10 tips for troubleshooting Outlook problems

( Takeaway: When Outlook falters, productivity and vital business communications take a big hit. These troubleshooting measures will help you resolve problems quickly.

Outlook is currently the de facto standard email/calendaring client in the business world. Generally speaking, it works like a champ. But there are times when Outlook goes down in a ball of flames. When that happens, if you don’t have a bevy of tricks to pull out of your pocket, you might find yourself in a world of pain.

But troubleshooting Outlook doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In fact, you can almost script out the troubleshooting process with these 10 handy tips.

1: Scan PST

Those PST files will inevitably develop errors. When they do, they can prevent Outlook from working properly. When Outlook is starting to fuss, one of the first things I do is run scanpst.exe against each PST file used within Outlook. But be warned: Scan PST can take some time to run. It has to back up your data file, scan for errors, and repair any errors found. If the data file is large, this process can take quite some time. To run Scan PST, you’ll need to locate the scanpst.exe executable. (Its location will depend upon the version of Windows being used.)

2: Archive

Although not really a troubleshooting tip per se, there are times when a PST file will grow so large it causes problems with Outlook. Instead of letting that PST continue to get unwieldy, it’s best to set up archiving. When the data file has reached the excess of users’ allocated space, I always encourage them to archive by year. This method ensures that they will be archiving the largest amount of data to their local directory (thereby clearing up space on the server). This will also shrink the PST and alleviate issues associated with a too-large PST. After this is done, I recommend running Scan PST.

3: Rename OST

If users take advantage of a locally cached data file, sometimes renaming their current OST file is enough to resolve plenty of issues. Just close Outlook, open the folder that houses their data files, make sure you can see extension names, and change the .ost extension to something like .old. The next time Outlook opens, it will rebuild that .ost file and Outlook should be good as new.

4: Delete/rebuild profile

When all else fails (just shy of an uninstall/reinstall), delete the Outlook profile. Now you need to use caution with this. If Outlook is working with a POP account, the current Inbox (and calendars, etc.) will need to be exported as a data file (which can then be reimported after the POP account is re-created). If Outlook is connecting to either an Exchange server or IMAP account, this process is just a matter of deleting the profile and re-adding it. To do this, open the Control Panel, go to Mail | Profiles, and delete the profile.

5: Disable add-ons

The more add-ons that are connected to Outlook, the slower it becomes. If you have any doubt, start Outlook in safe mode (issue the command outlook.exe /safe) and see how much faster (and smoother) Outlook runs. If you find this to be the case, go into the Trust center, disable suspect add-ons, and restart Outlook normally. You’ll know when you’ve found the culprit, as Outlook should run normally. This is a tedious exercise, but one that will generally bear fruit.

6: Disable virus scan

Many antivirus tools have an Outlook connector that scans emails as they come and go from a system. In some cases, this can slow Outlook to a crawl. If you’re unsure where an Outlook issue is stemming from, temporarily disable the antivirus Outlook connection to see whether that solves the issue. If it does, you might need to update the antivirus software to fix the problem. Just remember, if you leave that connection broken, Outlook will be vulnerable.

7: Run in safe mode

As I mentioned before, running outlook in safe mode is a good way to troubleshoot. The one caveat is that a number of features will not work. This obviously means that running in safe mode is not a solution for a problem — just a way to help debug it. Sometimes, just the act of running Outlook in safe mode will resolve the problem at hand.

8: Run with resetnav

When you issue the command outlook.exe /resetnavpane, you reset all customizations to Outlook’s navigation pane (the left pane, with the folder hierarchy and app buttons). This is necessary when users have done something to the navigation pane (something they don’t remember doing) that causes Outlook to malfunction or have problems starting. Note that users will lose any customizations that have made to the navigation pane.

9: Migrate PSTs from the server

I’ve seen this happen so often. A user will have unusually large PST files (especially archives) housed on a shared (or redirected) drive on a server. Those files are best served from the local drive. If you have more than one PST file having to connect to a remote location, chances are Outlook is going to bog down. Move those archives to the C drive of the local machine to improve performance.

10: Adjust calendar permissions

If someone sends an invitation for others to use his or her calendar, but they can’t make or edit appointments, you need to change their permissions. Open the calendar in Outlook, right-click the shared calendar, click Properties, and then go to the Permissions tab. There, you can add users to the calendar and give them specific permissions that will allow them to do anything from reading to owning the calendar.

Archive Outlook 2000 Email

You should always archive your incoming emails. When an outlook pst file reaches a limit of 1.5 gigs, it behaves erratically. It is difficult at that point to clean up emails because simply deleting email in the inbox, adds them to deleted items. Besides,  there is no need to keep thousands of emails in your active mail box. You can just setup Outlook so it automatically move older emails to an archive folder. This way, when starting Outlook or when switching folders, the program doesn't have to load a huge list of emails. To archive a folder, simply right click on it, select its Properties, then go to the AutoArchive tab to configure your archiving settings.

Make sure the default folder that is displayed when Outlook starts is not too crowded with emails. Try to move emails away from the default starting folder to archive folders or to other sub-folders. For example, if you receive many emails from a contact, you can define a rule so all those emails are automatically moved into a specific folder. As less items Outlook has to display at startup, as faster it shall load.

Your Outlook mailbox grows as items are created, in the same way that papers pile up on your desk. In the paper-based world, you can occasionally shuffle through your documents and store those that are important but not frequently used. Documents that are less important, such as newspapers and magazines, you can discard based on their age.

You can quickly complete the same process in Outlook. You can manually transfer old items to a storage file by clicking Archive on the File menu, or you can have old items automatically transferred by using AutoArchive. Items are considered old when they reach the age you specify. With AutoArchive, you can either delete or move old items. Outlook can archive all types of items, but it can only locate files that are stored in a e-mail folder, such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or a Microsoft Word document that is attached to an e-mail message. A file that is not stored in a e-mail folder cannot be archived.

AutoArchive is a two-step process. First, you turn on AutoArchive. Second, you set the AutoArchive properties for each folder that you want archived.

At the folder level, you can determine which items are archived, and how frequently they are archived. You can automatically archive individual folders or you can configure a default AutoArchive setting for all folders and then configure AutoArchive settings for individual folders that you do not want to use the default AutoArchive settings. The AutoArchive process runs automatically each time you start Outlook. Outlook checks the AutoArchive properties of each folder by date, and moves old items to your archive file. Items in the Deleted Items folder are deleted.

Several Outlook folders are set up with AutoArchive turned on. These folders and their default aging periods are Calendar (6 months), Tasks (6 months), Journal (6 months), Sent Items (2 months), and Deleted Items (2 months). The Inbox, Notes, Contacts, and Drafts folders do not have AutoArchive activated automatically. The Contacts folder cannot be set to AutoArchive and does not have an archive property.

Archiving vs. Exporting

When you archive, the original items are copied to the archive file, and then removed from the current folder. Your existing folder structure is maintained in your new archive file. If there is a parent folder above the folder you chose to archive, the parent folder is created in the archive file, but items within the parent folder are not archived. In this way, an identical folder structure exists between the archive file and your mailbox. Folders are left in place after being archived, even if they are empty.

When you export, the original items are copied to the export file, but are not removed from the current folder. In addition, you can only archive one file type, a personal folder file, but you can export many file types.

When you export, it changes the dates in the records. This is especially important in the case where e- mail items have had the Sent date reset to the export date.

To Turn on AutoArchive

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Other tab.
  2. Click AutoArchive.
  3. Click to select the AutoArchive Every check box, and then specify how often the AutoArchive process will run by typing a number in the days box.
  4. Click to select the Prompt Before AutoArchive check box, if you want to be notified before the items are archived.
  5. In the Default archive file box, type a file name for the archived items to be transferred to, or click Browse to select from a list.
  6. Click OK twice to close Options.

Now that you have turned on AutoArchive, you must set AutoArchive properties for each folder.

To Set AutoArchive Properties for a Folder

  1. In the Folder List, right-click the folder that you want to AutoArchive, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the AutoArchive tab.
  3. To set AutoArchive for this folder, click to select Clean out items older than.
  4. To specify when items should be automatically transferred to your archive file, type a number in the Months box.
  5. To specify a file for the archived items to be transferred to, click Move old items to.
  6. In the Move old items to box, type a file name for the archived items, or click Browse to select from a list, and then click OK.

Archive eMail Procedure

1.  Go to File, then Archive

If you do not see Archive you may need to click on the two arrows pointing down at the bottom of the menu to show the Archive option. 

 2.  Selecting Archive this folder and all subfolders will archive mail that is contained within subfolders of the folder you are archiving.


Click on the mailbox you want to archive.  Setting the date to tomorrows date will archive even the mail that you have received today that is in that mailbox.

3.  Click the Browse button to choose where you want to archive your mail.

 From the dropdown menu, choose the M Drive

 4.  Here you can choose a folder to store your mail.  If you have no folder, you can create one by clicking on the create folder button (circled below in red).  Then you will be prompted to enter a name for this folder.

Click OK and your folder is created.

 5.Double click on the folder you just created to take you into that folder

Within this folder you can create sub folders (using the same method as above) in which to organize your archived mail.

Once you have done this, name your file in the File Name field and hit OK.

6.  This will bring you back to this screen.  Simply hit OK once more to begin the Archive process.

The more mail you have, the longer it will take to archive.

Once the archiving is complete, the archived mail will be gone.

View or Opening Archived eMail


  1. Open Outlook
  2. Click on File -> Open -> Outlook Data File


  1. Find the Archive you want open
  2. The file will appear within Outlook just above your Mailbox.  You can now access all data normally.



  1. The “Archive Folders” will appear in Outlook until you disconnect or Close “Archive Folders” by right clicking on the folder and selecting ‘Close ”Archive Folders”’

Blocked Outlook File Attachments

Microsoft has just banned additional file types including Java, Python, and PowerShell extensions

One of the most common ways of transmitting computer viruses is through file attachments. To help protect you and your recipients against computer viruses, Outlook blocks the sending and receiving of certain types of files (such as .exe and certain database files) as attachments. If you need to send one of these file types to an email recipient, we recommend using OneDrive and sending the recipient a link to the file instead.

Note: If you're using a Microsoft Exchange account, your email server administrator can unblock certain file types. Contact your administrator for more assistance.

The List. New file types are highlighted in Yellow:

Extension File type Extension File type
.ade Access Project Extension (Microsoft) .msh2 Microsoft Shell
.adp Access Project (Microsoft) .msh2xml Microsoft Shell
.app Executable Application .mshxml Microsoft Shell
.appcontent-ms Third Party Software Exploits .msi Windows Installer File (Microsoft)
.asp Active Server Page .msp Windows Installer Update
.bas BASIC Source Code .mst Windows SDK Setup Transform Script
.bat Batch Processing .msu Windows Update file
.cer Internet Security Certificate File .ops Office Profile Settings File
.chm Compiled HTML Help .osd Open Software Description 
.cmd DOS CP/M Command File, Command File for Windows NT .pcd Visual Test (Microsoft)
.cnt Microsoft Help Workshop Application .pif Windows Program Information File (Microsoft)
.com Command .pl Perl script
.cpl Windows Control Panel Extension (Microsoft) .plg Developer Studio Build Log
.crt Certificate File .prf Windows System File
.csh csh Script .prg Program File
.der DER Encoded X509 Certificate File .printerexport Printer backup file
.diagcab Microsoft Support diagnostic tools .ps1 Windows PowerShell
.exe Executable File .ps1xml Windows PowerShell
.fxp FoxPro Compiled Source (Microsoft) .ps2 Windows PowerShell
.gadget Windows Vista gadget .ps2xml Windows PowerShell
.grp Microsoft program group .psc1 Windows PowerShell
.hlp Windows Help File .psc2 Windows PowerShell
.hpj AppWizard Help project .psd1 Windows PowerShell
.hta Hypertext Application .psdm1 Windows PowerShell
.inf Information or Setup File .psl Power Shell Files
.ins IIS Internet Communications Settings (Microsoft) .pst MS Exchange Address Book File, Outlook Personal Folder File (Microsoft)
.isp IIS Internet Service Provider Settings (Microsoft) .pyc Python Files
.its Internet Document Set, Internet Translation .pyo Python Files
.jar Java Archive .pyw Python Files
.jnlp Java Network Launch Protocol .pyz Python Files
.js JavaScript Source Code .pyzx Python Files
.jse JScript Encoded Script File .reg Registration Information/Key for W95/98, Registry Data File
.ksh UNIX Shell Script .scf Windows Explorer Command
.lnk Windows Shortcut File .scr Windows Screen Saver
.mad Access Module Shortcut (Microsoft) .sct Windows Script Component, Foxpro Screen (Microsoft)
.maf Access (Microsoft) .settingcontent-ms Third Party Software Exploits
.mag Access Diagram Shortcut (Microsoft) .shb Windows Shortcut into a Document
.mam Access Macro Shortcut (Microsoft) .shs Shell Scrap Object File
.maq Access Query Shortcut (Microsoft) .theme Desktop theme file settings
.mar Access Report Shortcut (Microsoft) .tmp Temporary File/Folder
.mas Access Stored Procedures (Microsoft) .url Internet Location
.mat Access Table Shortcut (Microsoft) .vb VBScript File or Any Visual Basic Source
.mau Media Attachment Unit .vbe VBScript Encoded Script File
.mav Access View Shortcut (Microsoft) .vbp Visual Basic project file
.maw Access Data Access Page (Microsoft) .vbs VBScript Script File, Visual Basic for Applications Script
.mcf Media Container Format .vsmacros Visual Studio .NET Binary-based Macro Project (Microsoft)
.mda Access Add-in (Microsoft), MDA Access 2 Workgroup (Microsoft) .vsw Visio Workspace File (Microsoft)
.mdb Access Application (Microsoft), MDB Access Database (Microsoft) .webpnp Internet printing file
.mde Access MDE Database File (Microsoft) .website Pinned site shortcut from Internet Explorer
.mdt Access Add-in Data (Microsoft) .ws Windows Script File
.mdw Access Workgroup Information (Microsoft) .wsc Windows Script Component
.mdz Access Wizard Template (Microsoft) .wsf Windows Script File
.msc Microsoft Management Console Snap-in Control File (Microsoft) .wsh Windows Script Host Settings File
.msh Microsoft Shell .xbap Browser applications
.msh1 Microsoft Shell .xll Excel add-in
.msh1xml Microsoft Shell .xnk Exchange Public Folder Shortcut

Email Best Practices

Prevent virus outbreaks and spam
Viruses are often spread through e-mail. You can greatly reduce the spread of e-mail viruses by using antivirus software, using only e-mail services that offer automatic antivirus protection (such as AOL, Google, Hotmail, and Yahoo), opening e-mail only from trusted sources, opening only attachments you're expecting, and scanning attached files with antivirus software before opening them.
Spam is loosely defined as unsolicited bulk e-mail and loosely correlates to the junk mail that turns up in your home mailbox. But spam represents more than unwanted clutter. It clogs e-mail accounts—and networks and servers—while trying to sell products, spread jokes, or propagate Internet hoaxes.
Reduce the amount of spam you receive by being cautious where you post your e-mail address. Avoid publishing your e-mail address on Web sites or submitting it to every site or organization that requests it.
Never forward chain messages, which often reveal coworkers’ and colleagues’ e-mail addresses to other parties. Use caution when accepting e-mail offers or agreeing to accept mailings from vendors; subscribe only to Web sites and newsletters you really need and consider creating a generic Hotmail or Yahoo e-mail account for these subscriptions.
Don’t open unsolicited e-mail. If you accidentally open spam, don’t click links offering to unsubscribe or remove you from the mailing list unless the sender is a trusted vendor.

