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Email gone AWOL – Dragged it to FileSite… and now what?

If you’ve contributed an email to a FileSite folder, but it is inexplicably not appearing in the folder, follow these checklist steps to narrow down why it is not appearing.  After each step, check if the email is now ‘found’ and stop once you’ve found the problem.  These steps are meant to be user-friendly and self-explanatory – always nice to be more self-sufficient.

Step one: always do this first. Right click on the folder and choose Refresh. Now, look through the folder listing once again. Is your email now there?

Before launching into FileSite Forensics, it’s worth scouting around in Outlook with a mailbox-wide search.  Sometimes the problem really is <ahem> not software-related.

Still missing? Well, here are the next steps for flushing out the scoundrel.

Nine steps to finding email

  1. Ensure the folder is being displayed with the right FileSite view AND is sorted descending by date received (or date edited). Confirm that you are looking in the right time-range for the email you just contributed. Received date can be far earlier than the contributed date.
  2. Did duplicate detection block your copy from landing in that folder or workspace? Perhaps another recipient already filed it – in that case the author and date-created will not match what you expect on your contribution.  Search for the mail using details that won’t be affected by who contributed it, such as the sender or a recipient.
  3. Contribute a second, new, email by drag and drop. Does this new one appear?
  4. Contribute an email by send-and-file to the affected folder. Does this one appear? Immediately, or is there a delay?
  5. Search for the email in the other dms database or databases (operator, today, matter). Change the location to ‘All Databases’ – use the ‘Select’ button as shown in that linked post. Perhaps it was not contributed to the database that you expected.
  6. Check the ‘where used’ for each email when you do find it, to see whether or not it is in the folder. Is it filed in the workspace that you expected? If you’re on 8.5 SP3, try jumping to the folder with the Open Folder button
  7. Look at the number of items displayed in the folder – is it at the maximum?  The warning is subtle, and might not be visible if the name of the selected email is very long. In this illustration, the name is ‘Operations Network’ so there’s plenty of room for the items found message.  If the selected item were named ‘Operations Network Detailed Bandwith and Congestion Analysis Frequency Proposal’the warning wouldn’t have room to appear. 
  8. Increase the maximum displayed per folder to 9999… cautiously. Sort this list, and see if your missing email appears. Possibly your folder is just too large for the previous default number of items. Beware that using very large folders can cause long DELAYS for Outlook, at unexpected times. I don’t recommend leaving the display limit at 9999, unless you have reliably excellent network and database performance, and these mega-folders are rare.
  9. Create a search folder within this too-large folder that narrows down by reasonable time-ranges. Does your missing email appear in that search folder?

These nine steps should lead you to the missing email.  If they have not, then enlist further help from the helpdesk or iManage administrator. Administrator access can provide a much more thorough search than is possible from a FileSite desktop. If the email was moved or deleted, or is stuck in a filing queue on a server, or even was deleted in Outlook before it made it to FileSite, it can probably be retrieved if it’s crucial.

  • April 4, 2012
  • By Sandy M.

2 Comment(s)

  1. April 9 at 11:13 am

    Very, very true – refresh is super-important. I’ve updated the post to ensure people know to do that before anything else.

    Needing to refresh is definitely the most common reason that an email is not immediately visible in a FileSite folder. In particular, if your firm has disabled Refresh-on-drag-drop, then you will often need to refresh the folder listing to see those most recent contributions.

  2. Kay Sverkas

    April 9 at 10:43 am

    I just wanted to mention that before you start going through the trek of finding a missing email you may just want to “Refresh” your FileSite folder view first.

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