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0x80040109 error when Outlook Object Model is used with an IMAP account in Outlook 2013


When you use the Outlook object model to add a UserProperty object to an email message for an IMAP account in Microsoft Outlook 2013, you receive the following error message:

Run time error '-2147221239 (80040109)': The operation cannot be performed because the message has been changed.


  • This issue occurs only when you run the code in quick succession to add a UserProperty object to the same email message the second time.
  • This issue does not occur when the preview pane is disabled or if you switch between email messages before you run the code for the second time.


To work around this issue, close all items after you run the code to add a UserProperty object to an email message. Or, run the code only one time for the same email message. This issue occurs because editing and saving an email message multiple times for an IMAP account is inefficient. When an email message is saved, it must be uploaded to the server as a completely new email message, and the original email message is deleted. If the preview pane is enabled, the original email message remains in memory, whereas the underlying email message is changed because of the multiple uploads.

To reproduce this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Select an email message in the message list.

  2. Make sure that the preview pane is enabled.

  3. Run the following code for the same email message two times in quick succession:

    Function ReproCode()
    Dim oExp As Outlook.Explorer
    Dim oSel As Outlook.Selection
    Dim oMail As Outlook.MailItem
    Dim oProp As UserProperty
    Dim oProps As UserProperties
    Set oExp = Application.ActiveExplorer
    Set oSel = oExp.Selection
    For iCount = 1 To oSel.Count
    If oSel.Item(iCount).Class = OlObjectClass.olMail Then
    Set oMail = oSel.Item(iCount)
    Set oProps = oMail.UserProperties
    Set oProp = oProps.Add("TextProp", olText, False, 1)
    oProp.Value = "Sample Text"
    End If
    Next iCount
    Set oExp = Nothing
    Set oSel = Nothing
    Set oMail = Nothing
    Set oProp = Nothing
    Set oProps = Nothing
    End Function


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