Avoid phishing attacks
Phishing scams are designed to steal consumers’ personal information. They often use doctored and fraudulent e-mail messages to trick recipients into divulging private information, such as credit card numbers, account usernames, passwords, and even social security numbers.
Online banking and e-commerce are generally safe, but you should always be careful about divulging personal and corporate information over the Internet. Phishing messages often boast real logos and appear to have come from the actual organization, but those messages are frequently nothing more than copyright infringements and faked addresses. If you suspect a message possesses any credibility, you are much safer calling the company directly—preferably at a telephone number printed on a paper statement or invoice—and talking to an authorized representative.

Manage your Inbox
Sort messages by priority, subject, date, sender, and other options to help find important e-mail that requires your attention. Proper e-mail etiquette dictates that you respond to all e-mail in a timely fashion. Generally speaking, you should respond to all professional e-mail within a business day, even if it’s just to say you’ve received the message and will look into the matter. Occasionally, you may receive an e-mail thread that contains responses from several people; always read the entire thread before responding.

Compose professional messages
It's easy to convey the impression that you're unprofessional or careless if you don't follow some basic principles of good business writing. Make sure you follow proper grammar and sentence structure when composing and responding to messages and use a spell checker. Don’t type in all capital letters—it creates the effect of shouting. Break your message into paragraphs for logic and readability.
Before clicking the Send button, give it a final once-over. Reread the entire e-mail, checking it for grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, and typos. You'll be amazed at what you catch. Also make sure your tone is appropriate for the message.

Write effective subject lines
Writing subject lines can be tricky, but you should always include one. The goal is to summarize the message without being too wordy or too vague. Long subjects tend to be skimmed or ignored, and they don’t always fully display in e-mail viewers. For best readability, use sentence case for subject lines rather than all caps:
Agenda for meeting on 8/30/2010

Properly use CC and BCC
The carbon copy (CC) and blind carbon copy (BCC) features found in most e-mail clients allow you to send copies of an e-mail to others you need to keep informed but who aren’t necessarily the primary recipients.
When copying others, be certain the e-mail message pertains to them. If you use e-mail address lists, verify that all of the members of the list should receive the e-mail, too, and remove those who don’t need to be included. And use the BCC feature sparingly. If sensitive topics require BCCing others, it may be best to take the matter offline and discuss it in person.

Obey etiquette rules when forwarding messages
Before you forward an e-mail, make sure that all recipients need to receive the message. In addition, be careful when forwarding sensitive or confidential information. Never forward proprietary information to external audiences or to unauthorized recipients. Before clicking the Send button, review whether a message’s contents are appropriate for each listed recipient.

Don't be a party to a flame war
Flame wars are heated e-mail exchanges that are more emotional than reasoned, and they have no place in professional communications. If you receive a flame or suddenly find yourself in a flame war, take a little time before responding, if you respond at all. Think about the situation and reply rationally not emotionally.
You may also decide not to reply but to deal with the issue in person. Often, flame wars are started because of a simple misunderstanding. An ill-phrased comment (or even a well phrased one) can be misconstrued by a recipient, who then fires off a salvo in response. Instead of replying, go talk to the person and discuss the message. If talking with the person doesn’t end the problem, involve a manager for assistance in resolving the issue offline.

Protect e-mail addresses
Don't divulge your coworkers’ e-mail addresses to vendors, friends, or others outside the organization. Verify that recipients listed in the To and CC fields should be receiving messages and that you won't be revealing others' e-mail addresses in the process. Don't post your or coworkers’ e-mail addresses on Internet forums or bulletin boards, on Usenet groups, in chat rooms, or in other public areas.
Here are a couple of simple ways to help keep others’ e-mail addresses private. First, use the BCC feature when you need to hide their e-mail addresses from external audiences. Second, delete their addresses from messages you forward. It takes only a few moments and will reduce the chances of coworkers’ e-mail addresses proliferating in the wild.

Be smart about handling attachments
E-mail attachments consume inordinate amounts of e-mail server space and network bandwidth and are often the culprits behind virus outbreaks—but they're often the easiest way to transfer files. Just be sure to follow these guidelines when e-mailing attachments:
Don’t attach large files to an e-mail; anything over one or two megabytes shouldn’t be sent via
Limit the number of files you attach to a message to five or fewer.
Save attachments to your hard drive and then delete the e-mail message containing the
Don’t open unexpected attachments or those sent by unknown parties.
Always scan files with an antivirus program before opening an attachment.
Never click an attachment without first confirming that it’s virus-free.
Don't annoy recipients by forwarding attachments they can’t access. If an attachment requires
a new or less-common application, say so in your message.

Don't include sensitive or potentially embarrassing information
Don't make the mistake of thinking your e-mails are private. They're not. Think of them as postcards. You should never include any information in an e-mail that you wouldn’t want published on the front page of your local newspaper. In other words, never send confidential, proprietary, sensitive, personal, or classified information through e-mail. You should also refrain from making inflammatory, emotionally charged comments in e-mail.

Know when to use e-mail (and when not to)
Businesses provide e-mail for professional, business-related use, not for jokes, gossip, or chain e-mails. Also remember that you shouldn't send an e-mail to do a conversation's work. Complicated subjects are often difficult to explain face to face, much less in an e-mail. Instead of firing off a complicated explanation via e-mail, set up a short meeting to address the issue in person.
E-mail is also a poor stand-in for conversation when conducting critical, difficult, and/or unpleasant discussions, such as issues related to human resources matters. Touchy communications are best handled in person.

Email: CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business

Do you use email in your business? The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.

Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, so non-compliance can be costly. But following the law isn’t complicated. Here’s a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.

Need more information?

Here are the answers to some questions businesses have had about complying with the CAN-SPAM Act.

Q. How do I know if the CAN-SPAM Act covers email my business is sending?

A. What matters is the “primary purpose” of the message. To determine the primary purpose, remember that an email can contain three different types of information:

  • Commercial content – which advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, including content on a website operated for a commercial purpose;
  • Transactional or relationship content – which facilitates an already agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer about an ongoing transaction; and
  • Other content – which is neither commercial nor transactional or relationship.

If the message contains only commercial content, its primary purpose is commercial and it must comply with the requirements of CAM-SPAM. If it contains only transactional or relationship content, its primary purpose is transactional or relationship. In that case, it may not contain false or misleading routing information, but is otherwise exempt from most provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act.

Q. How do I know if what I’m sending is a transactional or relationship message?

A. The primary purpose of an email is transactional or relationship if it consists only of content that:

  1. facilitates or confirms a commercial transaction that the recipient already has agreed to;
  2. gives warranty, recall, safety, or security information about a product or service;
  3. gives information about a change in terms or features or account balance information regarding a membership, subscription, account, loan or other ongoing commercial relationship;
  4. provides information about an employment relationship or employee benefits; or
  5. delivers goods or services as part of a transaction that the recipient already has agreed to.
Q. What if the message combines commercial content and transactional or relationship content?

A. It’s common for email sent by businesses to mix commercial content and transactional or relationship content. When an email contains both kinds of content, the primary purpose of the message is the deciding factor. Here’s how to make that determination: If a recipient reasonably interpreting the subject line would likely conclude that the message contains an advertisement or promotion for a commercial product or service or if the message’s transactional or relationship content does not appear mainly at the beginning of the message, the primary purpose of the message is commercial. So, when a message contains both kinds of content – commercial and transactional or relationship – if the subject line would lead the recipient to think it’s a commercial message, it’s a commercial message for CAN-SPAM purposes. Similarly, if the bulk of the transactional or relationship part of the message doesn’t appear at the beginning, it’s a commercial message under the CAN-SPAM Act.

Here's an example:


TO: Jane Smith

FR: XYZ Distributing

RE: Your Account Statement

We shipped your order of 25,000 deluxe widgets to your Springfield warehouse on June 1st. We hope you received them in good working order. Please call our Customer Service Office at (877) 555-7726 if any widgets were damaged in transit. Per our contract, we must receive your payment of $1,000 by June 30th. If not, we will impose a 10% surcharge for late payment. If you have any questions, please contact our Accounts Receivable Department.

Visit our website for our exciting new line of mini-widgets!

MESSAGE A is most likely a transactional or relationship message subject only to CAN-SPAM’s requirement of truthful routing information. One important factor is that information about the customer’s account is at the beginning of the message and the brief commercial portion of the message is at the end.


TO: Jane Smith

FR: XYZ Distributing

RE: Your Account Statement

We offer a wide variety of widgets in the most popular designer colors and styles – all at low, low discount prices. Visit our website for our exciting new line of mini-widgets!

Sizzling Summer Special: Order by June 30th and all waterproof commercial-grade super-widgets are 20% off. Show us a bid from one of our competitors and we’ll match it. XYZ Distributing will not be undersold.

Your order has been filled and will be delivered on Friday, June 1st.

MESSAGE MESSAGE B is most likely a commercial message subject to all CAN-SPAM's requirements. Although the subject line is “Your Account Statement” – generally a sign of a transactional or relationship message – the information at the beginning of the message is commercial in nature and the brief transactional or relationship portion of the message is at the end.

Q. What if the message combines elements of both a commercial message and a message with content defined as "other"?

A. In that case, the primary purpose of the message is commercial and the provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act apply if:

  • A recipient reasonably interpreting the subject line would likely conclude that the message advertises or promotes a commercial product or service; and
  • A recipient reasonably interpreting the body of the message would likely conclude that the primary purpose of the message is to advertise or promote a product or service.

Factors relevant to that interpretation include the location of the commercial content (for example, is it at the beginning of the message?); how much of the message is dedicated to commercial content; and how color, graphics, type size, style, etc., are used to highlight the commercial content.

Q. What if the email includes information from more than one company? Who is the “sender” responsible for CAN-SPAM compliance?

A. If an email advertises or promotes the goods, services, or websites of more than one marketer, there’s a straightforward method for determining who’s responsible for the duties the CAN-SPAM Act imposes on “senders” of commercial email. Marketers whose goods, services, or websites are advertised or promoted in a message can designate one of the marketers as the “sender” for purposes of CAN-SPAM compliance as long as the designated sender:

  • meets the CAN-SPAM Act’s definition of “sender,” meaning that they initiate a commercial message advertising or promoting their own goods, services, or website;
  • is specifically identified in the “from” line of the message; and
  • complies with the “initiator” provisions of the Act – for example, making sure the email does not contain deceptive transmission information or a deceptive subject heading, and ensuring that the email includes a valid postal address, a working opt-out link, and proper identification of the message’s commercial or sexually explicit nature.

If the designated sender doesn’t comply with the responsibilities the law gives to initiators, all marketers in the message may be held liable as senders.

Q. My company sends email with a link so that recipients can forward the message to others. Who is responsible for CAN-SPAM compliance for these “Forward to a Friend” messages?

A. Whether a seller or forwarder is a “sender” or “initiator” depends on the facts. So deciding if the CAN-SPAM Act applies to a commercial “forward-to-a-friend” message often depends on whether the seller has offered to pay the forwarder or give the forwarder some other benefit. For example, if the seller offers money, coupons, discounts, awards, additional entries in a sweepstakes, or the like in exchange for forwarding a message, the seller may be responsible for compliance. Or if a seller pays or give a benefit to someone in exchange for generating traffic to a website or for any form of referral, the seller is likely to have compliance obligations under the CAN-SPAM Act.

Q. What are the penalties for violating the CAN-SPAM Act?

A. Each separate email in violation of the law is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, and more than one person may be held responsible for violations. For example, both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that originated the message may be legally responsible. Email that makes misleading claims about products or services also may be subject to laws outlawing deceptive advertising, like Section 5 of the FTC Act. The CAN-SPAM Act has certain aggravated violations that may give rise to additional fines. The law provides for criminal penalties – including imprisonment – for:

  • accessing someone else’s computer to send spam without permission,
  • using false information to register for multiple email accounts or domain names,
  • relaying or retransmitting multiple spam messages through a computer to mislead others about the origin of the message,
  • harvesting email addresses or generating them through a dictionary attack (the practice of sending email to addresses made up of random letters and numbers in the hope of reaching valid ones), and
  • taking advantage of open relays or open proxies without permission.
Q. Are there separate rules that apply to sexually explicit email?

A. Yes, and the FTC has issued a rule under the CAN-SPAM Act that governs these messages. Messages with sexually oriented material must include the warning “SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT:” at the beginning of the subject line. In addition, the rule requires the electronic equivalent of a “brown paper wrapper” in the body of the message. When a recipient opens the message, the only things that may be viewable on the recipient’s screen are:

  1. the words “SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT:”; and
  2. the same information required in any other commercial email: a disclosure that the message is an ad, the sender’s physical postal address, and the procedure for how recipients can opt out of receiving messages from this sender in the future.

No graphics are allowed on the “brown paper wrapper.” This provision makes sure that recipients cannot view sexually explicit content without an affirmative act on their part – for example, scrolling down or clicking on a link. However, this requirement does not apply if the person receiving the message has already given affirmative consent to receive the sender’s sexually oriented messages.

Q. How can I comment about the effect of the CAN-SPAM Act on my business?

A. The National Small Business Ombudsman collects comments from small businesses about federal compliance and enforcement activities. To comment, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247) or visit www.sba.gov/ombudsman.

For More Information

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

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Microsoft Outlook allows you to create three types of messages, HTML (HyperTextMarkup Language (he language of the internet)), RTF (Rich Text Format), and TXT (Plain Txt). HTML and TXT have defferent advantages and disadvantages whilst RTF is a Microsoft exclusive format. This article will provide an brief overview and show how to change formats.


HTML is the language of the internet. Most content you find is written or compatible with HTML. When you create a message in Outlook, the default format is HTML. This format supports text formatting, numbering, bullets, alignment, horizontal lines, pictures (including backgrounds), HTML styles, stationery, signatures, and linking to Web pages. Because the most popular e-mail programs use HTML, it is the recommended format for Internet mail.

The downside of HTML is that it can play host to viruses, zombies, and Adware. In fact, some companies block HTML emails


Outlook Rich Text Format (RTF) is a Microsoft format that only Microsoft Outlook understands You can use RTF when sending messages within a company that uses Microsoft Exchange Server; however, it is recommended that you use HTML. RTF supports text formatting, including bullets, alignment, and linked objects. Outlook automatically converts RTF messages to HTML when you send a message to an Internet recipient, so message formatting is maintained and attachments will be received properly.

TXT or Plain Text Format

Plain text format is one that all e-mail programs understand. You can set Outlook to open messages you receive in plain text format only. However, plain text doesn't support bold, italic, colored fonts, or other text formatting. It also doesn't support pictures displayed directly in the message body (although you can include them as attachments). However, it is secure as plain text cannot carry Malware.

How to change the message format

1. Inbox / Tools / Options

2. Select Mail Format tab

Here’s What Microsoft Outlook New Webmail Looks Like

Microsoft now has a big-time Gmail competitor. Before you chuckle and say “that only took eight years,” keep in mind that Gmail is largely the same product that Google launched in 2004 — with some nice incremental tweaks to improve the user interface.

Microsoft wants to inject some innovation into webmail again — and it looks like they may have pulled it off. On Tuesday, the company unveiled Outlook.com, which is both its successor to Hotmail as well as its enhanced webmail for individual business professionals. It draws on Hotmail, Microsoft Exchange, and the Metro UI from Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8.

Based on my look at the working preview of Outlook.com that Microsoft has already released into the wild as well as an interview with one of Microsoft’s product leads on Outlook.com, I think there are four reasons why some users — especially professionals — will be legitimately tempted to make the switch from Gmail.

1. Automatic folders

The best new innovation in Outlook.com is what I like to call its “automatic folders” feature. The system attempts to smartly sort some of your mail for you by automatically creating virtual folders for common stuff like email newsletters, Facebook and Twitter alerts, and other repetitive messages that can end up burying more important emails from human beings you actually need to correspond with. Obviously, since this is run by an algorithm, there will certainly be some false positives and negatives and you might have to tweak it, but I like the low-touch nature of this feature. Microsoft has also tried to streamline the process of setting up your own inbox rules as well in Outlook.com.

