OL97: What Are Offline Folders and How Do You Use Them?
Offline folders are stored in an offline folder file (OST). This file islocated on your computer hard disk. The default location for the OST isyour current Windows folder and is available even when the network is down.Like Personal Folders (PST), the OST can be compacted to save space on yourcomputer.
The difference between an Offline Folder file and a set of Personal Foldersis that the Offline Folder file starts as a mirror image of your folders onthe Exchange Server and works in conjunction with the Server duringsynchronization. A set of Personal Folders, on the other hand, is simply astorage location on your local disk or on a server other than the ExchangeServer.
When working offline, you can add, delete, and modify the contents of anoffline 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 areplaced in your offline Outbox, and read your offline public folders. In themeantime, information on the server is still processing. You will continueto 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 thesechanges on the server until you connect to the network.
When you need to update the contents of the Offline folder and itscorresponding server folder so that they are identical, you synchronize thefolders and then continue to work offline. The Synchronize command (on theTools menu) connects to the server through Dial-Up Networking, copies thechanges made in each folder to the other folder, and then disconnects. Anyitem that you delete from either the offline folder or the correspondingserver folder will be deleted from both after synchronization.
NOTE: Offline folders are only available with Microsoft Exchange Server.
Creating an Offline Folder FileTo create an offline folder file, follow these steps:
- On the Tools menu, click Services.
- In the Services dialog box, select Microsoft Exchange Server, and then click the Properties button.
- In the Microsoft Exchange Server dialog box, click the Advanced tab, and then click the Offline Folder File Settings button.
- In the Offline Folder File Settings dialog box, in the File box, type the path to the file you want to use as the offline folder file.
- If the message stating that the "<path><filename>.ost could not be found. Would you like to create it?" appears, click the OK button.
- Click OK and OK.
All of the standard Outlook folders (Inbox, Outbox, Deleted Items, SentItems, Calendar, Contacts, Journal, Notes, and Tasks) on the ExchangeServer are now ready for offline use. You cannot selectively choose whichwill be available for offline use and which will not be available. Theexceptions to this are Public Folders and any user defined folders. To setPublic Folders for offline use, see the Working with Public Folders Offlinesection later in this article.
To set any user-defined folders for offline use, follow these steps:
- Right click on the user-defined folder and click Properties.
- Click the Synchronization Tab and select "When offline or online" from the "This folder is available" section.
- Click OK.
Working with Public Folders OfflineTo work with public folders offline, follow these steps:
- 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.
- In the Copy Folder dialog box, move to your Favorites Folder, and click OK.
- From your Favorites Folder, right-click the newly copied folder, and click Properties on the shortcut menu.
- Click the Synchronization Tab and select the "When Offline or online" option under the "This folder is available" section.
- Click OK.
To synchronize offline folders, use one of the following methods.
NOTE: When you synchronize, a log file appears as a message in your DeletedItems folder. This log file contains information such as the time yousynchronized, the names of the folders synchronized, and the number ofitems added.
Synchronizing a Specific FolderTo synchronize a specific folder, click the folder you want to synchronize,click Synchronize on the Tools menu, and then click This Folder.
Synchronizing All FoldersTo synchronize all your offline folders, on the Toolsmenu, click Synchronize and then click All Folders.
Automatically Synchronizing All Folders When You Quit OutlookTo automatically synchronize all folders when you quit Outlook:
- Click Options on the Tools Menu.
- Click the General tab and click to select "When online, synchronize all folders upon exiting."
- Click OK.
To download your address book, use the following steps:
- Click Synchronize on the Tools menu and select Download Address Book.
- Select to either Download the offline address book with or without details information and click OK.
NOTE: Outlook's Remote Mail feature is not available if you are set forOffline Folder Use. For more detailed information about Remote Mail andhow to use it, please see the following article in the Microsoft KnowledgeBase:
Article ID: 161725 - Last Review: 12/04/2015 16:04:33 - Revision: 1.1
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