Troubleshoot working offline

ShowWhen I try to set up Outlook to work offline, the Work Offline command is missing on the File menu.

If you do not see the Work Offline command, do the following:

  1. In the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes buttons for the Mail, Calendar, and Tasks views and the folders within each view. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), right-click the Exchange Server e-mail account, and then click Properties for "Mailbox - <user name>".

 Note   The Exchange Server account usually appears as Mailbox - <user name>.

  1. Click Advanced.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. Click Offline Folder File Settings.
  4. Click Disable Offline Use.
  5. Quit and restart Microsoft Outlook.

ShowItems are missing from my local file.

Make sure you do not have a synchronization filter turned on. In the Navigation Pane, click the folder, and look at 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.) for Synchronization Filter Applied. If the filter is on, remove the filter. Click the down arrow next to Synchronization Filter Applied or Multiple Filters Applied, click Remove Synchronization Filter, and then press SHIFT+F9.

ShowI have turned on automatic synchronization, but my folders are not being synchronized.

Even though you may have specified automatic synchronization for your offline folders while you are online, for performance reasons, this will not occur if Microsoft Outlook determines that you have a slow connection. To manually synchronize all of your folders, on the Tools menu, point to Send/Receive, and then click Send/Receive All. To synchronize one folder, select the folder, click the Tools menu, point to Send/Receive, and then click This Folder.

ShowMy browser doesn't show my Web pages when I work offline.

When you update Web pages that you have made available offline, they are saved in a format that can be read only by Microsoft Internet Explorer. Therefore, other browsers can't display Web pages unless you are connected to the Internet or to a server.

ShowI use Outlook with a slow connection.

It is recommended that you use Microsoft Outlook in Cached Exchange Mode using a Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail account. Cached Exchange Mode will automatically adjust the amount and type of data transferred to your server when a slow connection is detected. For example, Outlook may only download headers rather than full items when a slow connection is present. When you view an item in the Reading Pane or open an item, the full item is retrieved from the server. The need to work offline is greatly reduced with Cached Exchange Mode.

If you do not use Cached Exchange Mode or want greater control over which folders or items are synchronized, you can switch to offline state.

When you run Outlook offline, you periodically synchronize with the Exchange server to send and receive messages and to synchronize other offline folders. You can synchronize manually or by using Send/Receive groups.

When you are using a slow connection, you use Outlook offline and synchronize periodically. The connection time is generally short if you synchronize often, and your data is available when it is not convenient to connect to the server, such as when traveling. The disadvantages of working offline are that a duplicate copy of the data is stored on your computer's hard drive, and that, to remain useful, you should synchronize frequently.

It is possible to connect directly to the Exchange server over a slow connection. With this method, no synchronization is required. Any messages you open will be downloaded to your computer. This allows you to download new mail selectively without having to download all new messages. Another advantage is that you can send mail immediately after you compose it. The disadvantage of this method is that large messages you receive will take a long time to download over a slow connection, and Outlook will be unavailable until the message is downloaded.

ShowI get an error when I try to add an existing Offline Folder file (.ost).

In order to use an existing Unicode Offline Folders file, you need to use 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.) that supports Unicode (Unicode: A character encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium. By using more than one byte to represent each character, Unicode enables almost all of the written languages in the world to be represented by using a single character set.) or disable the use of .pst files by changing the delivery location to your Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox data file.

To resolve this problem, you can either disable the .pst file by delivering new e-mail messages to your Exchange server mailbox data file, or by changing the delivery location for new e-mail messages to a .pst file that supports Unicode by selecting an existing Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst) or by creating a new Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst).

ShowChange the default delivery location for items to a Personal Folders file (.pst) that supports Unicode

Do one or more of the following:

ShowIdentify an existing Personal Folders file (.pst) that supports Unicode

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click Mail Setup, and then click Data Files.
  3. Click the data file whose format you want to check, and then click Settings.
  4. Check the Format field to see if it contains the string Personal Folders file or Personal Folders file (97-2002). Personal Folders file indicates the new format that supports Unicode data and offers greater storage capacity for items and folders.

ShowCreate a Personal Folders file (.pst) that supports Unicode

  1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Outlook Data File.
  2. Click OK to create a Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) that offers greater storage capacity for items and folders and supports multilingual Unicode (Unicode: A character encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium. By using more than one byte to represent each character, Unicode enables almost all of the written languages in the world to be represented by using a single character set.) data.
  3. In the File name box, type a name for the file, and then click OK.
  4. In the Name box, type a display name for the .pst folder, or leave the default.
  5. Select any other options you want, and then click OK.

You can assign a password to the file. A password improves security and reduces the ability of others to view your data. You can select the Save this password in your password list to avoid being prompted for the password each time you open the file.

Use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Weak passwords don't mix these elements. Strong password: Y6dh!et5. Weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length. A pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better. For more information, see Help protect your personal information with strong passwords.

It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft cannot retrieve it. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away from the information that they help protect.