In his blog post about the new service, Microsoft’s Chris Jones summed up the feature. “Outlook.com automatically sorts your messages from contacts, newsletters, shipping updates, and social updates,” wrote Jones, “and with our Sweep features you can move, delete and set up powerful rules in a few, simple clicks so you can more quickly get to the email you really want.”

Another mail management feature that I like in Outlook.com is that you can hover over a message and get a set of actions to delete the message or flag it as important or sort it to a folder — and you can even customize the functions you want to see on the hover-over.

2. Mobile experience

The biggest benefit that Microsoft has in designing a new webmail service in 2012 is that it can optimize it for today’s intensely-mobile world.

“The way people do mail on their mobile phone tends to be a little different,” said Brian Hall, General Manager of Windows Live and Internet Explorer. “They don’t do as much mail management.”

With that in mind, Microsoft used the automatic folder feature as its way of helping organize and prioritize users’ inboxes in a way that can work in virtually any type of desktop or mobile email client.

“Most people on a phone or tablet use the native mail client,” said Hall. “In those instances you want to make sure you work with any inbox. It’s a different approach than Priority Inbox from Google because they have to go create clients for mobile or else it breaks Priority Inbox.”

Hall also stressed that Microsoft is focused on delivering an excellent mobile web experience. In fact, the company is so focused on the native client and mobile web experience of Outlook.com that it doesn’t currently have plans to build an app for Microsoft’s own Windows Phone 7. ”It works beautifully with the native client,” said Hall.

On the other hand, he said they are working on an Android app, because “Android devices are less likely to have an Exchange ActiveSync client.”

3. Privacy protection

One of the creepiest parts of Gmail has always been the fact that it does text-mining on your emails and uses that information to surface targeted ads. That’s the price you pay for unlimited storage and a free service. For example, if you’re emailing back-and-forth with a family member about a trip to go hiking, Gmail will simultaneously surface text ads for things like Rocky Mountain vacations, hiking boots, and protein bars. While these ads are generally unobtrusive and occasionally even useful, it still freaks out some people to realize that Google is essentially “reading their mail.” This is especially true for business professionals and others who use email to transmit potentially valuable or sensitive information.

Capitalizing on this uneasiness, Microsoft is promising that Outlook.com will not do text-mining on your inbox, while still offering its service for free and with “virtually unlimited storage.”

“We don’t scan your email content or attachments and sell this information to advertisers or any other company, and we don’t show ads in personal conversations,” Jones stated.

That doesn’t mean Outlook.com won’t have ads. There are right-column ads on the main inbox screen, but there aren’t ads on individual messages. Also, I’m sure these ads are going to be targeted based on what Microsoft knows about you in general, just not on the content of your individual messages.

4. Social integration

One of my favorite plug-ins for Gmail is Rapportive, which fills the right column in Gmail with contact information about the person you’re emailing. It draws that information from LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (once you’ve logged in to those services) and will even show you the LinkedIn job title and latest status updates from the contact you’re emailing.

Microsoft has taken this kind of functionality and built it directly into Outlook.com, filling the right column of its message screen with this same kind of social contact data, but displaying it in a little bit simpler, cleaner way that follows the Metro UI style. Outlook.com doesn’t appear to show quite as much data as Rapportive.

However, Microsoft has taken social integration a step further. You can not only view people in your social networks from within Outlook.com and see their latest updates, but from the “People hub” you can also respond to status updates on Twitter and write on someone’s Facebook wall, all directly from Outlook.com. You can also do Facebook chat within Outlook.com. The instant messaging functionality itself is another strong feature of Outlook.com. The implementation is certainly better integrated and more usable than GTalk in Gmail.

Bottom line

Hall said Microsoft was focused on several key priorities in Outlook.com: ”Clean UI, design for tablets and all devices, connected with the services you actually use (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), works great with [Microsoft] Office and SkyDrive, and actually prioritizes your privacy.”

Before I took a look at Outlook.com, I couldn’t imagine that there was much Microsoft could do to innovate in webmail, and I expected it to feel like a desperate late attempt to make Hotmail relevant by copying Gmail. While Outlook.com is definitely aimed squarely at Gmail, I was surprised at how fresh it feels. There’s some really useful innovation in there, and I think it’s really smart for Microsoft to go after Google on privacy. It means Outlook.com won’t be nearly as powerful of a money-maker as Gmail, but it could build some needed goodwill from users.

I also like that Microsoft isn’t afraid to admit that this is aimed directly at stealing some of Gmail’s thunder. Hall said, ”If you’re a heavy Google Docs or a Google+ user, then Gmail is probably for you. Otherwise, if you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Office, then Outlook [dot com] is better.”

The past week has been a big one in the email space. We told you about AOL’s big new redesign, and then Google integrated Google+ Hangouts into Gmail. Now, Microsoft is dropping Hotmail in favor of a new, rebranded web mail service based on its other popular email brand: Outlook.com.

The company announced the launch of a preview of the service, which it describes as “modern email designed for the next billion mailboxes.”

Here’s what it looks like:







Here’s a walkthrough of the features:


“Email isn’t just about the browser anymore. In fact, email represents 20% of the time we spend on smartphones, and is used extensively on tablets as well as PCs,” says Microsoft’s Chris Jones in a blog post. “Outlook is designed cloud first, so all of your mail is always available wherever you are. Its fresh, clean user interface gets the clutter out of your way-the header has 60% fewer pixels and there are 30% more messages visible in your inbox that the webmail most people are used to. And there are no display ads or large search boxes that take up extra space. Outlook.com also uses Exchange ActiveSync, so it powers your mail, calendar and people experience on your smartphone, tablet, and the new Outlook 2013 Preview.”

New users can get an @Outlook.com email address. Users of Hotmail can upgrade their account, and will be able to send/receive email from @hotmail.com, @msn.com or @live.com addresses. Users of other services like Gmail or Yahoo Mail can set up a new @outlook.com address, and have their other accounts forwarded.

There’s a mobile set-up guide here.

It will be interesting to see if Outlook.com is able to make a bigger dent in the webmail market for Microsoft.

What do you think of it?


Mailbox 2013 Style Is It For You

Photo(Daryl Nelson @ ConsumerAffairs) Remember when being able to send an email seemed futuristic, when the very idea of being able to send an instant message to someone without pulling out a pen and paper seemed George Jettsonish?



It seems the moment that email became available it changed many of us from occasional letter-writers, who only sent letters on special occasions, to full-on correspondents who contacted people for just about any reason, even if it was just to say a quick hello.  

Also, email made it easier for people to keep up with the hard-to-get-in-touch-with types.

But just like any other revolutionary invention, the revolution was short-lived and before you knew it, checking your inbox went from an anticipated daily event, to something you looked forward to about as much as you did to checking your physical mailbox.

And once social media sites swooped down from the digital skies and took over the Internet, email took a back seat while pages like Facebook and Twitter shared the driver’s seat and advanced the vehicle of communication to much greater speeds.

Another shot at steering

Well, a company by the name of Orchestra Inc. wants to give email use another shot at the steering wheel by releasing the very buzzed-about app Mailbox, that’s supposed to make checking your messages way easier by allowing you to quickly swipe them into various categories.

It’s like the creators of the app took the concept of message filtering and added a much-needed 2013 twist to it.

PhotoArguably the best feature of the app is that users don’t have to click on emails the traditional way, since it lets you swipe messages back and forth and allows you to really control how messages are accessed.

And just like you swipe images on your smartphone screen, Mailbox lets you quickly put messages in places like your trash bin or in your archives and it allows you to move emails to virtual folders that can later be opened.

But unlike traditional email folders, users can place messages into very specific destinations, which helps, since most of us tend to read different emails at different times of the day or week.

Users can store messages in specific locations named “later today,” “the weekend,” “next week” or “in a month,” and once you make your selection messages will be resent to you, so you don’t have to manually check those folders in order to read them. You can also select a date as to when the email will arrive in your inbox again.

Take a number

What’s also different about Mailbox is that people have to reserve a slot in order to access it, and the reason for that is twofold.

For one, there’s been a crazy demand for the new app, which recently launced and two, the company is using this reservation system to build even more buzz and anticipation, which so far seems to be working.

For those who downloaded the app prior to its launch, users can simply enter their registration code and begin using it, but for those who are newly interested you have to download it, which puts you on a first-come-first-serve waiting line.

You can also watch your place in the waiting line once you download the app, so you’ll have a basic idea of when you’ll be able to use it. The company also sends you a message that lets you know that your access is available.

The co-creator and CEO of the app, Gentry Underwood, said having the ability to specify where emails go, according to how you want to read them, allows your inbox to become less muddled and lets people manage how they're contacted.

“We want to decide ‘do I need to reply now,’ can I deal with this later,’ or ‘should I get it out of the way and never deal with it again,’” he said in a published interview.

Blissful euphoria

“That creates a very different experience and peace of mind where you know that everything is in its place. All of a sudden you can have the blissful experience without developing the ninja-like discipline and that’s the secret sauce behind this more euphoric experience.”

Honest, he really said that. And maybe it's a good thing because not everyone is feeing blissful or euphoric.

Over at BusinessInsider, columnist Nicholas Carson griped that after waiting two weeks to active Mailbox, he deleted it in just two days.

Why? "Mailbox makes you deal with one email at a time," he grumped. The whole idea is to save time, not create more busywork, he said.

Bonnie Cha at AllThingsD was a bit more pleased: "It has its limitations. Namely, it only works with Gmail accounts, and it doesn’t automatically sync labels. But I found the ability to set aside messages with reminders to respond later to be extremely useful."

Will it work for you? Well, it might. There's only one way to find out

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Microsoft Ends Year With First Emergency Patch

Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) Thursday released its first emergency patch (work around) of the year to fix a critical vulnerability that would make it relatively easy to take down a Web site built with the company's ASP.NET application framework. Microsoft determined that the flaw was serious enough to warrant a fix outside the company's normal release schedule of the second Tuesday of each month. The latest patch, the first out-of-cycle fix this year, brought the number of security bulletins issued in 2011 to 100, compared to 106 last year.

Microsoft released a workaround for the flaw on Wednesday, as a stopgap measure until a permanent fix was available. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability to take down a site by consuming all CPU resources on a Web server or cluster of servers. To do that, the hacker would only need to send a series of specially crafted, 100 KB HTTP requests. Because of the flaw, each request would consume 100 percent of one CPU core.


Operating System Component Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Bulletins Replaced by this Update
Windows XP        
Windows XP Service Pack 3 Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2572067 in MS11-078 replaced by KB2656353
        KB2418241 in MS10-070 and KB982167 in Security Advisory 973811 replaced by KB2656352
  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2      
  (KB2656352)     KB2416473 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2657424
  Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1     KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2572067 in MS11-078 replaced by KB2656353
        KB2418241 in MS10-070 and KB982167 in 973811 replaced by KB2656352
  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2      
  (KB2656352)     KB2416473 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2657424
  Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1     KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows Server 2003        
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2416451 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656358
        KB2418241 in MS10-070 and KB982167 in Security Advisory 973811 replaced by KB2656352
  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2      
  (KB2656352)     KB2416473 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2657424
  Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1     KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2572067 in MS11-078 replaced by KB2656353
        KB2418241 in MS10-070 and KB982167 in 973811 replaced by KB2656352
  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2      
  (KB2656352)     KB2416473 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2657424
  Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1     KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2572067 in MS11-078 replaced by KB2656353
        KB2418241 in MS10-070 and KB982167 in Security Advisory 973811 replaced by KB2656352
  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2      
  (KB2656352)     KB2416473 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2657424
  Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1     KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows Vista        
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2572067 in MS11-078 replaced by KB2656353
        KB2416470 in MS10-070 and KB982533 in Security Advisory 973811 replaced by KB2656362
  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2      
  (KB2656362)     KB2416473 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2657424
  Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1     KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2572067 in MS11-078 replaced by KB2656353
        KB2416470 in MS10-070 and KB982533 in 973811 replaced by KB2656362
  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2      
  (KB2656362)     KB2416473 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2657424
  Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1     KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows Server 2008        
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1** Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2572067 in MS11-078 replaced by KB2656353
        KB2416470 in MS10-070 and KB982533 in Security Advisory 973811 replaced by KB2656362
  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2**      
  (KB2656362)     KB2416473 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2657424
  Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1**     KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4**[1]      
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1** Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2572067 in MS11-078 replaced by KB2656353
        KB2416470 in MS10-070 and KB982533 in Security Advisory 973811 replaced by KB2656362
  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2**      
  (KB2656362)     KB2416473 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2657424
  Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1**     KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4**[1]      
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2 Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2572067 in MS11-078 replaced by KB2656353
        KB2416470 in MS10-070 and KB982533 in 973811 replaced by KB2656362
  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2      
  (KB2656362)     KB2416473 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2657424
  Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1     KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows 7        
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2416471 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656355
        KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1 Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 Elevation of Privilege Critical No bulletin replaced by KB2656356
        KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2416471 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656355
        KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 Elevation of Privilege Critical No bulletin replaced by KB2656356
        KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows Server 2008 R2        
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1* Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2416471 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656355
        KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1* Elevation of Privilege Critical No bulletin replaced by KB2656356
        KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4*[1]      
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 Elevation of Privilege Critical KB2416471 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656355
        KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1 Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 Elevation of Privilege Critical No bulletin replaced by KB2656356
        KB2416472 in MS10-070 replaced by KB2656351
  Microsoft .NET Framework 4[1]      

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Outlook 2010 With Yahoo Mail

We’re almost ready to start. But before we go any further, here’s an important point: You can only make this Yahoo Outlook 2010 connection if you have a premium Yahoo mail account. In other words, you must be using either a:

If you don’t have one of these account types, you cannot connect Yahoo Mail and Outlook. But don’t worry. This is easy to fix. And the benefits of a Yahoo Outlook 2010 connection make it worthwhile to do so.

Convert Your Yahoo Mail Account to a Mail Plus Account and Make the Connection

Converting a free Yahoo account to a Mail Plus account is easy and inexpensive at less than $1.67 a month.

THIS LINKYahoo Mail Plus upgrade page opens a new window that walks you through the Mail Plus upgrade process. Be sure to return to this page once you have upgraded your account so we can configure a Yahoo Outlook 2010 connection to work with it.

Whether you choose to use Yahoo! Mail Plus or Yahoo! Business Mail, the steps needed to make the Yahoo Outlook 2010 hookup are almost the same. The following section walks you through the process:

NOTE: As part of the process for setting up a Yahoo Outlook 2010 connection, you will tell the Yahoo mail servers not to keep copies of messages on the server once you view them with Outlook. This means they will not be visible from the Web once you read them with Outlook. This is most likely the way you want things to work anyway (having multiple versions of a message floating around is a recipe for confusion), but is something to be aware of.

