.
    It's a pain in the ..., but tolerable.

    Microsoft really needs to put more effort in testing those updates before deploying them.
    2nd Paradox
  • Use the hotfix instead of uninstalling the update

    You can request a hotfix for this problem at http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=2817503&kbln=en-us
    After requesting the hotfix you'll receive an e-mail with a download link for the hotfix.
    This solved the problem for me.
    • Excellent! :)

      Thanks. It worked!
      2nd Paradox
    • it worked!

      thank you for your help. your solution with the hotfix and the link you provided of microsoft support totally worked!
    • KB2817629 is probably the problem

      after running the .exe that microsoft sent me throught the above procedure and the problem was fixed, i noticed that from the "installed updates panel", the KB2817629 was missing. maybe that was the one that caused the problem.