Cry Exchange How To...
Troubleshooting: Could not complete the move. The items may have
been already moved or deleted.
When trying to move an email to a public folder in Outlook a
message box is displayed containing the message:
Could not complete the move. The items may have been already
moved or deleted.
and the email is not moved.
This is a general message. The key part of the displayed message
is that the move failed. The second part that it "may already have
been moved or deleted" is just one possible failure scenario, but is
not the only cause of the message.
- The message means what is says, that the item has already
been moved or deleted. This could happen either when logged in
one more than one PC or if the local cached view on the PC is
out of date.
If the email has already been moved on another
pc, then it should be visible in the public folder and the local
cached view should eventually update to show that it is no
longer available. If the email has been deleted on another pc
then you will need to investigate whether you can recover the
- It is possible that the email is larger than the storage
limit set by the Exchange administrator for the largest size of
The default limit on the size of any one item is
10240KB (i.e. 10MB). If the email is larger than this or if the
Exchange administrator has changed the limits then you will need
to contact the Exchange administrator to have the limit
The Exchange admiistrator can change this limit using
Exchange System Manager:
- Run Exchange System Manager.
- Drill down to the server.
- Drill down to the "Public Folder Store".
- To change the limit for all public folder stores: Right
click the public folder store and open its properties. The
maximum item size is specified on the "Limits" tab.
- To change the limit for a specific public folder store:
drill down to the "Public Folder" in there right click on
the public folder and open its properties. The maximum item
size is specified on the "Limits" tab.
- Changes to the limit may take a few moments to take
- The easiest way
to check the size of an email is probably to drag and drop it
into a folder and then view the size as you would any other
These notes have been tested with Outlook 2003
with Exchange Server
About the author: Brian Cryer
is a dedicated software developer and webmaster. For his day job he
develops websites and desktop applications as well as providing
IT services. He moonlights as a technical author and consultant.