Configure Your Yahoo Outlook 2010 Connection

We are going to set up our Yahoo Outlook 2010 connection manually to be sure we get everything exactly the way we want it. The procedure is similar, but not identical to configuring earlier versions of Outlook. Please follow these steps to get Outlook configured:

  1. In the Outlook main window, click the File tab on the ribbon, then Info, then Add Account. This opens the Auto Account Setup screen.
  2. Set the Manually configure server settings or additional server types checkbox and click Next to go to the Choose Service screen.
  3. Select Internet E-mail, then click Next to go to the Internet E-mail Settings screen.
  4. Enter your name as you want it to appear in messages in the Your Name field.
  5. Enter your full Mail Plus address (user@yahoo.com) or Business Mail address (for example, user@yourdomain.com) in the E-mail Address field.
  6. Select POP3 in the Account Type list.
  7. For a Mail Plus account, enter plus.pop.mail.yahoo.com in the Incoming mail server (POP3) field and plus.smtp.mail.yahoo.com in the Outgoing mail server (SMTP) field. For a Business Mail account, enter pop.bizmail.yahoo.com in the Incoming mail server field and smtp.bizmail.yahoo.com in the Outgoing mail server (SMTP) field.
  8. Enter your Yahoo user name in the User Name field. For a Mail Plus account, enter your mail address without the “@yahoo.com”. For a Business Mail account, enter your mail address including the “@yourdomain.com”.
  9. Enter your Yahoo Mail password in the Password field.
  10. Set the Remember password checkbox if you don’t want to have to enter your password manually each time Outlook checks your mail.
  11. Make sure that the checkbox next to Require logon using Secure Password Authentication (SPA) is CLEARED.
  12. Under the “Deliver new messages to” heading, select New Outlook Data File to store your Yahoo messages separate from your other messages. The messages will appear in the Inbox just like all the rest of your Outlook mail, but won’t be stored with your other (corporate?) messages on the server.
  13. Click More Settings to open the Internet E-mail Settings dialog box.
  14. Click the Outgoing Server tab.
  15. Set the My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication checkbox.
  16. Select Use same settings as my incoming mail server.
  17. Click the Advanced tab.
  18. Clear the Leave a copy of messages on the server checkbox.
  19. Enter 995 in the Incoming server (POP3) box.
  20. Set the This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL) checkbox under Incoming server (POP3).
  21. Enter 465 in the Outgoing server (SMTP) box.
  22. Select SSL in the “Use the following type of encrypted connection” box under Outgoing server (SMTP)
  23. Click OK to return to the Internet E-mail Settings screen.
  24. Click Test Account Settings. The Test Account Settings dialog box appears and Outlook sends a test message using the settings you have just entered. If the test was successful, a Congratulations! message appears in the dialog box. Your Yahoo Outlook 2010 connection is set up properly. Click Close to close this dialog box. If you didn’t see the Congratulations! message, go back through this procedure from the top to check all your settings.
  25. Click Next, then Finish.

NOTE: If the test shows that you can receive messages fine, but you can’t send them, the problem is often caused by factors outside the Yahoo Outlook 2010 POP3 connection you just set up. I’ve posted instructions for troubleshooting that kind of problem on the Can't Send Email page.

Now you’re ready to go. You should have a functional Yahoo Outlook 2010 connection, and Outlook should start downloading email right away.

Outlook How To Share Files With Blocked Extensions

One of the most common ways of transmitting computer viruses is through file attachments. To help protect you and your recipients against computer viruses, Outlook blocks the sending and receiving of certain types of files (such as .exe and certain database files) as attachments. If you need to send one of these file types to an email recipient, we recommend using OneDrive and sending the recipient a link to the file instead.

Note: If you're using a Microsoft Exchange account, your email server administrator can unblock certain file types. Contact your administrator for more assistance.Share your files safely

There are several ways to send and receive a blocked file. You can save the file to the cloud and send a link to the file, use a file compression utility like WinZip, or even rename the file with another extension, then have your recipient change the name back to the original name after they receive the file.

  • Save the file to the cloud
    If you need to send a file that's blocked by Outlook, the simplest way to send your file is to upload it to OneDrive or a secure network share server such as SharePoint. Then send a link to the file. If you need to receive a blocked file, ask the sender to upload the file to OneDrive or SharePoint and send you a link. Once you receive the link, you can open the file location and download the file.

    Note: For OneDrive and OneDrive for Business, you'll need to ask the sender to only send you a link to the file rather than attach the file to the email using OneDrive. To obtain a sharing link in OneDrive, highlight the file and choose Get Link in the menu bar.

  • Use a file compression utility   
    Using a compression utility, such as WinZip, creates a compressed archive file that has a different file name extension. Outlook doesn’t recognize these file name extensions as potential threats. Therefore, it doesn’t block the new attachment. Many third-party compression utilities are available. You can right-click any file in Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 and select Send to compressed (zipped) folder. This creates a file with the same name as the original file, but the extension of .zip.

  • Rename the file   
    You can rename the file (or request that the sender rename the file) to use an extension that Outlook doesn't block. For example, you can rename file.exe to file.docx. Once the renamed file is sent (or received), save it and rename it with the original extension using the following steps.

  1. Locate the attachment in the email message.

  2. Right-click the attachment, and then click Copy.

  3. Right-click the desktop, and then click Paste.

  4. Right-click the pasted file, and then click Rename.

  5. Rename the file to use the original file name extension, such as .exe.

More Information - Make Sure You Know What You Are Doing. Some of this is Dangerous - Proceed At Your Own Risk!!!!

If Outlook blocks an attachment, you cannot save, delete, open, print, or otherwise work with the attachment in Outlook. However, you can use one of these methods to access the attachment more safely.

The first four methods are designed for a beginning to intermediate computer user. If these methods do not work for you and you are comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you can use the methods in the "Advanced troubleshooting" section.

You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first. Because some of these methods contain steps to restart your computer.

General troubleshooting

Use one of the following methods to open an attachment that was blocked in Outlook:

Method 1: Use a file share to access the attachment

You might want to ask the sender to save the attachment to a server or an FTP site that you can access. Ask the sender to send you a link to the attachment on the server or FTP site. You can click the link to access the attachment and save it on your computer.

If you need help using the server or FTP site, you can ask the sender for help, or you can contact the server administrator for more information.

Method 2: Use a file compression utility to change the file name extension

If no server or FTP site is available to you, you can ask the sender to use a file compression utility, such as WinZip, to compress the file. This creates a compressed archive file that has a different file name extension. Outlook does not recognize these file name extensions as potential threats. Therefore, it does not block the new attachment.

When the sender resends the new attachment to you, you can save it on your computer, and then you can use the third-party file compression software to extract the attachment. If you need help using the third-party file compression software, see your product documentation.

Method 3: Rename the file to have a different file name extension

If third-party file compression software is not available to you, you might want to request that the sender rename the attachment to use a file name extension that Outlook does not recognize as a threat. For example, an executable file that has the file name extension .exe could be renamed as a Word 97 file that has a .doc file name extension.

Ask the sender to resend the renamed attachment to you. After you receive the renamed attachment, you can save it to your computer and rename the file again to use the original file name extension.

Follow these steps to save the attachment and rename it to use the original file name extension:

  1. Locate the attachment in the e-mail.
  2. Right-click the attachment, and then click Copy.
  3. Right-click the desktop, and then click Paste.
  4. Right-click the pasted file, and then click Rename.
  5. Rename the file to use the original file name extension, such as .exe.

Method 4: Ask the Exchange server administrator to change the security settings

If you use Outlook with a Microsoft Exchange server and the administrator has configured the Outlook security settings, the administrator might be able to help you. Ask the administrator to adjust the security settings on your mailbox to accept attachments such as the one that Outlook blocked.

If these methods did not work for you, and you are comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, please try the steps in the "Advanced troubleshooting" section.

If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, unfortunately this content is unable to help you any more. For your next steps, you might want to ask someone for help, or you might want to contact Support. For information about how to contact Support, please visit the following Microsoft Web site:


Advanced troubleshooting

If you do not use Outlook with an Exchange server or if the Exchange server administrator lets users change the Outlook attachment security behavior, use method 1: "Customize attachment security behavior."

If you use Outlook with an Exchange server and the Exchange Server administrator has disallowed changes to the Outlook attachment security behavior, use method 2: "Configure Outlook in an Exchange environment."

Method 1: Customize attachment security behavior

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

Important Before you can customize the attachment security behavior in Outlook 2000 SR1 and Microsoft Outlook 2000 SR1a, you must first apply either Microsoft Office 2000 Service Pack 2 or Microsoft Office 2000 Service Pack 3.

Follow these steps to modify the registry and change Outlook's attachment security behavior.

  1. Exit Outlook if it is running.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run. Copy and paste (or type) the following command in the Open box, and then press ENTER:


  3. Verify that the following registry key for your version of Outlook exists.

    Microsoft Office Outlook 2016


    Microsoft Office Outlook 2013


    Microsoft Office Outlook 2010


    Microsoft Office Outlook 2007


    Microsoft Office Outlook 2003


    Microsoft Outlook 2002


    Microsoft Outlook 2000


    If the registry key exists, go to step 5.

    If the registry key does not exist, follow these steps to create it:

    1. Locate, and then click the following registry key:


    2. Under Edit, click New, and then click Key.
    3. Type Office, and then press ENTER.
    4. Under Edit, click New, and then click Key.
    5. For Outlook 2016, type 16.0, and then press ENTER.

      For Outlook 2013, type 15.0, and then press ENTER.

      For Outlook 2010, type 14.0, and then press ENTER.

      For Outlook 2007, type 12.0, and then press ENTER.

      For Outlook 2003, type 11.0, and then press ENTER.

      For Outlook 2002, type 10.0, and then press ENTER.

      For Outlook 2000, type 9.0, and then press ENTER.

    6. Under Edit, click New, and then click Key.
    7. Type Outlook, and then press ENTER.
    8. Under Edit, click New, and then click Key.
    9. Type Security, and then press ENTER.
  4. Under Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
  5. Copy and paste (or type) the following name for the new value:


  6. Press ENTER.
  7. Right-click the new string value name, and then click Modify.
  8. Type the file name extension of the file type that you want to open in Outlook. For example:


    To specify multiple file types, use the following format:


  9. Click OK.
  10. Exit Registry Editor.
  11. Restart your computer.

When you start Outlook, you can open the file types that you specified in the registry.

Note We recommend that you enable only the file types that you have to have. If you rarely receive a particular file type, we recommend that you give Outlook temporary access to the file type that is in question. Then, reconfigure Outlook to block the file type by undoing the changes to the registry. For more information about how you can configure Outlook to block attachment file name extensions that Outlook does not block by default, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

837388 How to configure Outlook to block additional attachment file name extensions

Method 2: Configure Outlook in an Exchange environment

If you run Outlook in an Exchange environment, the Exchange server administrator can change the default attachment security behavior. For more information about how to configure Outlook in an Exchange environment, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

290499 Administrator information about e-mail security features

263297 Administrator information about the Outlook E-mail Security update: June 7, 2000

Attachment Behavior

Attachments are divided into three groups based on their file name extension or file type. Outlook handles each group in a specific way.

Level 1 (Unsafe)

The unsafe category represents any file name extension that may have script or code associated with it. You cannot open any attachment that has an unsafe file name extension. For a list of the unsafe file name extensions, see this Office support page. The following list describes how Outlook behaves when you receive or send an unsafe file attachment:

  • You cannot save, delete, open, print, or otherwise work with unsafe files. A message at the top of the e-mail message indicates that Outlook has blocked access to the unsafe attachment. The attachment is inaccessible from Outlook. However, the attachment is not actually removed from the e-mail message.
  • If you forward an e-mail message that has an unsafe attachment, the attachment is not included in the forwarded e-mail message.
  • If you send an e-mail message that contains an unsafe attachment, you receive a warning message that states that other Outlook recipients may be unable to access the attachment that you are trying to send. You can safely ignore the warning message and send the e-mail message, or you can decide not to send the e-mail message.
  • In Outlook 2003, if you save or close an e-mail message that contains an unsafe attachment, you receive a warning message that states that you will be unable to open the attachment. You can override the warning message and save the e-mail message.
  • You cannot use the Insert Object command to open objects that are inserted in Microsoft Outlook Rich Text e-mail messages. You see a visual representation of the object. However, you cannot open or enable the object in the e-mail message.
  • You cannot open unsafe files that are stored in an Outlook or an Exchange folder. Although these files are not attached to an Outlook item, they are still considered unsafe. When you try to open the unsafe file, you receive the following error message:

    Can't open the item. Outlook blocked access to this potentially unsafe item.

Level 2

Level 2 files are not unsafe. However, they do require more security than other attachments. When you receive a Level 2 attachment, Outlook prompts you to save the attachment to a disk. You cannot open the attachment in the e-mail message. By default, file name extensions are not associated with this group. However, if you use Outlook with an Exchange server and your mail is delivered to an Exchange mailbox, the Exchange server administrator can add file name extensions to the Level 2 list.

Other Attachments

When you try to open an attachment that has a file name extension other than those in the Level 1 or the Level 2 list, Outlook prompts you to either open the file directly or save it to a disk. You can turn off future prompts for that file name extension if you clear the Always ask before opening this type of file check box.

Note If a program associates itself with a new file name extension, Outlook treats that file name extension as safe until you add the file name extension to the list of Level 1 or Level 2 file name extensions.

For example, if you install a program on your computer that uses files that have a .xyz file name extension, when you open an attachment that has a .xyz file name extension, the program opens and runs the attachment. By default, the .xyz file name extension does not appear on the Level 1 or the Level 2 list. Therefore, Outlook treats it as a safe file name extension. If you want Outlook to treat attachments that have the .xyz file name extension as unsafe, you must add the .xyz file name extension to the list of Level 1 file name extensions.

Outlook Sends Multiple Copies of Email

Client says: "I’m having a problem with Outlook sending multiple copies of some emails – usually those with attachments.

It doesn’t happen with every email with attachments, just occasionally. It will send it 20-30 times but keeps the email in my Outbox saying that it hasn’t been sent (although sometimes it says it’s been sent but stays in the Outbox).

How can I solve this and make sure Outlook only sends out one copy again?"

Sending Duplicates buttonThis often happens when you are using a virus scanner that integrates with Outlook or when your Send/Receive interval is set to a very short time.

In some cases, especially when you have a slow connection to your mail host, extending the mail server time-out may solve it as well.

Virus scanner integration

When you have a virus scanner installed which integrates itself with Outlook, it will scan outgoing emails as well.

Throughout the years, virus scanners have proven over and over again to cause more issues than they claim to solve in Outlook.

It is really recommended to disable or uninstall your virus scanner’s Outlook integration capabilities. For steps on how to properly disable the integration see the documentation for your virus scanner.

For more background information see “Duplicate E-mails” and “Disable virus scanner integration?“.

Short Send/Receive interval

When your send/receive interval is set to a very short period (below 5 minutes) and your message takes a while to upload to the mail server, it could be that the next send/receive interval already started before the previous one completes.

This will then cause a backlog of Send/Receive tasks which still need to be completed. In the worst case scenario, it could be that the message still in the Outbox will get resubmitted for sending and thus create a duplicate.

To change your Send/Receive interval go to:

  • Outlook 2007 and previous:
    Tools-> Options…-> tab: Mail Setup-> Send/Receive…
  • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
    File-> Options-> Advanced-> Send/Receive…

The default value is 30 minutes. As mentioned before, don’t set it lower than 5 minutes. When you have 3 or more accounts configured, it is recommended not to set it lower than 10 minutes.

Server TimeoutsIncrease the Server Timeout when you have a slow or unreliable connection.

POP3 and IMAP accounts work with Server Timeouts. This basically tells Outlook when to consider a connection as “lost” when no responds has been received after a configured amount of time.

By default, this is 1 minute. When you are on a slow or unreliable connection or a connection with a high latency (like mobile connections), then it could be that you reach this timeout. In that case, Outlook will resubmit any message in the Outbox upon the next Send/Receive interval.

When the message was actually already submitted to the mail server but the acknowledgement was not received before the timeout was reached, the message will be submitted again and thus create a duplicate as well.

Increasing the Server Timeout to 2 or 3 minutes may solve your issue. Directly setting it longer than 3 minutes is not recommended as it often means that the actual issue lies somewhere else.

Increase the Server Timeout when you have a slow or unreliable connection.

Multiple Accounts

When you configure multiple accounts in Outlook, make sure that these are indeed separate accounts and not just aliases for the same mailbox.

In the case of an alias, you would basically have the same account configured twice as all emails from either alias is being received in the same mailbox.

When you also have the option configured to leave a copy on the server (POP3 account), both accounts will collect the same e-mail leaving you with duplicates. To read up on the difference between a separate mailbox and aliases see: About mailboxes, addresses and aliases.

