Article ID: 161725 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q161725
When you use Microsoft Outlook 97 with the Microsoft Exchange Server Information Service, you have the ability to work with folders "offline." That is, you can use the contents of a folder without a network connection, which is beneficial for remote users. This article discusses how you can create, use, and synchronize offline folders.
Offline folders are the quickest and easiest way to work offline with Microsoft Exchange Server. Offline folders make it possible to take a folder from the Exchange Server location, work with the contents of the folder and when connected to the network, update (synchronize) the folders to make them identical.
Offline folders are stored in an offline folder file (OST). This file is located on your computer hard disk. The default location for the OST is your 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 your computer.
The difference between an Offline Folder file and a set of Personal Folders is that the Offline Folder file starts as a mirror image of your folders on the Exchange Server and works in conjunction with the Server during synchronization. A set of Personal Folders, on the other hand, is simply a storage location on your local disk or on a server other than the 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. Any item that you delete from either the offline folder or the corresponding server 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:
All of the standard Outlook folders (Inbox, Outbox, Deleted Items, Sent Items, Calendar, Contacts, Journal, Notes, and Tasks) on the 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 later in this article.
To set any user-defined folders for offline use, follow these steps:
NOTE: When logging into Windows, you cannot press ESCAPE when prompted for the Windows password. If you do, you will not be able to access the OST because the proper credential information has not been supplied. This is a security feature.
The file <filename>.ost cannot be accessed because it has been configured for use with a different mailbox.
Working with Public Folders OfflineTo work with public folders offline, follow these steps:
To synchronize offline folders, use one of the following methods.
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.
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 Tools menu, click Synchronize and then click All Folders.
Automatically Synchronizing All Folders When You Quit OutlookTo automatically synchronize all folders when you quit Outlook:
To download your address book, use the following steps:
NOTE: Outlook's Remote Mail feature is not available if you are set for Offline Folder Use. For more detailed information about Remote Mail and how to use it, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(https://support.microsoft.com/kb/162046/EN-US/ )OL97: Remote Mail, Offline Folders, and Working Offline
Article ID: 161725 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 1.1
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.