SharePoint Alerts: Contacting the Server for Information

If you’re like me, you depend on SharePoint alerts to keep you informed of what is happening in your SharePoint sites. Unfortunately if you’re a user who resides outside of the SharePoint domain, you might have been plagued  the following message when viewing the alerts in Outlook:

In some cases, the message stays up for minutes at a time, locking up your Outlook until the message has finished loading (which commonly occurs when there are images in the body, or when there is a lot of text). Luckily, when this happened to me recently, it was happening to one of my co-workers as well, so at least I knew I wasn’t going nuts! He found a solution that fixes the issue 90% of the time. The following instructions are based on the Windows 7 operating system:

  1. On your client machine, go to Start -> Control Panel -> Credential Manager
  2. In the Windows Credentials and Generic Credentials sections, see if the Web address to your SharePoint site is listed. If it’s listed, click the arrow on the far right, then click Edit
  3. If they don’t exist, add them clicking Add a Windows credential and Add a generic credential and enter the appropriate details.

This should significantly improve the loading of SharePoint alerts.  You might still get the Contacting server…. message on occassion, but the wait time will be greatly reduced.  If your SharePoint alert contains an image, you will also receive a Windows Credentials window.  Just click OK, as the credentials will be automatically populated based on the Credential Manager settings.

Hope this helps!

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