To prevent duplicates from alias accounts (other than removing them), you must configure the alias account not to receive e-mails since they are already being received by the original account;

Outlook 2007 and previous 
Tools-> Options-> tab Mail Setup-> button Send/Receive-> button Edit…-> select the alias account-> uncheck Receive mail items
Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
tab Send/Receive-> button Send/Receive Groups-> Define Send/Receive Groups…-> button Edit…-> select the alias account-> uncheck Receive mail items

Of course you would still be able to select with which address you send out your emails.

Profile Recreation

When you recreate your mail profile – for instance when the original got corrupted or when you reinstalled your PC and configure Outlook for the first time again – and you originally had Outlook configured to leave a copy on the server (POP3 account), it will collect all the e-mails from the server again even when you have received them in a previous configuration.

This happens because the newly created profile doesn’t “know” that these messages have been received before by another profile. So this means that when you recreate your mail profile and, during setup, you immediately configure it to use your old pst-file as the default delivery location, it will create duplicates for the messages that are already received and that are still on-line as well.

To prevent this from happening, make sure to start Outlook at least once with a clean pst-file before reconnecting the old one and setting it as the default delivery location. This way you’ll collect all the e-mails in a new pst-file.

For Outlook 2002/XP and 2003

  1. Connect to your original pst-file by File-> Open-> Outlook Data File… and once opened move all the newly received e-mails to that pst-file.
  2. Close Outlook and go to Control Panel-> Mail-> button Data Files…-> button E-mail Accounts-> button Next-> at the bottom you can select the original pst-file as the default delivery location and press Finish.
  3. Press the button Data Files… and remove the other pst-file. If you want to keep your computer clean press the Settings button first and write down the location of the pst-file so you can physically delete the file as well and not just the connection to it.

For Outlook 2007

  1. Connect to your original pst-file by File-> Open-> Outlook Data File… and once opened move all the newly received e-mails to that pst-file.
  2. Close Outlook and go to Control Panel-> Mail-> E-mail Accounts-> tab Data Files. Select the the original pst-file and press Set as Default
  3. Select the other pst-file and press Remove. If you want to keep your computer clean press the Settings button first and write down the location of the pst-file so you can physically delete the file as well and not just the connection to it.

For Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
Outlook 2010 does remember which emails have been downloaded before as it stores this information in the pst-file itself.

Upon configuring your account, you can specify the delivery location to an already existing pst-file instead of letting Outlook create a new one for you. If you have retrieved your account settings via AutoDiscover, you can select the option to manually configure you account. This will get you to a screen where the account settings retrieved via AutoDiscover are shown and also has a section “Deliver new message to” to select your original pst-file.

To change the delivery pst-file for your account after you have configured your account use; 
File-> Account Settings-> Account Settings-> select your e-mail account-> button Change Folder-> select New Outlook Data File… and browse to your original pst-file.

Synchronization Tools

Synchronization Tools are great to keep your contacts you have in Outlook and on your mobile device, like a tablet or smartphone, synchronized and up-to-date. Depending on the tool you are using, synchronizing for the first time might be tricky and could cause some duplicates or “similar” items.

For instance, I used to store most of my mobile phone contacts by first name only and the ones in Outlook by their full name. So I had a contact named Edwin on my mobile phone and a contact named Edwin Sparnaaij (yep, trying to get my brother famous here :-D) in Outlook. When I would synchronize, I would end up with an item named Edwin and an item named Edwin Sparnaaij in both Outlook and my mobile phone since the synch tool doesn’t know these are one and the same person in real life.

To prevent this from happening, make sure your contacts are in order before synchronizing for the first time or you’ll only duplicate the mess. Since my mobile phone was a big mess mainly because of the lack of a proper input device and contact storage properties on it (I had a Nokia 3210 at that time) getting things in order would be handier in Outlook. To make sure it doesn’t mix with your original Outlook contacts you can create a new mail profile first with a dummy account or no account configured at all (tip: call the profile Mobile Device so you can easily recognize it). Now you can safely synchronize with that mail profile and use Outlook to easily clean up your contacts on your mobile.

If you are a control freak (I won’t be last to admit this) and want to make sure that the initial synchronization indeed doesn’t create any duplicates, move the cleaned up contacts from the Mobile Device mail profile to your original one;

1. Start Outlook with your original mail profile
2. Connect to the pst-file from the Mobile Device profile by File-> Open-> Outlook Data File…
3. Move the Contacts from the Mobile Device pst-file to your original Contacts folder

Now that you have created a “master copy” in Outlook make a back-up of your pst-file in case synchronization goes wrong after all. Also now that we have all contacts correctly in Outlook, we don’t want it to still end up creating duplicates because the synchronization tool isn’t “intelligent” enough to recognize the similar items (this depends on the synchronization tool you are using so I’m going for a fail safe here). As we have a master copy in Outlook we can safely delete all the contacts on the mobile device. Now reconfigure your synchronization tool to use your original mail profile and synchronize; there is just NO WAY you can end up with duplicates now!

Outlook Ten Things You Should Stop Doing

Fact is, most spyware and viruses are delivered through email. AND email can become your number one time waster. Tech Republic lists ten things Outlook users should stop doing:

1: Clicking Reply All

When someone sends a message to multiple accounts, the recipients can respond to everyone by choosing Reply All instead of Reply. That means some of your users will get responses they don’t need to see. It’s a waste of their time. It’s probably the most annoying thing Outlook users do. There’s no cure for this one except to tell them not to. Some will ignore you, and some will do it accidentally anyway.

2: Using the all list

Many organizations have distribution lists so employees can send the same message to everyone on their team, everyone in the editorial department, all the managers, and so on. But one list usually goes to everyone in the organization. Users rejoice to learn that they can let everyone know when their daughters are selling cookies, when they’re going on vacation, when they’ve moved their office, when they’re collecting for a good cause… you see where this is going. This breach of good manners annoys everyone.

Tell your users to use the list judiciously — seldom, if at all. If it becomes a problem, restrict who can use the list.

3: Opening attachments from strangers

Some users see an attachment as a gift — surprise! They just can’t help themselves. You can tell users not to open attachments, but good virus protection will usually protect the system, just in case. That’s the good news. The bad news is, users still open attachments from strangers.

4: Clicking links

Clicking links is fun. They take you to cool sites with all kinds of offers and fun stuff — and embedded controls and scripts that do all kinds of evil things to the system. Most links are harmless, but most users can’t discern a legitimate link from one that leads to a phishing site, hard drive failure, or worse.

Consistent training helps, but experience is the best teacher. Making this mistake carries a heavy fine: The user can’t work until someone fixes the system. It’s also humiliating and can be a bit scary for them. Implement the best software defenses you can, consistently remind users not to click links in unsolicited emails, and hope for the best.

5: Sharing stuff

I can’t help wondering how much bandwidth and storage users waste spreading gossip and sharing angels will save the world chain letters, pictures of their offspring doing adorable things, and so on. Most organizations tolerate this misuse to promote harmony, even if it is annoying and wasteful. It’s hard to put a price on good will.

6: Forgetting passwords

Long heavy mournful sigh, followed by a bit of gentle head banging.

Most users don’t have to password-protect Outlook, but occasionally, you run into a setup where multiple users access their email via the same machine. To access their account, they have to remember their password. Good luck with that.

7: Ignoring messages

Some users just don’t want to communicate via email. They don’t like it and they don’t want it. But in most organizations, email is no longer a convenience; it’s how co-workers interact. Unfortunately, there’s always one or two users who refuse to play nicely, who ignore emails or claim, “I never got that message.” You can try to correct this behavior through training, but it usually turns into a management issue.

8: Sending email to everyone in their address book

Sending an email to everyone in the address book isn’t easy to do — I mean, it’s not easy to do by accident. Yet users still manage to do it. This is especially annoying if Outlook adds every sender to the address book as emails arrive. What a wasteful, annoying mess, especially if you have to get the administrator involved to try to recall them. (Just thinking about calling an admin makes me genuflect uncontrollably.) Training won’t help here. Just say, “Don’t ever do that again.”

9: Deleting necessary items

One of the great support mysteries is why Outlook users delete contacts, only to discover they need them after all. This happens with all Outlook items, in fact: emails, tasks, appointments, and so on. You might encourage users not to be so quick to delete items. Let old items hang around for a while until they’re truly obsolete. The exception is email; no one benefits from a neglected Inbox.

10: Deleting a profile

Outlook profiles relate accounts and settings to specific users. Most users will have only one, but having more than one is an efficient way to keep things separate. For instance, users might want a profile for work and another for home. You can also accommodate multiple users on the same machine  by creating a profile for each user. Unfortunately, they sometimes delete profiles. I’m not sure how or why they do it, but they do.

Outlook: Autocomplete and the Freudian Slip

Bob and Fred, two very young former sales reps, were passing the time ripping a difficult customer via private emails to each other. They said some terrible things and used language that would make a prison yard dog blush. Ya that bad!. Suddenly, Fred noticed their customer’s email address on the CC line. Freudianly, they included their customer in every nasty email. Oooops!

Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person? Hopefully, it didn’t matter. However, it could be an embarrassing and even critical error. Example: suppose you have two clients named John. You send John A your regular price list. Later, whilst negotiating a new project with John B, you offer a discount. Outlook just sent the discounted fee schedule to John A instead of John B, as you intended. Oooops!

Just how did that happen? Usually, this kind of error occurs when you are in a hurry or distracted. You type John into the To box, take the first hit, and send ”without realizing that Outlook AutoComplete chose the wrong John. It happens".

There are two ways to complete an email address

First Method:

1. Click the To button to view the Select Names dialog box, which displays names in first name order (unless you've changed the sort order). You select the name and continue.

2. You start typing a name in the To box. Based on the characters you enter, Outlook's AutoComplete feature displays a list of possible choices. As you enter more characters, Outlook narrows the list.

Second Method is the one that can get you into trouble. The AutoComplete feature updates its list so fast that it's easy to select the wrong item. It's a great feature, but prone to mishaps if you're not careful. You can disable AutoComplete as follows:

  1. In the Mail window, choose Options from the Tools menu.
  2. Click Email Options.
  3. Click Advanced Email Options.
  4. Uncheck the Suggest Names While Completing To, Cc, And Bcc Fields option.
  5. Click OK three times.
  6. The truth is, AutoComplete is helpful and you might not want to disable it. To me it is a just more trouble than it's worth.

Another problem is that Outlook maintains a history of all the addresses you enter, not just the ones you store in Contacts. These names make their way onto the AutoComplete list, even if you donâ't want them. Additional names can throw a monkey-wrench into your routine if you don't expect them. When one of these names shows up, simply delete it before it gets you into trouble.

Finally, the best advice is the most difficult; slow down and pay attention to the AutoComplete list.

Last I heard Bob is a bartender and Fred sells Volvos after loosing a 1.5 mil per year account

If you require additional information or assistance with this item, please give us a call.

Outlook: Create Appointments and Tasks from Emails

An extremely handy function of Outlook is the ability to create new tasks and appointments from emails, and this is how we do it:

1.    Left click on the email that contains an invite or a to do item.

2.    Drag the email to the Task of Calendar folder.

3.    This automatically creates a new task or appointment with the body of the email in the notes field.

4.    Fill-out the dates, priorities, etc. for the task or appointment.

5.    Save, close and your done!

If you require additional information or assistance with this item, please give us a call.

Outlook: Create Appointments and Tasks from Emails

An extremely handy function of Outlook is the ability to create new tasks and appointments from emails, and this is how we do it:

1. Left click on the email that contains an invite or a to do item.

2. Drag the email to the Task of Calendar folder.

3. This automatically creates a new task or appointment with the body of the email in the notes field.

4. Fill-out the dates, priorities, etc. for the task or appointment.

5. Save, close and your done!

If you require additional information or assistance with this item, please give us a call.

Outlook: Create Appointments and Tasks from Emails

An extremely handy function of Outlook is the ability to create new tasks and appointments from emails, and this is how we do it:

1. Left click on the email that contains an invite or a to do item.

2. Drag the email to the Task of Calendar folder.

3. This automatically creates a new task or appointment with the body of the email in the notes field.

4. Fill-out the dates, priorities, etc. for the task or appointment.

5. Save, close and your done!

If you require additional information or assistance with this item, please give us a call.

Outlook: Custom Display For Unread Messages'

Outlook, by default, displays unread messages in your Inbox using a bold font. It works, but you might prefer another way of making unread messages stand out, and this is how we do it:

1. In Outlook select the Inbox.
2. Choose Arrange By from the View menu.
3. Select Current View from the resulting submenu.
4. Select Customize Current View.
5. Click Automatic Formatting.
6. At this point, several options are (probably) checked. Whatever options you leave checked will reflect the changes you make in subsequent steps. If you want to change the format only for unread messages, uncheck everything but the Unread Messages option.
7. Click Font.
8. Specify the formats you want to apply.
9. Click OK three times.

Outlook: Customize Today

The Outlook Today screen is displayed in Microsoft Outlook when you click the "Outlook Today" button from the shortcut menu (at the left of the screen). It also may appear when you start Outlook up if you have that option selected. The standard screen is very useful, but it can be so much more with a few tweaks, and this how we do it:

  1. Start Microsoft Outlook 2000 (and select your profile if Profiles are set up on your computer.)
  2. Click the "Outlook Today" button from the shortcut menu (on the left of the screen).
  3. Click the Customize Outlook Today button. This button is next to the the day, month, date, and year display on your screen.
  4. From this screen you can select how you want Outlook Today to behave.
  5. If you check the Startup check box, then every time Outlook starts up, Outlook Today will be shown first.
  6. You can click the Messages button to change what folder is watched for new E-mail. When new mail is in the folder selected, then the amount of new mail will be shown on the Outlook Today screen.
  7. On the Calendar drop-down menu, you can select how many days of appointments and events are shown in the Outlook Today screen.
  8. The Tasks section of the Customize Outlook Today screen offers many options. You can chose if you want all tasks to display or only today's tasks to be displayed.
  9. Also in the Tasks section, you can choose if you would like to include tasks that do not have a due date into the Outlook Today screen.
  10. Next, you can choose how you want your tasks to be sorted from the drop down menus. The default configuration is usually fine because it sorts tasks by their Due Date.
  11. The Style section allows you to choose what you would like the Outlook Today screen to look like.
  12. When you are finished changing the settings, click the Save Changes button at the top right corner of the screen.

If you don't want to save your changes, click the Cancel button.

Outlook: Email Netiquette - Think Twice, Email Once

Of course, this is mostly common sense. Unfortunately, common sense is often in short supply when it comes to email. If you’re looking for general rules, Please consider the following:

Don’t deliver tough messages in email unless absolutely necessary.

When you’re writing an email, spend as much time considering how it will be received as you spend deciding what you want to say.

If you don’t mean it, don’t send it.

Don’t open suspicious attachments. Because of the threat of viruses, we all must be more careful about opening email attachments.

Don’t automatically click Reply All. If someone sends a note addressed to a large group, stop and think before you click Reply All. Maybe you need to take your discussion with the original sender offline. If the whole group doesn’t need your input, don’t waste their time and inbox space.

Use discretion when sending to groups. Before you send a note to a group named "Goer Manufacturing or Goer East or Goer West", ask yourself if you really need to ping everybody in the organization. Maybe you need to create an address group that’s just for your teammates or the people in your business unit. Of course there will be times when it’s appropriate to send something to everyone, but you should use that address group sparingly.

If you don’t have anything to say, don’t reply. Here’s a classic email abuse. Say there’s a legitimate need to send a note to the whole company: Someone sends out a note that reads, "The Office installation disks are missing. If you have them, please return them immediately." If you don’t have the disks, don’t reply. Don’t write, "I don’t have them, sorry." That’s a waste of your time, and it wastes the time of the person to whom you’re replying.

