OLEXP: Using Outlook Express over Internet Connection Sharing

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Article ID: 268986
For information about the differences between Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook e-mail clients, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
257824 OL2000: Differences Between Outlook and Outlook Express
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Outlook Express installed on an Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) client (downstream) computer will not automatically disconnect the Host computer from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) after checking for new mail.


This is by design and can occur if there is any network activity between the ICS host and the Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The following list provides some examples of network activity that could cause this issue:
  • DNS queries.
  • Critical Update Notification for Windows Update.
  • Product Registrations.
  • Updating Subscriptions or other online Content.

More information

ICS defaults to Disconnect after 5 minutes or to the Internet Explorer Disconnect if Idle setting, depending on which is shorter.

To change the Internet Explorer "Disconnect if Idle" setting:
  1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Internet.
  2. Click the Connection tab.
  3. Select a connection in the Dial-Up Settings window. For example, My Connection.
  4. Click Settings, and in the third section entitled Dial-Up Settings of the My Connection Settings, click Advanced.
To change the setting in Outlook Express:
  1. Open Microsoft Outlook Express.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Click Connections, and then click Change to get to the same screen displayed in Internet Explorer.
To determine what activity is using the ICS host, view the contents of the Icslog.txt file. To do this:

  1. On the ICS host computer, click Start, Find, and then click Files Or Folders.
  2. In the Named box, type icslog.*, and then click Find Now.
  3. Double-click the Icslog.txt file to open it in Notepad.
The Icslog.txt file contains all the ICS network activity since the last time you started the computer.

When you restart the computer, the Icslog.txt file is renamed to Icslog.old and a new Icslog.txt file is created.

The following text is an example of what might be contained in an Icslog.txt file:
04/05/1999 11:07:29 - Internet Connection Sharing log opened.
04/05/1999 11:07:30 - The automatic addressing server has been started
04/05/1999 11:07:30 - The Internet Connection Sharing driver is running.
04/05/1999 11:13:13 - AutoDial is using connection: WinISP
04/05/1999 11:13:37 - AutoDial connected to: WinISP

The Icslog.txt file is useful for connections such as ISDN or analog phones that use Dial-Up Networking. For connections such as DSL or Cable Modems that use a network adapter, the contents of the Icslog.txt file show only that the Internet Connection Sharing driver is running.


237806 Dial-Up Connection in ICS Does Not Prompt to Disconnect
230108 ICS Does Not Disconnect When You Are Finished Using the Internet


Article ID: 268986 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 4.0
kbprb KB268986
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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