 Note   If your Microsoft Windows user account is not password-protected or other people have access to your Windows user account, do not use the Save this password in your password list option.

The name of the folder associated with the data file appears in the Folder List (Folder List: Displays the folders available in your mailbox. To view subfolders, click the plus sign (+) next to the folder. If the Folder List is not visible, on the Go menu, click Folder List.). By default, the folder is named Personal Folders.

ShowSpecify the Personal Folders file (.pst) that supports Unicode as the default delivery location for items

  1. On the Tools menu, click E-mail Accounts.
  2. Click View or change existing e-mail accounts, and then click Next.
  3. In the Deliver new e-mail to the following location list, select the Personal Folders file (.pst) that supports Unicode where you want the new messages delivered.
  4. Click Finish.
  5. Quit and restart Microsoft Outlook.

ShowChange the default delivery location for items to the Exchange Server mailbox data file

  1. On the Tools menu, click E-mail Accounts.
  2. Click View or change existing e-mail accounts, and then click Next.
  3. In the Deliver new e-mail to the following location list, select the Mailbox - name option.
  4. Click Finish.
  5. Quit and restart Microsoft Outlook.

ShowThe Offline Folders file I selected caused Outlook to switch to non-Unicode mode, and now some items display '?' characters and are unreadable.

When Outlook runs in non-Unicode mode on the Microsoft Exchange server, the code page-based (code page: A table that relates the binary character codes used by a program to keys on the keyboard or to the appearance of characters on the display. Code pages are a means of providing support for the languages used in different countries/regions.) system is used for character mapping. In code page-based system, a character entered in one language may not map to the same character in another language. Therefore, you are likely to see incorrect characters, including question marks. Additional information on scripts and code pages is available in Outlook Help.

For example, consider two people — one is running the English version of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system with the Latin code page and the second person is running the Japanese version of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system with the Japanese code page. The second person creates a meeting request in the Japanese version of Outlook 2002 and sends it to the first person. When the person using the English version of Outlook 2002 opens the meeting request, the code points of the Japanese code page are mapped to unexpected or nonexistent characters in the Latin script, and the resulting text is unintelligible. Therefore, in multilingual environments, it is recommended that Outlook run in Unicode mode on the Exchange server.

To resolve this issue, disable Offline folders, close and restart Outlook, and then create a new Offline folder file and synchronize the data.

ShowI want to know how using a non-Unicode Offline Folder file (.ost) or running Outlook in non-Unicode mode using an Exchange e-mail account would affect me.

If you do not share messages and items with people who use Microsoft Outlook on computers that run in other languages, you can run Outlook in Unicode (Unicode: A character encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium. By using more than one byte to represent each character, Unicode enables almost all of the written languages in the world to be represented by using a single character set.) or non-Unicode mode on the Microsoft Exchange server. A disadvantage of running in non-Unicode mode is that the Offline Folder file used for the profile will be created in the format that does not offer greater storage capacity for items and folders. Therefore, if the size limit of the Offline Folder file is a concern for you, then you should run Outlook in Unicode mode on the Exchange server. To switch to Unicode mode, contact your administrator.

If you work in a multinational organization or share messages and items with people who use Outlook on systems that run in other languages, Outlook should run in Unicode mode on the Exchange server. This will also ensure that Unicode-capable data files are used for the profile that has the capability to store multilingual Unicode data. To switch to Unicode mode, contact your administrator.

When Outlook runs in non-Unicode mode on the Exchange server, the code page-based (code page: A table that relates the binary character codes used by a program to keys on the keyboard or to the appearance of characters on the display. Code pages are a means of providing support for the languages used in different countries/regions.) system is used for character mapping. In code page-based system, a character entered in one language may not map to the same character in another language and therefore if Outlook runs in non-Unicode mode on the Exchange server, you are likely to see incorrect characters, including question marks. Additional information on scripts and code pages is available in Outlook Help.

For example, consider two people — one is running the English version of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system with the Latin code page and the second person is running the Japanese version of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system with the Japanese code page. The second person creates a meeting request in the Japanese version of Outlook 2002 and sends it to the first person. When the person using the English version of Outlook 2002 opens the meeting request, the code points of the Japanese code page are mapped to unexpected or nonexistent characters in the Latin script, and the resulting text is unintelligible. Therefore, in multilingual environments, it is recommended that Outlook run in Unicode mode on the Exchange server.

 Note   Since Outlook 2000, the body of Outlook items (item: An item is the basic element that holds information in Outlook (similar to a file in other programs). Items include e-mail messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, journal entries, notes, posted items, and documents.) has been Unicode, and the body can be read irrespective of the language in which the item was created. However, Outlook data, such as To and Subject lines of messages and ContactName and BusinessTelephoneNumber properties of contact items, will be limited to characters defined by your code page if Outlook runs in non-Unicode mode on the Exchange server.

ShowI want to use Remote Mail when I'm using a Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail account in Cached Exchange Mode.

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook 2003