OL98: Changing from Local Delivery to Server and Offline

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When you use Microsoft Outlook 98 with the Microsoft Exchange Server Information Service, you have the ability to work with folders "offline" that is, you can access the contents of a folder without a network connection. This article discusses how you can change from using Personal Folders to Offline Folders, and how to create, use, and synchronize offline folders.


Personal Folders are folders that you create to store mail messages on your hard disk or on a server. You add a main Personal Folders as a service to the user profile and give it a file name. Personal Folders have a .PST extension.

Changing Your Delivery Location

To change your delivery location, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Services and on the Delivery tab under "Deliver new mail to the following location," click to select your Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox and then click OK.
  2. On the File menu, click "Exit and Log Off" and then restart Outlook.
NOTE: In some cases, you will need to manually copy the contents of your Outlook personal folders to the new Outlook folders on the server.

Copying Items to the Mailbox

NOTE: Before continuing display the Folder List, on the View menu, click Folder List.

To copy messages from your Personal Folders to your Mailbox on the server, follow these steps:

  1. In the Folder List, click to select the Inbox in your Personal Folders.
  2. Click to select the messages you want to copy. If you want to copy all messages to the Inbox, click to select one message and on the Edit menu, click Select All.
  3. On the Edit menu, click Copy to Folder.
  4. Click to select the folder you want the messages copied into and then click OK.
To copy all the Calendar, Contact, Notes or Journal items to another folder, you must first display all of the items in a tabular view. To display the items in the folder in a tabular view you can use one of two methods:

Temporarily clear the filter from an existing tabular view.


Define a new permanent, tabular view of all calendar items.

Clearing the Filter From an Existing View

To clear the filter from an existing tabular view, follow these steps:

  1. Click to select the Outlook Calendar folder.
  2. On the View menu, point to Current View and click to select one of the tabular views such as, Events or By Category.
  3. On the View menu, click Filter, click Clear All, and then click OK.

Defining a New Tabular View

To define a new permanent, tabular view, follow these steps:

  1. Click to select the Calendar folder.
  2. On the View menu, click Current Views and then click New.
  3. Type a name for the new view, click to select Table, and then click OK.
  4. In View Summary, click Sort.
  5. In the Sort Items By list, click to select Start and Ascending.
  6. In the three "Then by" lists, click to select None and then click OK.
  7. Click OK and then click Apply View.

Moving Items to the Mailbox

To move messages from your Personal Folders to your Mailbox on the server, follow these steps:

  1. In the Folder List, click to select the Inbox in your Personal Folders.
  2. Click to select the items or subfolders you want to move.
  3. On the Edit menu, click Move To Folder and click to select the folder you want to move the messages into, and click OK.
NOTE: To move to a folder not listed, click New in the Move Items dialog box, type a name for the new folder, click an existing folder, and then click OK.

Moving All Calendar Items to Another Folder

  1. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  3. Click to select the destination folder.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Paste.
This will insert a copy of all the Calendar items in the destination folder.

Copying Custom Folder Properties to New Folders

You can copy the these personal folder design properties.

  • Description copies the folder instructions to the folder.
  • Forms & Views copies forms in the folder forms library and folder views.
To copy the custom folder design properties, follow these steps:

  1. Click to select the folder that you want to copy the custom properties to in the Folder List.
  2. On the File menu, point to Folder, then click Copy Folder Design.
  3. Click the folder that has the custom properties in the Copy Design From list, click to select the Description, and/or Forms & Views, then click OK.
  4. You will see the following message:
    If any of the folder design properties conflict, the existing
         properties will be replaced with the properties of the folder you are
         copying from. Do you want to continue?
    Click Yes to copy/replace the folder design properties.

Offline Folders

Offline folders are stored in an offline folder file (OST); this file is located on your computer and is available even when the network is down. The default location for the OST is your current Windows folder. Like Personal Folders (PST), the OST can be compacted to save space on your computer.

