Refresh? How long? | FileSite close-up

Refresh? How long? | FileSite close-up

Refresh? How long? | FileSite close-up

As I mentioned in another post, diagnosing why Outlook Hangs on Drag-Drop: there are registry settings that control the Refresh behavior in iManage FileSite. Three settings control refresh directly, plus another sets a cap on folder display counts.

Meet the registry settings

FileSite recognizes three different events that can or should require folders and the document worklist to be refreshed, and there’s a registry setting for each. FileSite also allows you to configure how many items to show in a folder. When you combine these settings, you can inflict the maximum amount of waiting, while the maximum quantity of folder items is re-displayed.

Modifying the registry can cause serious system instability. Do not make changes lightly.

How many items in a folder

A user can configure how many items they wish to display in folders, up to a maximum value of 9,999.  This setting is stored as a DWORD in the registry at:


DWORD Maximum Rows
Default value 200 (The decimal equivalent is 512)
Set to 400 to show 1024 for example.

We recommend that this maximum be left at a lower number, even the default 512, because of the possible delays if it’s set to the opposite extreme max 9999.  People should be trained and comfortable with searching FileSite folders which exceed the maximum, whatever that may be.

Refresh Folder Contents after Drag and Drop

This is the refresh setting at the forefront of the delay that most users notice. When a user drags emails into a folder, this setting is consulted to determine what extent of refreshing should happen throughout FileSite.

As a person drags-and-drops a group of emails, refresh is requested for all the “active” workspaces. If this person has visited multiple large workspaces, and the Maximum Rows setting is set high, easily dozens of refreshes can be kicked off. If each workspace has a folder with 10,000 or more emails, each will take … ten … seconds … at …. least …. to … refresh. Outlook appears to freeze during that refresh.


DWORD RefreshAllFoldersAfterDragandDrop
Default value 1 (refresh all active folder contents)
Set to 0 to eliminate these refreshes.

Refresh Current Folder On Move

It’s fairly rare, in my experience, that you need to move a FileSite folder from one place to another. I don’t generally worry about this setting much.

DWORD Refresh Current Folder Only
Default value 0 (look for and refresh other instances of the 
affected folder throughout FileSite)
Set to 1 to eliminate these refreshes - by refreshing only the current folder

Refresh Folders from Integrations

This is a subtle and harsh type of refresh logic. When a user checks in a new version, or creates version 1 of a new document e.g. by closing Word, by default FileSite refreshes its active folders.  This refresh is more likely to confuse a user because closing Word isn’t intuitively a reason to trigger heavy network activity in Outlook. This setting is shown as supporting three options, but my testing of FileSite 8.5 SP2 Update 1 showed that values 1 and 2 worked the same – refresh all active. Up through FileSite 8.5 SP2 Update 1, saving a new version caused 8 network spikes per active workspace. Ten active workspaces means 80 spikes. If each spike takes ten seconds…


DWORD Refresh Folders From Integrations
Default value 1
Set to 0 to eliminate these refreshes.
Set to 2 to refresh Document Worklist only.

On the bright side, if a frustrated user closes Outlook with Task Manager because of this non-response, no data is lost.

How to troubleshoot

The refresh visits and updates the workspaces which have been active and expanded in this Outlook session.

Open up at least two extremely large workspaces in the Matter Worklist (containing thousands of documents) and visit those folders.

Launch Windows Task Manager and switch to the Networking tab.  I recorded this activity with a 100 Mbps connection, with the display limit set to 9999.

Contact me for assistance in deploying this fix at your firm.  Or, if I have already helped you with enough info to fix it alone – ping me with a comment! I love hearing about good results.

The refresh settings are documented in the WorkSite Desktop Client Customization Guides 8.5 SP2 and later. Versions of that document prior to October 2010 did not document all three refresh settings. Download the most recent versions from iManage support (here’s how…)

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