Question : Outlook 2007 Tasks sending out automatic status reports (updates) when attachments are opened

I have a problem with Tasks assigned in Outlook 2007. This has only affected the user since they moved onto a new XP pro PC (previous XP pro PC using Office 2003).

When a task is assigned to and accepted by the user they then have to edit the attachments on the task and set it to completed; or view the attachments and then add an additional attachment before completing the task. The tasks can take several days to complete.

The problem is that any opened attachment if left open for approx 3mins then causes a status update to be sent out by the Task (outlook) titled "Task Update: <task subject>" to the people in the update list e.g. the assigner. The status updates will continue to be sent regardless of attachment type and that it is left unedited approx every 3-4mins.

This has been tested with .doc .xls and .jpg. All produce the same results.

When opened the attachment writes itself for editing to C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\<random folder name> and then the status updates will eventually start.

When the task is closed using the white cross in the top right it asks if the user wants to save yes / no? despite no update or changes.

Looking at outlook options for tasks and testing them on / off has not helped. Disabling auto save for Excel for example has not helped. Using blank attachments or file types that certainly have no external data sources on the net or LAN does not make a difference.

I will continue testing potentially up to and including profiles and reinstalls but from what I can see it may not help. The only place I have seen similar issues albeit never flagged as a problem is with standard outlook email attachments and messages asking for a save yes / no? when simply opened and viewed. It behaves in much the same way.

The person assigning the task is using Office 2003 on XP pro. The person receiving the task on Office 2007 needs to be able to edit the attachments or view them as they see fit and were able to do this in Office 2003 without spamming out auto status updates.

There does not seem to be an option to switch them on / off.

Answer : Outlook 2007 Tasks sending out automatic status reports (updates) when attachments are opened

Hi, timhodkin.

What you're seeing is the result of the auto save function that saves open items every x minutes to prevent data loss should the application crash or the computer shut down unexpectedly.  Each time auto save saves the item Outlook is sending an update because the task has changed and I'm sure it was sent with the option to "Keep an updated copy of this task on my task list" checked.  The behavior is by design.  Outlook can't tell that the task has changed as a result of the auto save.  All it knows is that the task has changed and the task owner wants their copy of the task kept up to date.

I see two workarounds.

1.  Instead of sending attachments send a link to a file.  Opening a link shouldn't trigger the auto update and there's no need to leave the task open while working on the file.

2.  Save the attachment to disk, close the task, then work on the file.  When you're done with it remove the original attachment and replace it with the modified version.
Random Solutions  
programming4us programming4us