The difference between an Offline Folder file and a set of Personal Folders is the Offline Folder file starts as a mirror image of your folders on the Microsoft Exchange Server and works in conjunction with it during synchronization. A set of Personal Folders, on the other hand, is simply a storage location on your hard disk or a server other than the Microsoft Exchange Server.

When working offline, you can add, delete, and modify the contents of an offline folder exactly as you do with a folder on a server. For example, you can change and move items in your offline Inbox, send messages that are placed in your offline Outbox, and read your offline public folders. In the meantime, information on the server is still processing. You will continue to receive new messages in your Mailbox while other users can add, delete, and change items in public folders. However, you will not be aware of these changes on the server until you connect to the network.

When you need to update the contents of the Offline folder and its corresponding server folder so that they are identical, you synchronize the folders and then continue to work offline. The Synchronize command on the Tools menu connects to the server through Dial-Up Networking, copies the changes made in each folder to the other folder, and then disconnects. An item that you delete from either the offline folder or the corresponding server folder will be deleted from both after synchronization.

Creating an Offline Folder File

NOTE: You must be connected to the Microsoft Exchange Server for the initial creation and synchronization of the Offline Folder file.

To create an offline folder file, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Services.
  2. Click to select Microsoft Exchange Server, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Advanced tab, click Offline Folder File Settings.
  4. In the Offline Folder File Settings, type the path to the file you want to use as the offline folder file.
  5. If the message, "<path><filename>.ost could not be found. Would you like to create it?" appears, click OK.
  6. Click OK and OK.
All of the standard Outlook folders (Inbox, Outbox, Deleted Items, Sent Items, Calendar, Contacts, Journal, Notes, and Tasks) on the Microsoft Exchange Server are now ready for offline use. You cannot selectively choose which will be available for offline use and which will not be available. The exceptions to this are Public Folders and any user-defined folders. To set Public Folders for offline use, see the "Working with Public Folders Offline" section.

To set any user-defined folders for offline use, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the user-defined folder and click Properties.
  2. On the Synchronization tab click to select "When offline or online" from the "This folder is available."
  3. Click OK.
NOTE: You cannot use an OST file that has previously been used with a different mailbox. Doing so produces the following error message:
The file <filename>.ost cannot be accessed because it has been configured for use with a different mailbox.

Working with Public Folders Offline

To work with public folders offline, follow these steps:

  1. Using the right mouse button (right-click), click the public folder that you want to work with, and click Copy "<FolderName>" on the shortcut menu.
  2. In the Copy Folder dialog box, move to your Favorites Folder, and click OK.
  3. From your Favorites Folder, right-click the newly copied folder, and click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  4. Click the Synchronization Tab and select the "When Offline or online" option under "This folder is available."
  5. Click OK.
Your Public Folder is now ready for offline use. Each folder that you copy to your Favorites Folder can now be selectively set for offline use.

Synchronizing a Specific Folder

To synchronize a specific folder, click the folder you want to synchronize, click Synchronize on the Tools menu, and then click This Folder.

Synchronizing All Folders

To synchronize all your offline folders, on the Tools Menu, click Synchronize and then click All Folders.

NOTE: When you synchronize, a log file appears as a message in your Deleted Items folder. This log file contains information such as the time you synchronized, the names of the folders synchronized, and the number of items added.

Automatically Synchronizing All Folders When You Quit Outlook

To automatically synchronize all folders when you quit Outlook, follow these steps::

  1. On the Tools menu, Click Options.
  2. On the General Tab click to select "When online, synchronize all folders upon exiting."
  3. Click OK.
All folders that are set to be available while offline will now be automatically synchronized when you quit Outlook. It is important to synchronize and download the Address book before you log off your Microsoft Exchange Server when going on the road. This is particularly important when going on the road for the first time. This will ensure that all your offline folders will be updated before you leave.

To download your address book, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Synchronize and select Download Address Book.
  2. Select either Download the offline address book with or without details information and click OK.
Read the information concerning the ramifications of downloading without detail information.


Article ID: 181149 - Last Review: October 7, 2013 - Revision: 1.0
  • Microsoft Outlook 98 Standard Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbinfo KB181149

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