OL97: Remote Mail, Offline Folders, and Working Offline

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This article explains the differences among working offline, Remote Mail, and Offline folders. To identify which method best suits your needs, it is important to understand the differences among these features.

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Mobile computing is becoming increasingly more important. The following are examples of situations in which you may want to use Outlook when you do not have access to a network:
  • Traveling with a laptop
  • Working at home
  • Working at a remote site

Working Offline

Outlook offers three solutions for mobile computing. Working offline and Remote Mail are available in most situations. Offline Folders are available only when you are using Microsoft Exchange Server. Using Offline Folders you can perform updates to such items Contacts and Calendar as well as Mail and synchronize these items with the Microsoft Exchange Server once you are attached to the network.

Many users combine working offline and Remote Mail to cut down on network usage or Internet provider time limits. By connecting offline to Outlook, you can compose new mail messages and read and respond to mail. When you are finished making changes, you can connect to your mail service using Remote Mail and execute the changes you made while offline.

For more information on Offline Folder access to a Microsoft Exchange Server, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
161725 OL97: What Are Offline Folders and How Do You Use Them?
NOTE: The Outlook Remote Mail feature is not available if you are set for Offline Folder use.

Remote Mail Basics

To properly understand Offline folders and Remote Mail, you must first understand working offline. Outlook gives you the option when configuring most services to work offline; when you work offline you cannot send or receive information. Working offline does not require a network connection or modem.

If you choose to work offline and do not use Remote Mail, changes are maintained in your Personal Folder (PST) on your hard drive. This means you do not send or receive information from another location or computer.

The Remote Mail option is one of the properties for your service. In most cases, the option is to work offline and use Remote mail with a modem. Remote mail enables you to connect remotely to your mail service. You can use it with Internet Mail, Microsoft Mail, Microsoft Exchange Server, and some online services.

NOTE: Remote Mail is not supported with the cc:Mail service that ships in the Outlook 97 ValuPack.

Configuring The Microsoft Exchange Service to Work Offline

  1. Start Outlook if it is not currently running.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Services. Click Microsoft Exchange Server and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab. If your configuration is to be permanently in the Offline mode, click "Work offline and use Remote Mail" If you want to be prompted to choose the connection type when starting Outlook, click "Choose connection type when starting" so that you work either offline or online.
  4. Click the Remote Mail tab and set desired options for connection management and remote transfer.

Configuring the Microsoft Mail Service to Work Offline

  1. Start Outlook if it is not currently running.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Services. Click Microsoft Mail and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Dial-up Networking tab. Click to select an existing Dial-up connection or click Add Entry to define a new connection. You may select other options on the dialog to manage your remote connection.
  4. Click the Connection tab. In "Select how this service should connect at startup" click "Automatically sense LAN or Remote." This setting is appropriate if you alternate between a connection to the local area networks (LAN) and a dial-up connection. If you work remotely most of the time, click "Remote using a modem and Dial-up Networking."
  5. Click the Remote Configuration tab and click Remote Mail.NOTE: Other choices on this tab of the Microsoft Mail Properties dialog are specific to your Post Office configuration. Check with your mail administrator for configuration details.
  6. Click the Remote Session tab. This tab offers choices for how Remote Mail handles delivery. Set these choice to suit the way you intend to work.

Using the Internet E-mail Service to Work Offline

If you are using the original Internet Mail service, follow these steps to enable Remote Mail:
  1. Start Outlook if it is not currently running.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Services and then Internet Mail.
  3. In Transferring Internet Mail click to select "Work off-line and use Remote Mail."
  4. Restart Outlook to use the Remote Mail feature.
The Internet Mail Enhancement Patch (IMEP) does not have a choice for Remote Mail use within its properties.

General Remote Mail Usage Procedures

The purpose for Remote Mail is to transfer mail only. It does not transfer calendar appointments, contacts, or any other Outlook information. If you want to transfer this type of information, you must use Offline Folders and the Microsoft Exchange Server information service.

To use Remote Mail, follow these steps:
  1. Start Outlook using an Offline option for the service you are using as configured in the steps above.
  2. Compose and send a mail message. This puts the message in your Outbox, where it remains until you make a remote connection.
  3. On the Tools menu, point to Remote Mail, and click Connect to open the Remote Connection Wizard.
  4. Under "Connect to which information service(s)", click to select the desired services and click Next. The information services in your profile determine what is available in this list.
  5. Under While Connected, click to choose to retrieve and send all new mail or to Retrieve new message headers only. If you choose to retrieve and send all new mail, you are finished. If you choose to retrieve new message headers, continue to the next step.
  6. If you chose to retrieve only headers, on the Tools Menu, point to Remote Mail, and then click Mark To Retrieve, or "Mark to Retrieve a Copy" to mark the messages you want to retrieve.
  7. On the Tools Menu, point to Remote Mail and then click Connect.
  8. Run the Remote Connection Wizard again to retrieve marked messages.
Remote Mail is a great solution for people who use mobile computing to maintain their e-mail and to communicate with other people.


Article ID: 162046 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
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