Don’t forward chain email letters. Folks, I really hate to burst the bubbles of those of you who get fooled by email scams. But when you get one of those notes that reads “please forward to 10 people to keep the chain going” because some kid somewhere is collecting names or because someone wants to win a trip to Disneyland, delete it! It’s a scam. A ruse. An insult to your intelligence. A waste of company time and resources. Don’t embarrass yourself in front of your co-workers by forwarding that spam.

Don’t forward top-10 lists and jokes. I love a good joke as much as the next person, but I don’t need my inbox filled with jokes I’ve already heard or read. If you think you’ve got a funny joke or list, print it and post it on your door. I’ll read it when I walk by. Don’t send it to me, and don’t forward it to everyone in the company.

Watch your personal email traffic. It’s hard to define how much personal email is “too much” like it’s hard to put a handle on how many personal phone calls are acceptable. If you’re getting distracted by too much personal email at work, it may be time to get a computer and an email account at home.

Ask your system administrator about allowable attachments. Some email system administrators don’t want you to send attachments over a certain size, so they put a 6-Meg cap on files you send over the network. If your job requires that you send or receive large files, make sure it’s okay with your system administrator.

If you need a good email policy, we would be pleased to assist. Of course, this is mostly common sense. Unfortunately, common sense is often in short supply when it comes to email. If you are looking for general rules, Please consider the following:

Don’t deliver tough messages in email unless absolutely necessary.

When you’re writing an email, spend as much time considering how it will be received as you spend deciding what you want to say.

If you don’t mean it, don’t send it.

Don’t open suspicious attachments. Because of the threat of viruses, we all must be more careful about opening email attachments.

Outlook: How To Deal With Email Overflow

While keeping up with the daily paper flow in one's In-Box is a challenge for most businesses, the same situation is repeating itself in email In-Boxes. It is not unusual, during our time management training seminars and consultations, to hear that hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of email messages have collected in someone's inbox.

Each time you fail to make an immediate decision on what to do with a note, it becomes clutter, just as the stacks of paper that accumulate in our offices do. But What To Do???

This clutter is not only physical clutter but mental clutter, distracting us from the immediate tasks at hand.

Consider two ways that these missives accumulate. Start by imagining you left a totally empty Inbox and that you receive 50 emails a day.

Scenario One:

Fifty emails were waiting for you today, a conservative number, and you cleared out 25 of them, leaving the other 25 to handle at a different time. Tomorrow there are 50 new ones. If you again handle 25 and clear them out, leaving the remainder for another time, you start with 100 on the 3rd day. In a week, when you open your inbox, instead of the 50 that you began with that week, you now are looking at 225 things to make decisions about. Stress starts to build..

Scenario Two:

You receive 50 emails today and deal with 25 of them but do not delete them because you never know when you might want to reference that information again. Therefore tomorrow you have 100 emails in your Inbox as you start the day. You have to scan through all of them because some of the ones from yesterday may now require additional action, but you're not sure which ones. The next Monday you're facing 350 emails and dread the thought of having to work through them..

That's just one week. Every day you have to scroll through the entire list and try to figure out if there's something that needs to be done. Why not make a decision immediately on each email, moving it to the appropriate place for further action? It will eliminate that feeling of being overwhelmed as well as that sinking sensation of missing a deadline.

Just as I train people during seminars and one-on-one sessions to use a RAFT to navigate through the stacks of paper and keep from getting swamped, so will the RAFT method allow you to experience smooth sailing through your volumes of email.

My RAFT consists of four planks: READ -- ACT -- FILE -- TOSS. Every item, whether paper or electronic, goes into one of these categories. A decision is made immediately. You know where every paper goes, how to find it again, and when to follow up.


Reading materials can be divided into two groups:

1. Casual reading: It would be good to have a chance to read it, but there's no deadline, and it doesn't relate to a current project. Have a casual reading folder set up that you can move this to and then periodically block a time in your schedule specifically for casual reading.

2. Reading with an accompanying action: Move it to your task list. If you're using an electronic task list, drag it over and attach a date to it. If you're using a paper-based tickler system, print the mail and drop it into the appropriate date.


This email requires further action on your part. Drag it to the calendar or task list on your email program and assign a date, or print it and put it into the specific date in your paper tickler system. To determine the date, always be asking yourself, "What is my NEXT step? When will I have a chance of getting to do this?"


If there is no action you need to take, you might want to keep it temporarily or else place it into your long-term filing cabinet.

1. Project Files: If it's an ongoing activity and you want to track the progress, have a temporary folder on your desktop. You can delete the folder at the end of the project.

2. Reference Files: You want to retain the note for future reference, so you might print that and put it into your paper filing system, or save it in a related folder within 'My Documents'.


Be liberal with the Delete key. So many people are afraid to toss out any mail, even if there's nothing else they need to do with it. Just as in paper, the question to ask yourself is, "What is the WORST possible thing that could happen if I didn't have this email?" If it's not too bad, and if there are no legal or financial reasons for keeping it, then toss it.

Everyone has heard of the adage, "Handle a piece of paper one time only." That shouldn't be taken at face value. Instead you handle it only once as far as making a decision right away. Then you put it in the appropriate place to deal with at a specific time. Work your email the same way and cut down on daily stress.

If you require additional information or assistance with this item, please give us a call.

Outlook: How To Make Outlook Mo Betta

I've used Outlook as my email client, contacts management and calendaring solution for well over a decade and I mostly love it. But some folks have complaints about it. This article addresses the 10 most common annoyances and offers some ways to fix them. If you think Outlook is too slow, you have problems finding your Outlook data, or you're looking for tips on organizing and searching your Outlook information, check it out:

Annoyance No. 1

Outlook is too darn slow. How can I speed it up? Outlook sometimes seems to have three speeds: slow, slower and slowest. It takes too long to load, and it's sluggish when it sends or receives mail -- in short, it takes too long to do anything at all. There must be some way to goose this thing.

How to fix it: There's no single action you can take to speed up Outlook, but a combination of fixes should make Outlook zippier. We can't promise it will ever be a speed demon, but follow our advice and most likely you won't feel stuck in the slow lane.

First, slim down your Outlook .pst file, as we recommend in Annoyance No. 2. That by itself will do a world of good.

Then make sure that Outlook has the latest patches, via Windows Updates. There's one patch in particular that is important if you have sizable .pst files: href="\"http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c262bcfd-1e09-49b6-9003-c4c47539df66&DisplayLang=en\"" target="\"new\"">Update for Outlook 2007 (KB933493). The patch is designed to speed up Outlook when using large .pst files, and many people have found it has made a significant difference in Outlook speed. In fact, they report that installing that patch alone solved their speed problems.

Next, kill any Outlook add-ins you don't need, as outlined in Annoyance No. 5.

Quite a few people have reported that iTunes installs an Outlook add-in -- though for what purpose is unclear -- and that deleting it speeds up Outlook.

And some people have reported that Windows XP Fax Services causes their version of Outlook 2007 to behave sluggishly for whatever reason. If you don't fax in XP, you may be able to speed up Outlook by removing that feature. (To remove it, choose Control Panel --> Add or Remove Software --> Add/Remove Windows Components.)

Remove unused RSS feeds.
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Along the same lines, a number of users say the Business Contact Manager seriously slows down Outlook 2007, so if you have that installed, try uninstalling it using the same procedure.

Finally, check your RSS feeds. Outlook's RSS Feeds editor is a great feature, but using it can significantly slow things down. It comes preconfigured to receive a number of feeds that you may or may not want to receive. And over time, you may have subscribed to feeds you no longer read.

Select Tools --> Account Settings and click the RSS Feeds tab. You'll come to a screen like the one shown above. Scroll through your list of feeds. For the ones you no longer want, highlight them and select Remove. When you're done, click OK.

Annoyance No. 2

Outlook's attachments make it massively bloated. If you regularly send and receive attachments, your Outlook .pst file can quickly become massively bloated. It's pretty easy for your .pst file to quickly get to 250MB or more, and I've known people whose files range up to 1GB and beyond. Among other problems, this slows down the speed at which Outlook loads and can lead to instability.

How to fix it: It's time to put Outlook on a diet. First, find out where the fat is. Outlook 2007 has a very useful folder called \"Larger Than 100 KB.\" Find it underneath Search Folders in your list of Outlook folders. As the name implies, it lists all e-mail messages that are larger than 100KB. By default, they should be listed with the largest files first, but if not, click the Size heading in the folder until you get them listed that way.

Now that you can see the largest e-mails, start trimming. If you're like me, you'll be surprised how many of the e-mails with attachments you no longer need; delete those. If you need the attachment, but don't need the accompanying e-mail, save the attachment to disk, then delete the e-mail.

Remove unneeded attachments.
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If the opposite is true -- you want to save the e-mail but not its attachment -- you can save space by either saving the attachment outside of Outlook or deleting it altogether. First, save the attachment to disk. Then open the e-mail, right-click the attachment and choose Remove. The attachment will be deleted from Outlook, but the e-mail itself will remain.

The attachment problem in Outlook is so notorious that a third party has stepped in with a solution that helps you cut down the size of your .pst files by removing attachments. The free Kopf Outlook Attachment Remover saves attachments from Outlook, stores them on your local disk and replaces the attachments with a link to the stored file. You'll be able to open the attachment as you would normally, except that Outlook will grab the file from disk, rather than from inside its .pst file.

The Kopf Outlook Attachment Remover.
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You can have the program automatically go through entire directories, removing attachments and replacing them with links, or you can instead do it e-mail by e-mail. Note that in Outlook, it will look as if the file is still there -- you'll see the file icon as you normally do for an attachment. But the file is actually on disk, not in Outlook.

Outlook 2007 includes another tool for shrinking the size of your .pst file by targeting your fattest folders. Select Tools --> Mailbox Cleanup and click the View Mailbox Size button. You'll see a screen like the one shown below.

There will be a list of folders, along with the total size of each folder. That will tell you where you'll be able to get the most reduction by cleaning out e-mails -- and their bloat-inducing attachments. After you find the largest folders, go back to the Outlook main screen and tackle those first, searching for unnecessary e-mails and attachments and deleting them.

After you've used all of these techniques for deleting attachments and e-mails, it's time to compact your .pst file. Normally, when you delete files and attachments, there are essentially blank spaces left in your .pst file that take up bytes.

Find your fattest folders.
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Compacting the file eliminates those blank spaces and shrinks the total size of the file. To do so, select File --> Data File Management and double-click the Personal Folders entry. Then click Compact Now.

Annoyance No. 3

Why can't I find where my $#%^(@\"* Outlook data is stored? All of your mail, contacts, attachments, calendar information and so on -- pretty much the whole Outlook data shebang -- is stored in a single .pst file. You often need to know where that file is located if you want to, for example, back it up or move it between machines. But Microsoft has a penchant for changing the .pst location from version to version of Outlook, and you might have a hard time finding it.

In addition to the .pst data file, Outlook uses a variety of other files that do things such as store your personal preferences. You often want to know their locations as well.

How to fix it: Outlook 2007 generally stores its .pst files in different locations depending on whether you're using XP or Vista. In Vista, you'll find it in C: \\Users\\YourName\\AppData\\Local\\Microsoft\\Outlook, where YourName is your Windows user name. In XP, it's usually in C: \\Users\\YourName\\Local Settings\\Application Data\\Microsoft\\Outlook.

Of course, there's also a chance that Outlook has stored them in a different location, but at least it's easy to find their location: In Outlook, choose File --> Data File Management. You'll see a screen like the one below. Look for the Personal Folders listing for your Outlook .pst file. Next to it, you'll see its location listed.

Finding your .pst file.
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As for all the other Outlook files, in Vista, you'll find them in C:\\Users\\YourName\\AppData\\Roaming\\Microsoft\\Outlook, and in XP they're in C:\\Users\\YourName\\Application Data\\Microsoft\\Outlook.

Annoyance No. 4

Outlook doesn't offer much help with e-mail overload. Outlook's limited searching, filtering and sorting functions can take you only so far if you're looking to better organize your e-mail and improve your productivity. It won't let you view entire message threads, for example, and its search features could use some help.

How to fix it: A lot of Outlook add-ins make big claims about helping with e-mail overload, and I've found one that actually delivers -- and in a big way. The free Xobni (that's inbox spelled backwards) makes it extremely easy to find e-mail, information and contacts. It may be the best Outlook add-in I've ever used.

Xobni appears as a sidebar on Outlook's right-hand side. When you read an e-mail message, the sidebar displays information about the person with whom you're communicating, including a list of all \"conversations\" you've had with him, a list of all files you've exchanged, the person's phone number and your "social network,\" which is essentially a list of shared contacts with whom the two of you have exchanged e-mails or been cc'd on.

That means for every e-mail you get, you can see a quick history of all of your previous e-mail exchanges with the sender, a tremendous timesaver when you want to review your communications with someone. Xobni also lets you review all of the e-mails in the sidebar itself by clicking on any of them, and it shows the e-mails as threaded conversations so you can trace their history.

There are also convenient icons in the sidebar screen for sending an e-mail to the person and scheduling a meeting via Outlook's calendar.

And at the top of the screen is great information for data addicts, although it's unclear how useful it actually is. You'll be shown the total number of e-mails you've exchanged with the person, the rank of the person among those you've exchanged e-mails with, and a graph displaying the hours of the day and how many e-mails you typically receive from that person during each of the hours.

The Xobni add-in is heavy on analytics.
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In fact, statistics lovers can quickly get lost in this program; there's a Xobni Analytics feature that provides a mind-boggling amount of information about your e-mail use, such as the average amount of time it takes you to respond to people by day, month and week. And that's just the beginning. You can, for example, even see the median time it takes you to respond to individuals, to individuals in a domain ... well, you get the picture.

Don't get this program for the analytics, though. Get it to cut through your Outlook e-mail and information overload.

Annoyance No. 5

Outlook crashes constantly. Sometimes it seems as if Outlook crashes more than it actually runs. Didn't anyone tell Microsoft that the point of an e-mail program is to get e-mail -- not to turn belly-up every other time you open it?

How to fix it: We can't offer fixes for every Outlook crash, but we can address what is most likely the primary cause of problems -- add-ins. Some Outlook add-ins will crash the program on their own, and others will crash Outlook when they're installed in concert with other add-ins. So your best bet for stopping crashes is to first figure out which Outlook add-in or add-ins might be causing the crashes and then delete them.

One good way to find out if add-ins are the culprit of crashes is to first run Outlook in safe mode and see if it crashes. Safe mode disables all add-ins, so if you run it in safe mode and it still crashes, add-ins aren't the cause of your problems. Conversely, if you run it in safe mode and it does crash, then an add-in is likely the cause and you're then free to go through the steps I outline below for finding the culprit.

Run Outlook in safe mode by going to a command prompt, navigating to the directory that contains Outlook.exe (most likely C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\Office12\\) and typing this command:

Outlook.exe /safe

That runs Outlook without any add-ins. If it doesn't crash, then add-ins are your problem.

Here's how to find exactly which program is the problem. Start by discovering which add-ins you have installed. Select Tools --> Trust Center and click the Add-ins button. You'll see a screen like the one pictured below.

You'll see add-ins organized into three categories: those that are currently active, those that are installed but aren't currently active, and those that are installed but have been disabled by Outlook because they cause the system to crash. (Yes, Outlook does try to fix itself when possible -- it just doesn't always succeed.) To see a description of each add-in, highlight it, and you'll see the description at the bottom of the screen.

Use Trust Center to see a list of add-ins.
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Now it's time to find out which add-in or add-ins are causing the crashes. There's no logical way to do this; you'll have to use the process of elimination. At the bottom of the screen, make sure that the COM Add-ins drop-down is selected, then click Go. You'll see a screen like the one pictured below.

Those add-ins that are active have check marks next to them; those without check marks are inactive. Uncheck the box of the add-in that you think might be causing the problem, click OK, and then close and restart Outlook. Outlook will now run, but the add-in will be inactive. If Outlook works properly, you've discovered the cause of your problem.

