Too many devices syncing with Microsoft account reports

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 2, 2012
Updated • Dec 2, 2012
Email, Microsoft Outlook

Reports are coming in that some Microsoft account users who use the company's mail clients are receiving errors related to a device synchronization limit that they have reached. Depending on the device and software used, error messages may read "There are too many devices syncing with this account", "There is an error syncing your mail account", "You can't connect this account to any more devices" or "We can'T add this account to your phone because you've already set it up on the maximum number of devices".

The Hotmail/Outlook/Windows Live synchronization issues are caused by an active sync partnership limit that is account-based. One of the causes for the issue seems to be that reinstallations of the operating system seem to cause the creation of new sync partnerships while the old synchronization links remain active.

Once the limit is reached, device syncing errors are displayed instead. While some users may be able to remove devices from the account that they no longer need, other's have received the error message with only one or two devices listed in their account.

What makes this problem particularly troublesome for the user is that there is no option to reset the sync partnerships client-side. According to some reports only specialized Microsoft tech support members can reset the sync partnerships to resolve the issue.

Most Microsoft support members on phone, forum or email are however not aware of the issue at all and won't escalate the issue unless you are persistent about it and even then, it may not work at all. If you are lucky enough, you need them to "reset the sync relationships" of the account to resolve the issue. This resets the sync points basically so that devices that you actually use sync emails again.

List of error messages:

  • There are too many devices syncing with this account.  To sync using Outlook, try removing another device that is connected with this account such as a phone or another computer.File: outlook\pstprx\storeas\utils\airsyncstatuscodes.h
  • There is an error syncing your mail account, please contact Microsoft support to resolve this issue.  Error: 3206." Server user has maxed out their sync relationship quota
  • You can't connect this account to any more devices.  Remove another device first with help from your system admin or Internet service provider.
  • We can't add this account to your phone because you've already set it up on the maximum number of devices. You can try removing devices from your account on the web, or contact support for your account. Error code: 86000C4C.

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  1. M. A. said on April 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I encountered this problem with my windows 8 mail app and outlook 2013 after reinstalled my windows and I contacted Microsoft tech but the know nothing about this problem I kept telling them “reset the sync relationships” for my account and everything will be solved by it self but it seems no one understand what I said. and the problem is still happening ):

  2. Catuí Suarez said on December 17, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Agree. I just bought a new PC and my Outlook 2013 started giving this error. Created a account for my girlfriend and same thing happend. Don´t think there´s anything to do with number of devices.

  3. Kourosh Maheri said on December 10, 2012 at 7:45 am

    .Still have the problem .It seems that the number of people who face the problem gonna increase every one hour. Just like a virus or something.

    Post and reply here as they said ,they are going to fix that.

  4. James said on December 3, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Yep, I have the same issue! I was on remote desktop with some lady called Melaflor from Microsoft support trying to sort it out… Then I find out that loads of people have this issue.

    Basically, it’s completely wrong. I have 2 devices, a phone and a PC, I installed Outlook 2013 Preview and since then it has been chucking up this error even within windows 8 Mail. crazy! I have only installed this computer once so it is not specifically that that causes this error!

    1. James said on December 3, 2012 at 1:03 am

      Oh for 2 hours. I was on remote desktop for 2 hours! I feel exhausted from it lmao

  5. ilev said on December 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Isn’t it related to many folders/sub-folders ?

    ..If you have a Hotmail account that has upwards of 100-150 folders (including subfolders) and factoring in connections with multiple devices you will hit this issue.
    Windows Live will be increasing the folder and device limits in the next month or so. In the meantime check if you have folders that you do not need and remove them. Also, limit the number of devices that connect to the Hotmail accounts. Hopefully for most people the errors will go away when the Windows Live change gets implemented. ..

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      It does not seem to be related, but what you are describing is another “thing” that can cause the error messages.

  6. Richard Hay said on December 2, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I was able to rest the relationships on the Office 365 side when I hit this limit earlier in the year.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      Good tip, but for some users, only one or two devices are displayed here and they still get the error. But it is definitely worth a try.

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