When you use Microsoft Outlook 97 with the Microsoft Exchange ServerInformation Service, you have the ability to work with folders "offline"that is, you can access the contents of a folder without a networkconnection, which is beneficial for remote users. This article discusseshow you can change from using Personal Folders to Offline Folders, and howto create, use, and synchronize offline folders.
Personal Folders are folders that you create to store mail messages on yourlocal hard disk or on another server. You add a main Personal Folders as aservice to the User Profile and give it a file name. Personal Folders havea .PST extension.
Changing Your Delivery Location
To change your delivery location, follow these steps:
- 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.
- 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 yourOutlook personal folders to the new Outlook folders on the server.
Copying Items to the Mailbox
NOTE: Before continuing, display the Folder List. If it is not alreadyshown beside the Outlook Bar, click Folder List on the View menu.
To copy messages from your Personal Folders to your Mailbox on the server,follow these steps:
- in the Folder List, click Inbox in your Personal Folders.
- Click to select the messages you want to copy. If you want to copy all messages to the Mailbox Inbox, click one message and on the Edit menu, click Select All.
- On the Edit menu, click Copy to Folder.
- 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 anotherfolder, you must first display all of the items in a tabular view. Todisplay the items in the folder in a tablular view you can use one oftwo 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:
- Click to select the Outlook Calendar folder.
- On the View menu, point to Current View and click to select one of the tabular views such as, Events or By Category.
- 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:
- Click to select the Calendar folder.
- On the View menu, click Define Views and then click New.
- Type a name for the new view, click to select Table, and then click OK.
- In View Summary, click Sort.
- In the Sort Items By list, click to select Start and Ascending.
- In the three "Then by" lists, click to select None and then click OK.
- 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:
- In the Folder List, Click Inbox in your Personal Folders.
- Click to select the items or subfolders you want to move.
- On the Edit menu, click Move To Folder and click to select the folder you want to move the messages into, then click OK.
NOTE: To move to a folder not listed, click New in the Move Items dialog,type a name for the new folder, click an existing folder, and then clickOK.
Moving All Calendar Items to Another Folder
- On the Edit menu, click Select All.
- On the Edit menu, click Copy.
- Click to select the destination folder.
- On the Edit menu, click Paste.
This will insert a copy of all the Calendar items in the destinationfolder.
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:
- Click the folder that you want to copy the custom properties to in the Folder List.
- On the File menu, point to Folder, then click Copy Folder Design.
- Click the folder that has the custom properties in the Copy Design From list, click to check the Description, and/or Forms & Views, then click OK.
- 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 are stored in an offline folder file (OST); this file islocated on your computer and is available even when the network is down.The default location for the OST is your current Windows folder. LikePersonal 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 the Offline Folder file starts as a mirror image of your folders on theMicrosoft Exchange Server and works in conjunction with it 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 MicrosoftExchange Server.
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. Anitem that you delete from either the offline folder or the correspondingserver folder will be deleted from both after synchronization.
Creating an Offline Folder File
NOTE: You must be connected to the Microsoft Exchange Server for theinitial creation and synchronization of the Offline Folder file.
To create an offline folder file, follow these steps:
- On the Tools menu, click Services.
- Click to select Microsoft Exchange Server, and then click Properties.
- On the Advanced tab, click Offline Folder File Settings.
- In the Offline Folder File Settings, type the path to the file you want to use as the offline folder file.
- If the message, "<path><filename>.ost could not be found. Would you like to create it?" appears, click OK.
- Click OK and OK.
All of the standard Outlook folders (Inbox, Outbox, Deleted Items, SentItems, Calendar, Contacts, Journal, Notes, and Tasks) on the MicrosoftExchange Server are now ready for offline use. You cannot selectivelychoose which will be available for offline use and which will not beavailable. The exceptions to this are Public Folders and any user-definedfolders. To set Public Folders for offline use, see the "Working withPublic Folders Offline" section.
To set any user defined folders for offline use, follow these steps:
- Right-click the user-defined folder and click Properties.
- On the Synchronization tab and click to select "When offline or online" from the "This folder is available."
- Click OK.
NOTE: You cannot use an OST file that has previously been used with adifferent 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:
- 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 "This folder is available."
- Click OK.
Your Public Folder is now ready for offline use. Each folder that you copyto your Favorites Folder can now be selectively set for offline use.
To Synchronize Offline Folders
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 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, clickSynchronize and then click All Folders.
Automatically Synchronizing All Folders When You Quit Outlook
To automatically synchronize all folders when you quit Outlook:
- On the Tools menu, Click Options.
- On the General Tab click to select "When online, synchronize all folders upon exiting."
- Click OK.
All folders which are set to be available while offline will now beautomatically synchronized when you quit Outlook. It is important toSynchronize and download the Address book before you log off from yourMicrosoft Exchange Server when going on the road. This is particularlyimportant when going on the road for the first time. This will ensure thatall your offline folders will be updated before you leave.
To download your address book, follow these steps:
- On the Tools menu, point to Synchronize and select Download Address Book.
- Select to either Download the offline address book with or without details information and click OK.
Read the information concerning the ramifications of downloading withoutdetail information.
NOTE: The Outlook 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:
OL97: Remote Mail, Offline Folders, and Working Offline