Disable potentially unstable add-ins and restart Outlook to minimize crashes.
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You can keep running Outlook with the add-in inactive or instead remove it from your system. Some add-ins can be removed using Windows' normal Uninstall routine. Others, though, won't be visible there. To remove those, get back to the screen you used for disabling add-ins. Highlight the add-in you want to remove and click Remove. Be careful before you do this, because you won't get a dialog box asking if you really want to remove it, as you do when you use Windows Uninstall. Click it, and it goes away immediately.

If it's an add-in that you would prefer to keep using, check with the publisher to see if there's a workaround or fix before deleting it.

Annoyance No. 6

My .pst file is corrupt. If you've used Outlook long enough, at some point, your .pst file may get corrupted and no longer load. What can you do?

How to fix it: First off, prevention is better than recovery. When .pst files get up to 2GB, they can easily become corrupt, so make sure that your .pst file does not get to be 2GB or larger in size. (See Annoyance No. 3 for details on how to find the location of your .pst file. Then simply open Windows Explorer, navigate to the correct location and click on the file icon to check its size.)

In addition, it's always a good idea to back up .pst files so you can revert to them if any gets corrupt. Now that you know where Outlook 2007 files reside, take advantage of that knowledge by making sure to back up those files regularly.

Now on to fixing the corrupt file. There's a free Microsoft utility called the Inbox Repair Tool that's designed to fix corrupt .pst files.

Fix corrupt files with the Inbox Repair Tool.
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The file name is Scanpst.exe, and its location seems to vary from machine to machine, but a good place to look is in C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\Office12. Before running the program, back up your damaged .pst file. Then run the program (as you can see at right), choose your .pst file location and tell the program to do its work.

The program should fix the corrupt file. If not, try using it three or four times; sometimes it takes several passes in order to fix the file.

If that doesn't work, you do have one other option. Though we haven't had a chance to test them, there are a variety of programs that claim they do a better job than the Inbox Repair Tool of fixing corrupt files. A Google search will turn up several if you want to go down that path.

Annoyance No. 7

How can I kill duplicate Outlook entries? In Outlook, duplicate e-mails, contacts, tasks, notes and other information have an annoying habit of appearing out of the blue. Sometimes this happens when you import data from an earlier version of Outlook. And other times ... well, I simply don't know why it happens, but it does. You say you'd like to be able to kill duplicates without devoting your life to tracking down every single one and deleting by hand?

How to fix it: Once again, a third party has stepped up to the plate with a solution. Download the free Outlook Duplicate Items Remover, close Outlook, and install the software.

Vaita's Outlook Duplicate Items Remover.
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Once you do that, you'll find a new Outlook menu option, ODIR. Click the menu option, select Remove Duplicate Items and, from the screen that appears, select a folder from which you want duplicate items removed. Click Remove Duplicate Items, and it searches for duplicates in the folder. At that point, it copies the duplicated items to a folder, so you have a backup, and removes the duplicates from Outlook.

Annoyance No. 8

Why can't I synchronize Outlook on multiple PCs? If you've got multiple computers from which you want to access e-mail -- a desktop and a laptop, let's say -- this one may well top your all-time annoyance list. You have Outlook on both machines, but there doesn't seem to be a way to keep your mail in sync -- the mail on your laptop doesn't match that on your desktop. What you'd like seems simple: No matter which machine you use, you'd like it to have all of your e-mail and be up to date.

How to fix it: As I've explained, Outlook keeps its data in one big .pst file. So if you want your mail to be up to date on whatever machine you're currently using, you'll have to manually copy that file between machines.

For example, let's say you're using your desktop PC, and you're about to head out on the road with your laptop. You must copy the desktop's .pst file to your laptop before you go. Then you can use Outlook on your laptop as you would normally. When you return, copy the .pst file back from your laptop to your desktop, and your desktop will be up to date. (See Annoyance No. 3 for ways to find the location of your .pst file.)

Although this back-and-forth copying will solve your problem, it's a major-league pain in the hindquarters. And it's prone to error as well -- you may accidentally overwrite a newer .pst file with an older one.

If you're willing to spend a little money, there's a more bulletproof solution: Get a program that will automatically synchronize your Outlook data between PCs. I found two good pieces of software that do the trick.

SynchPST for Outlook and PSTSync both do similar tasks and come with extras, like the ability to copy and synchronize only individual folders instead of entire .pst files. They're both shareware, so you can try them before you buy them. SynchPST costs $39.95 for the Basic version and $69.95 for the Professional version, which has extras such as the ability to schedule automated syncs. PSTSync costs $59.99.

If you use a laptop and a desktop, and have set up your desktop for remote access, then there's an even simpler solution. When you're on the road and need to check your e-mail, make a remote connection to your desktop and run Outlook remotely. That way, you won't need to do any synchronization at all.

Annoyance No. 9

People complain my e-mails have weird characters and spaces in them. Outlook 2007 uses Microsoft Word as its mail editor. Even if you don't have Word installed on your system, Outlook uses a Word .dll, and so Word is what you get when you compose mail. Because of that, when you type an apostrophe, quotation mark or some other special characters, they may show up in other people's e-mail as blank spaces or oddball characters.

How to fix it: The problems are caused by Word's use of so-called smart quotes, which from some points of view aren't so smart. They're not plain-text characters, and so other e-mail readers may interpret them oddly, particularly if the e-mail reader uses plain text instead of HTML.

To fix the problem most easily, in Outlook select Tools --> Options --> Mail Format, and from the drop-down box in the Message format area, choose Plain text and click OK. From now on, Outlook won't use smart quotes. However, it also won't use HTML, either, so you won't be able to use fonts, colors and so on.

If you'd prefer to use HTML text for most messages but use plain text only for some, when you create an e-mail message, select Options from the ribbon at the top of Outlook, and click Plain Text. That way, only that message will be created using plain text; all others will still use HTML.

Banish weird characters by using plain text in Outlook e-mails.
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There is a way to use HTML for your messages and turn off smart quotes at the same time. Select Tools --> Options, click the Mail Format tab, and click the Editor Options button. Click Proofing, select AutoCorrect Options, and then click the AutoFormat as You Type tab. Uncheck the boxes next to \"Straight quotes\" with \"smart quotes,\" \"Ordinals (1st) with superscript,\" and \"Hypens with dash.\" Click OK, and keep clicking OK until the dialog boxes go away. You'll be able to compose HTML mail from now on, but without the oddball characters.

Annoyance No. 10

Why won't Outlook work seamlessly with Gmail? Gmail can be used as a POP3 client, just like any other ISP. But users have complained that they can't get Outlook to work properly with Gmail because of the complexity of configuration. Is there any way it can be done more simply?

How to fix it: Yes, it's confusing to configure Outlook to work properly with Gmail. But I'm here to report that it can, in fact, be done -- and to show you how to do it.

First, you'll need to tell Gmail you want to use it as a POP account. In Gmail, click Settings, and then click Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Select \"Enable POP for all mail\" if you want to download all mail to Outlook -- including existing mail -- in your Gmail account. If you only want to download mail that you receive in the future, select \"Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on.\"

Next, select how you want Gmail to handle incoming messages -- whether to keep copies of messages in your inbox after they've been downloaded to Outlook, delete the messages or archive them. After you've done that, click Save Changes.

With that done, you're ready to tell Outlook how to work with Gmail. Here's how to do it:

1. In Outlook, select Tools --> Account Settings and click New.

2. From the screen that appears, select \"Microsoft Exchange, POP3, IMAP, or HTTP\" and click Next.

3. On the screen that appears, type in your name, Gmail e-mail address and your password in the appropriate boxes. Check \"Manually configure server settings or additional server types\" at the bottom of the screen and click Next.

4. From the screen that appears, select Internet E-Mail and click Next.

Setting up a Gmail POP account is time-consuming but not impossible.
Click to view larger image

5. A screen like the one above appears. For Account Type, select POP3. For Incoming mail server, enter pop.gmail.com. For Outgoing mail server (SMTP), enter smtp.gmail.com. In the Logon Information area, enter your username and password. Check the box next to Remember password.

6. Click More Settings and select the Outgoing Server tab. Check the box next to \"My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication.\" Then select \"Use same settings as my incoming mail server.\"

7. Click the Advanced tab. Check the box next to \"This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)\" under Incoming Server (POP3).

In the box next to Outgoing server (SMTP), enter 587. Select TLS from the drop-down menu next to \"Use the following type of encrypted connection:\".

Make sure that 995 is in the box next to Incoming Server (POP3). The screen should look like the one below.

Gmail's advanced server options.
Click to view larger image

8. Click OK. From the screen you're returned to, click Test Account Settings.

You should see a screen like the one below, showing you that you've set it up successfully. Click Close. From the screen that appears, click Finish. You're now ready to use Outlook with Gmail.

Success! You're now ready to use Gmail with Outlook.
Click to view larger image

It's ironic -- or perhaps prophetic -- that we end with Gmail, since surveys indicate that more and more people are switching to Web-based mail.

In the meantime, Microsoft Office continues to dominate in corporate environments, which means workers must find ways to make peace with Outlook. I hope I've managed to set you on the path to Outlook enlightenment.




Outlook: How To UnStick Messages

Outlook: How To UnStick Messages

If you use Windows Mail on Vista, you might find that sometimes messages get stuck in the Outbox and you can't send or delete them. Yet whenever you close the program, you get told that you have unsent messages. What's up with that?...

It's a known problem, but there is an update that should fix it. You can find a link to the update and what to do if that doesn't resolve the problem in the Microsoft KB article 941090:

Outlook: It’s in the Bcc

Sandra Salmon, Kings Grant Homeowners Association writes concerning active-technology.com webpage and articles: “You have some interesting info in there. Glad I read it and saved it in a special reference folder. I'd also like to THANK YOU for not listing everybody's email address when you sent it out. Some folks don't know how to do that and that might be one of your little "hints" in your next Blog, especially in these days when we all get so much "forwarded stuff".

Sandra, thank you for your kind letter and suggestion. We use the Bcc (Blind carbon copy) field on the address line to send the Weekly Blog to all of the folks without listing every email address, and this is how we do it:

Outlook Express: If your Cc., Bcc Field do not show up on your Email Window when you send an Email, bring up Outlook Express and a Blank email message to send, then left click on View at the top. Left Click on All Headers to put a Check Mark on it. Now your Cc. and Bcc Fields will show up on all of your Email Messages.

Outlook: Start you email by clicking “NEW” from the menu bar. Then click the “Options”drop-down menu and select Bcc.

In your email, you can also click “To” and select an address from your Contacts using the Bcc drop-down. Multiple address can be added if you separate them with a comma or semi-colon.

Bcc if perfect for things like newsletters where not listing all of the email addresses provides anonymity.

Not everyone wants their email address broadcast to the world. In addition, it will keep spammers from grabbing lists of names from newsletters for use on future spams.

There is another important benefit of using Bcc. If a newsletter Bcc recipient replies to the email, the only address listed are the ones found in the “To” and “Cc” fields, meaning that the rest of the newsletter recipients won’t be bothered with needless reply email. And that’s a good thing.

However, there is a “dark side” to Bcc, and experience within the office shows that this happens far too often. Example: A person may send a complaint or criticism to another person listing them in the “To” field. In addition, they may also send copies to their boss (or to the entire company) in the Bcc field. As a result, the “To” recipient may be deceived into believing that the email was private when actually it is now public knowledge. Imagine how you would feel if this happened to you! Therefore, it is a matter of personal integrity and business ethics to never misuse the Bcc in this manner.

Outlook: Make Your Attachments Email Friendly

Are you greeted every morning by a notice saying your inbox has exceeded its size limits? Ever heard a chorus of groans on a conference call as you forward a 7 MB presentation? Although today's Laptops, Networks, and PCs can easily handle the files, your e-mail and storage systems may suffer from the strain. Here are some tips and tricks to prune down your Microsoft Office® Word and PowerPoint files, and to share them without overwhelming inboxes...

Keep file size down from the start

  1. Turn off PowerPoint’s fast saves to strip excess data from your presentation files each time you save. Go to Tools, click Options, click the Save tab, and then clear the Allow fast saves check box. Then save your presentation again under a new name.

  2. Cut down on embedded fonts and pictures. Check the font file size first;  some newer ones are huge and embed only the fonts you need. Likewise, don’t copy and paste or drag images from other programs into your presentation. Doing so creates an image linked to an embedded object which can’t be compressed. Instead click Insert then Picture, and then click From File. Or, to shrink such embedded objects: right-click on the image, select Grouping and click Ungroup. Immediately right-click the image again, point to Grouping and then click Regroup.

  3. Keep your PowerPoint images smaller than 1024 by 768 pixels. To compress larger images in PowerPoint 2002 and later, right-click the picture and select Format Picture. Click the Picture tab then Compress, Apply to, then choose either Selected pictures or All pictures in document. Under Change resolution click Web/Screen or Print depending on how your presentation will be used. Finally, under Options select both the Compress pictures and Delete cropped areas of pictures check boxes.

  4. Word files grow with every tracked change, even if you delete material. To reduce file size and see changes clearly, between rounds of revisions click on the Accept Change toolbar button and select Accept all Changes in Document. Then save the document as a new version.

  5. Extra formatting and styles can add to your file size. To avoid unnecessary formatting, use either a reliable template or create documents from a blank Word file. Then create only the styles you need for Headings, Body Text and Bullet points. If you need to work from other files insert text with as little formatting as possible. Additionally, right-click on and delete unwanted styles under Formatting, Styles and Formatting.

Share without maxing out inboxes

  1. When using PowerPoint “Review” feature in PowerPoint 2002 under File, Send To, Mail Recipient (for Review) “review and merge changes often to keep file size down. If you’re the sender, open the presentation and click Yes to merge changes. Apply what you want to retain, then click End Review on the Reviewing toolbar and save the presentation. 
  2. Compress your files to eliminate redundant data. HP personal computers with Windows® XP and Windows Vista® Business have built-in compression abilities. Simply right-click on the file or folder you want to compress, choose Send To from the drop-down menu, then Compressed (zipped) Folder.

  3. End the need for sending large attachments. Link to file or folder stored centrally on your server instead. Find out more about the benefits of HP networked servers.

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a leaner, more streamlined inbox. Your clients and colleagues will appreciate the effort, too.

Outlook: Rant Buddies Cost Company $500K

Outlook: Rant Buddies Value Or Not Back in the day of the written letter, people might have been advised to put certain types of letters in a desk drawer for a few days before mailing it, you know, the emotional ones, the accusatory ones, or anything that might serve to offend or upset the recipient. The thought being, of course, that if you think about what you wrote for a few days, you might decide that discretion really is the better part of valor and that you should throw it in the trash instead of in the mailbox.

Today, many folks use "Rant Buddies." Some recommend that whenever you write one of those types of emails, send it to your "Rant Buddy" instead of the people to whom it was written. The premise is that it's better to vent a rant off of each other than to send it to someone for whom it was really written. They say that this is not only a good way to put a letter into the cyber desk drawer, but it may provide a good laugh between the two of them.

One employee reports, "The last time I sent my 'Rant Buddy' one of my rants, his reply the next day was 'Cool rant dude.' Of course, the rant went no further, but I was still able to get it out of my system by writing the email.

Writing a rant is one thing” and it oftentimes provides some self-satisfaction by simply writing it” but sending it is another".

I see several things wrong with this approach:

1. What a colossal waist of time! Evidently, these two yoyos don't have enough to do! What kind of work ethic do we see here!

2. What ever happened to the "Golden Rule", do unto others as you would have them do to you! Does anyone even know what the "Golden Rule" is anymore?

3. The Freudian Slip: Example, Bob and Fred, two very young former sales reps, were passing the time ripping a difficult customer via private emails to each other. They said some terrible things and used language that would make a prison yard dog blush. Ya that bad!.

Suddenly, Fred noticed their customer's email address on the CC line. Freudianly, they included their customer in every nasty email. Oooops!

