About connection behaviors

Connection state determines whether Microsoft Outlook can connect with the e-mail server. You can specify that each time you start Outlook, a specific state is used — online or offline. Additionally, you can configure Outlook to automatically choose the connection state or to prompt you each time you start whether you want to work online or offline. When you use the Cached Exchange Mode feature with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, you can control how much and the type of data sent through the connection.

ShowConnection state

The connection state determines whether Outlook is online or offline. When Outlook is offline you can only work with items stored on your computer. How Outlook synchronizes folders when you are offline is determined by Send/Receive groups. You can specify that Outlook either automatically detect the connection state or prompt you so you can manually choose each time you start Outlook.

The connection state is displayed on the status bar (status bar: A horizontal bar at the bottom of the screen that displays information about the current condition of the program, such as the status of items in the window, the progress of the current task, or information about the selected item.).

ShowMicrosoft Exchange

Connection state Description
Online You are working with your Exchange server mailbox. Full items, including attachments are available to you.
Trying to connect One or more of the connections to a server is not active. Outlook is continuously trying to reestablish the connection. You can continue to work with your information, and once Outlook is able to connect to the Exchange server, changes will be synchronized automatically.
Disconnected One or more of the connections to a server is not active. Outlook was not able to restore a connection the Exchange server for at least five minutes. Outlook will retry every 15 minutes to connect. To override the delay, and try immediately, on the File menu, click Connect to Exchange account.
Offline You have chosen to work offline. No connection attempts are made to your Exchange server, unless you initiate them. Folder synchronization and updates to the Address Book (Address Book: The collection of address books that you can use to store names, e-mail addresses, fax numbers, and distribution lists. The Address Book may contain a Global Address List, an Outlook Address Book, and a Personal Address Book.) while offline are controlled by Send/Receive group settings or Remote Mail. If Outlook switched to an offline state automatically, you will be returned to an online state when a connection is available. If you manually selected an offline state, you must exit and restart Outlook to change connection states.

 Note   If you deliver e-mail messages to a Personal Folders file (.pst) (Personal Folders file (.pst): Data file that stores your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for e-mail messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.), these connection states do not apply and are not shown in the status bar.

ShowMicrosoft Exchange using Cached Exchange Mode

This feature requires you to use a Microsoft Exchange account in Cached Exchange Mode. Most home and personal accounts do not use Exchange.

Connection state Description
Connected You are working with a copy of your Exchange mailbox saved on your computer, and the copy is being regularly synchronized with the Exchange server. The complete item, including attachments, is downloaded. E-mail headers and full items, including attachments are available to you.
Connected (Headers) You are working with a copy of your Exchange mailbox saved on your computer, and the copy is being regularly synchronized with the Exchange server. Only headers are being downloaded. The body and any associated attachments are downloaded only when requested by you, or as necessary for synchronization with personal digital assistants (PDAs), auto archiving, and some client-side rules. Select an item and when it is displayed in the Reading Pane or opened, the full item is immediately retrieved from the server.
Trying to connect One or more of the connections to a server is not active. Outlook is continuously trying to reestablish the connection. You can continue to work with your information, and once Outlook is able to connect to the Exchange server, changes will be synchronized automatically.
Disconnected One or more of the connections to a server is not active. Outlook was not able to restore a connection the Exchange server for at least five minutes. Outlook will retry every 15 minutes to connect. To override the delay, and try immediately, on the File menu, click Work Offline to clear the check mark.
Offline You have chosen to work offline. No connection attempts are made to your Exchange server, unless you initiate them. Folder synchronization and updates to the Address Book (Address Book: The collection of address books that you can use to store names, e-mail addresses, fax numbers, and distribution lists. The Address Book may contain a Global Address List, an Outlook Address Book, and a Personal Address Book.) while offline are controlled by Send/Receive group settings. To begin working online, on the File menu, click Work Offline.

ShowCached Exchange Mode settings

This feature requires you to use a Microsoft Exchange account in Cached Exchange Mode. Most home and personal accounts do not use Exchange.

When using an Exchange server e-mail account with the Use Cached Exchange Mode option selected, Outlook provides a better experience by using a copy of your mailbox that is stored on your computer. In addition to the local copy of your mailbox, Cached Exchange Mode optimizes the type and amount of data sent over a connection with the server. If On Slow Connections Download Headers Only is selected, Outlook will automatically change the type and amount of data sent over the connection.

For example, you may use a laptop computer at your office and connect via a network cable to your corporate local area network (LAN). You have access to headers and full items, including attachments. You have quick access to the computer running Exchange server. If you disconnect the laptop from the LAN, Outlook switches to Trying to connect status. You can continue to work uninterrupted with your data. If the connection remains unavailable, Outlook switches to Disconnected, periodically checking for server availability. If you have wireless access, Outlook could reestablish a connection to the server and switch back to Connected status. You aren't required to change any setting or restart Outlook.

Later, working remotely, you use a modem for dial-up access to your Exchange server. Outlook recognizes your connection is slow and automatically optimizes for that connection by downloading only headers and doesn't update the Offline Address Book. Additional optimizations are made to reduce the amount of data sent over the connection.

By offering different levels of optimization, Outlook can adapt to changing connection environments, such as when you disconnect from a corporate local area network (LAN), go offline, and then reestablish a connection to the server via a slower dial-up connection. As your Exchange server connection type changes — LAN, wireless, cellular, GPRS, offline — transitions are seamless and never require changing settings or restarting Outlook.

 Note   Downloading headers only is a feature available when you connect to Exchange Server 2003.

Cached Exchange Mode Settings Description
Download Headers and then Full Items You are working with a copy of your Exchange mailbox saved on your computer, and the copy is being regularly synchronized with the Exchange server. Outlook downloads all headers first, and then downloads the complete item, including attachments. Use this setting to quickly see all item headers. You can click a header and the full item will be downloaded immediately.
Download Full Items You are working with a copy of your Exchange mailbox saved on your computer, and the copy is being regularly synchronized with the Exchange server. Outlook downloads the header, body, and attachments of e-mail items at the same time. Use this setting when you have a direct network connection with your computer or when you are using a continuous dial-up connection.
Download Headers You are working with a copy of your Exchange mailbox saved on your computer, and the copy is being regularly synchronized with the Exchange server. Outlook downloads headers only. The full item, including attachments, is available on demand when you preview or open the item. Use this setting when you want the amount of data transferred between Outlook and the computer running Microsoft Exchange Server to be as small as possible.
On Slow Connections Download Headers Only You are working with a copy of your Exchange mailbox saved on your computer, and the copy is being regularly synchronized with the Exchange server. If Outlook detects a slow connection to your Exchange server, Outlook automatically switches to downloading headers only. In addition, the Offline Address Book will not be downloaded. The body and any associated attachments are downloaded only when requested by you, or as necessary for synchronization with personal digital assistants (PDAs), auto archiving, and some client-side rules. Use this setting when you use dial-up connections or cellular wireless with GPRS connections to minimize network traffic when there is a slow or expensive connection.

 Note   You must be using an e-mail account on Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 to use the Download Headers and then Full Items, Download Headers, or On Slow Connections Download Headers Only options.

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook 2003