The two "Rant Buddies" cost the company a half million a year in business, and their jobs.

4. Murphy's Law: Just because you send an email to someone you presently trust doesn't mean that the email might not surface again at the worst possible time and place. Carpenter's rule “Measure twice Cut once”, Think before your write or hit send!

Outlook: Rules

Outlook: Rules

Wouldn't it be great if we could establish exact rules of behavior for common occurrences in our lives? For example, "Let the cat out every night at 10:00 P.M." or "Feed fish at noon and 6:00 P.M." Unfortunately, we can't program the real world to work that way. Outlook, however, offers us a taste of that carefree organization with its Rules feature.

Would you like to automatically flag messages from your boss for follow-up; redirect messages to a group of committee members; or move messages to a particular folder based on who sent them? Rules allow you to do these things as messages arrive in their mailboxes. A rule is a set of actions, conditions, and exceptions that process and organize messages.

Each rule consists of three elements:

1  One or more conditions that specify the message that the rule is supposed to apply to.

2  One or more actions that specify what should be done with the qualifying messages.

3  One or more exceptions that specify which messages won\'t be affected by the rule.

The following is a list of ways to use Rules as suggested by Outlook\'s help files. When you create Rules, you can specify that Outlook apply them either as messages arrive or when you send a message. You can also have Outlook apply Rules to messages already in your Inbox or other


Examples of rules you can create: 
1  Assign categories to messages based on the contents of the messages. 
2  Set up a notification, such as a message or a sound, when important messages arrive. 
3  Move messages to a particular folder based on who sent them. 
4  Delete messages in a conversation. 
5  Flag messages from a particular person. 
6  Assign categories to your sent messages based on the contents of the messages. 
7  Delay delivery of messages by a specified amount of time.

8 Redirect a message to a person or distribution list.

9 Ask the server to automatically reply to a certain type of message by using a message you’ve created.

10  Start an application.

How to get started

Perhaps the easiest way to create a rule is to use a message as a sort of template. You can then

create a rule based on the properties of that message by doing the following:

1.  Click on a received message in your Inbox (do not open it).

2.  Click the Organize button on the Advanced toolbar.

3.  Select Using Folders.

4.  Verify that the name of the sender\'s address is correct in the Create A Rule To Move Messages        From line.

5.  Choose the folder into which you want to move messages from that recipient.

6.  Click Create.

Create rules using the Rules Wizard

You also may create a rule based on a message by using the Rules Wizard. To access the

Wizard, you may: 
1  Open the message the rule will be based on. 
2  Click the Actions menu and choose Create Rule. 
3  Follow the instructions in the Rules Wizard, checking all boxes next to the parameters

that apply to each question.

Be careful not to choose unnecessary or conflicting parameters, as that will cause the rule to fail.

A message must meet all the criteria you set for it in order for the rule to work.

If you'd like to run the rule on the messages in your Inbox, select the Run This Rule Now On The

Messages Already In check box in the last dialog box of the Rules Wizard.

Double jeopardy: What rules apply first?

If you've created several rules and a particular message meets the criteria for two or more rules,

you may wonder which will be applied first. The answer is, "The one that comes first." But which

is that? To find out, first click on the Tools menu and choose Rules Wizard. You\'ll see a list of all

the rules you've created.

To change the order in which the rules are applied, move them up or down in the list by using the

Move Up and Move Down buttons. Rules that are marked Client Only are applied after all other

rules (no matter where they are in the list) and are only active when Outlook is running. An

example of a Client Only rule is one that plays a particular sound when a message from your

boss arrives.

Rules at your beck and call

From the Rules Wizard, you can also specify whether the rule runs automatically or manually. For

the most part, you'll want to run your rules automatically so you won't even have to think about

them. But the advantage of running rules manually is that you can apply them to messages

already delivered to your Inbox or to another folder.

To run rules manually:

1.  Click the Inbox icon in the folder list or the Outlook bar.

2.  Click the Tools menu and choose Rules Wizard.

3.  Click the Run Now button.

4.  Select each rule you wish to run now by clicking the check box next to it.

5.  Click the Browse button to change the folder you\'re running the rules on.

6.  Check the Include Subfolders box if you want to include folders within your selected folder.

7.  Click the Apply Rules To list, and select All, Unread, or Read to indicate the type of messages on which you want to run the rules.

8.  Click the Run Now button.


No rule is just right: Modifying or deleting rules

It's easy to change an existing rule. Simply access the Rules Wizard from the Tools menu or the

Rules Wizard button on the Advanced toolbar, click on the rule you want to change, and click

Modify. From that point, you can follow the Wizard as you did when you created the rule,

changing any part you wish.

It's equally easy to delete a rule. Simply reopen the Rules Wizard, select the rule you wish to

delete, and click the Delete button.

If you don't want to delete a rule, but you want to turn it off for a while, simply clear the check box

next to the rule in the Rules Wizard dialog box. It will remain inactive until you replace the check


Sharing rules with other Outlook users

It is possible to import or export rules just as you would with Outlook\'s Contacts. This can be

useful when helping a new employee or teaching fellow workers about Outlook\'s features.

When you import rules, they are added to the end of the list of rules in the Rules Wizard, where

you can modify them if necessary. When you export rules, they are saved with an .rwz file

extension. For more information about importing or exporting rules, search Outlook's help files or

visit Microsoft's Web site to find out “How to: Export a set of rules to a file in Outlook 2000 or

How to: Import a set of rules in Outlook 2000  

Should I use POP3 or IMAP For Business Email

just want my company email to work AND I want it to be safe and secure. If given the option, what should I use, POP3 or IMAP

On our system at designhostseo.com, activeblognews.com, and Active Technologies, EVERY e-mail account can use either POP3 or IMAP (check your email provider to see what they use). To us, it is simply two different ways of reading  the mail in your mailbox.

Using POP3, the email is "popped" off of the email server and onto your computer. There's no synchronizing going on. Emails simply move from one place to another. In most POP clients, you can choose to leave a copy of the mail on the server, or to delete it from the server when you download it. POPPING is the best choice if simply want to get online, download your email, and get off line again.

Most companies that use POP3 mail also use an email client like Outlook or Thunderbird to read it. SmartPhones have software that allows you to check your email online and leave it there until your email client downloads it to the desktop.

The downside of POP3 is that once you download your email to your desktop, you cannot view the old emails with any other desktop. So if you are traveling to a customer location, for instance, and they ask you to check to see if you still have the email that they sent you last year, you simply can’t, because it is on the desktop at work.

IMAP is a client email protocol with a sophisticated but easy to use capacity to share, organize, and enable flexible access to multiple users. To an increasing number of organizations IMAP is the next step in email, a viable, cost-effective business email hosting solution.

There are several benefits of an IMAP Email Hosting Account: With this protocol, all your mail stays on the server in multiple folders, some of which you have created and customized. If you want all email related to Bob Jones to be stored in one folder, simply create one on the IMAP Server called Bob Jones.

An IMAP Email Hosting Account enables you to connect to your email from any computer and see all your mail and mail folders. IMAP is a convenient email services solution for busy executives who travel. If you have a dedicated connection to the Internet or you prefer to check your mail from various locations, an IMAP Email Hosting Account is a hassle-free solution.

The main drawback of IMAP is that the emails take up a lot of space on the server. I know folks that keep 1 to 2 gigs of email on their desktop. If those email were on a server, one, it may take come time to actually be able to read new emails, and two, that is a lot of server space. If you have 10 people with 2 gigs of email, that’s 20 gigs. Not good.

All unprotected email servers have vulnerabilities:

Empty  Username - According to RFC 3501, a username must be provided in the IMAP LOGIN command. Not providing a username might indicate an attempt to attack the server. By activating this protection, IPS can detect or prevent IMAP connections with login attempts which do not contain a user.

Empty  Password - According to RFC 3501, a password must be provided in the IMAP LOGIN command. Not providing a password might indicate an attempt to attack the server or enter the IMAP account without permission. In addition, enforcing a non-empty IMAP password policy increases security. By activating this protection, IPS can detect or prevent IMAP connections with login attempts which do not contain a password.

Non-Encrypted Accounts - RFC 3501 defines how to use encrypted TLS sessions for IMAP. By activating this protection, IPS can detect or prevent IMAP connections which are encrypted.

Non Compliant Email- Unexpected characters used in IMAP connections might indicate an attempt to attack the mail server. Such protocol violation is a declaration of a wrong size of IMAP literal arguments, as defined in 3501. By activating this protection, IPS can detect or prevent IMAP connections which cannot be inspected because they violate the IMAP protocol.

Bottom line: Use the email type that best suits your purposes.

Use Email Encryption

User Secure Passwords.

POP and IMAP Comparison Complements of Queen Mary University of London IT Department:




What does it stand for? Post Office Protocol Internet Message Access Protocol
Which protocol would suit me best? If you access mail using only one computer e.g. your office PC or a laptop. If you want to access your mail from multiple computers or locations.
Which mail programs can I use? All mail programs or clients have POP capability Most mail programs have IMAP capability and you will also be able to access your mail via a web page using any web browser.
Some Common Tasks:    

Check for incoming mail

By default, incoming messages are transferred to your local machine when you check your incoming mail. Only new messages are available if you connect to the server using a PC other than your normal one. You are connected to the server only for the transfer of messages.

By default, incoming messages stay on the server when you check your mail - only headers are transferred with full messages only downloaded when selected for reading. All your messages are always available no matter where or how you connect to the server. You remain connected to the server whilst you deal with mail but some clients allow for off-line working.

Read and respond to mail

Reading and responding to messages is done on your local machine.

You can read and respond to messages directly on the server but you can also read and respond to messages on your local machine, after downloading for offline working (depending on client). When you reconnect, your mailboxes are resynchronized to reflect the changes you have made.

Create mailboxes for storing messages

Creating mailboxes can be done only on your local machine.

You can create mailboxes directly on the server. By default, an Inbox is automatically created on the server when you begin using IMAP. The Inbox functions as the master mailbox (or folder) as well as the mailbox for incoming messages. All other mailboxes, including a trash box, need to be created within the Inbox.

Move messages in and out of mailboxes

You can move messages in and out of mailboxes only on your local machine.

You can move messages in and out of mailboxes on the server and on your local machine.

Transfer messages from local machine to server and vice versa

You cannot transfer any messages from your local machine to the server. Messages are automatically transferred from the server to your local machine when you check your incoming mail.

You can transfer individual messages from mailboxes on your local machine into mailboxes on the server and vice versa.

Delete selected messages on the server

When using some clients (e.g. Eudora), if you specified to leave messages on the server, you can delete individual messages left there.

You can delete individual messages and groups of messages directly on the server as well as on your local machine.


Ten Emails You Should NEVER Send

Here's a scenario most of us are familiar with, whether first-hand or as a witness to a colleague's faux pas:

an email with a crude joke or a funny picture that crosses into the personal-email realm is sent to a cluster of friendly internal contacts and accidentally included on the recipients' list is the company CEO. Embarrassing for the sender? Yes. Grounds for dismissal? Unlikely.

What can prove far more detrimental to your career, however, is the way you compose your everyday emails. We often treat email communication in the same casual manner as we do informal telephone conversations, and it's all too easy to forget that there's a flawless digital record of what's been communicated.

Unlike verbal conversations, emails can be forwarded to the wrong people. Likewise, if a message is written in a hurry, it can end up sloppy or leave itself open to misinterpretation and, as a result, it can have nasty repercussions. It's always better to think before you send.

Convenient email enabled devices such as HP iPAQ handhelds and notebooks also allow you to send emails from anywhere these days too, but it's important to train yourself to send in “work mode”. Next time you reach for your iPAQ, remember that you're representing yourself and your company, no matter where you are. 

10 email mistakes that could cost your job:

  1. Emails sent after happy hour
    Company happy hour after work?  It's probably best to save the iPAQ responses for the next day and not to respond to emails from home after a night out. 
  2. Sarcasm and dry humor
    Email is not a good medium to convey the intricacies of sarcasm, and often it can be taken out of context – with disastrous repercussions.
  3. Private matters
    Always better to separate business and pleasure – and using company resources for personal matters is generally a bad idea.
  4. Professional criticisms
    If it's a small thing, say it over the phone; otherwise it looks too official and can cause unnecessary worry. If it's really bad, discuss it in person.
  5. Personal remarks and gossip
    It's very easy to treat email like water cooler conversation, but these emails can have a tendency to get ‘Forwarded'.
  6. Angry responses
    It's easy to fire off an angry response without thinking, but not always easy to retract it. Best to put a delay on your email if possible, or wait a day before you respond if you're really that upset.
  7. Bad language
    Most people just don't do it, but for the few who do, it's a terrible idea; swearing has no place in work emails.
  8. Company or industry secrets
    This one may well get you sued as well as sacked.  Most companies have a confidentiality agreement you sign at the beginning of your employment that would be violated in this case.
  9. Racist/sexist language
    It's best to avoid this in your everyday speech, as well as your work emails.  Like the above, most people sign a zero-tolerance agreement which would be violated and such violations are grounds for termination.
  10. Sloppy writing
    Even if it's sent from your iPAQ while you're at the beach, remember that your image is on the line.

Last but not least, if you work in government or other offices of interest to the general public, be extra cautious. Very abundant in the news are email leaks that get government and other official people in serious trouble.

Using Microsoft Outlook 2000 for Contact Management

White Paper


·     The Microsoft® Outlook™ 2000 messaging and collaboration client combines leading support for Internet standards-based messaging systems, including Exchange Server, with integrated calendar, contact, and task management features.

·     The integration of this information provides users with a very powerful contact management solution. Users can send e-mail or letters to their contacts. They can manage specific contact task lists. They can associate appointments in their calendar with their contacts. They can journal contact interactions. The contact can view a history of all activities in which they are associated. With one click from an associated item, like a task for a contact, the contact themselves can be opened.

·     This paper gives an introduction to Microsoft Outlook contact management capabilities. It demonstrates the powerful tools that Outlook provides to organize large contact lists. This paper illustrates how contacts can be customized to fit specific user needs. In addition, it shows how workgroups can share contact information.

·     People who are interested in using Microsoft Outlook as a contact manager or as an e-mail client should read this paper. Both seasoned Outlook users and users who have never used Outlook will find the information in this white paper useful because it combines on overview of basic functions as well as tips and tricks for the advanced user.

About This Document

This white paper is organized in five sections:

·         Contact Basics. The first chapter introduces Outlook contacts and demonstrates how users can quickly build their own contact database. It describes specific contact fields in detail. The first chapter presents the new Outlook 2000 personal distribution lists and explains how Outlook contact folders serve as address books for e-mail.

·         Interacting with Contacts. The second chapter shows how Outlook can be the place where all interactions with contacts are initiated and documented. Outlook users can send e-mail to their contacts and much more. They can create contact specific task lists, link documents to contacts and view all past interactions with a contact in an easy table format.

·         Organizing Contacts. The third chapter gives valuable tips on how to find contacts quickly and how to organize large contact databases. This chapter also presents time management tips. It explains when it is better to use folders rather than Outlook messaging and collaboration client powerful views to group contacts.

·         Customizing Fields & Forms. The fourth chapter presents how contacts can be customized to suit individual user needs. An insurance salesman will store slightly different contact data than a consultant or a lawyer. To provide the best contact management solution for them, Outlook can be easily adapted to fit a users exact needs.

·         Sharing Contacts. The fifth chapter describes how users can share contact information in workgroups with or without Microsoft Exchange. It gives a clear example of how an Exchange public folder workgroup space can be setup to collaborate with a set of contacts. It explains how to share journal entries with the history of contact interactions, manage open tasks with work items and make e-mail messages send and received by those contacts accessible to a team.

Contact Basics

·     Outlook contact folders allow users to store contact information with which they interact in their lives-professional contacts like customers and vendors as well as friends, classmates and family members.

·     This chapter explains how users can build a contact database. It shows how existing contact information can be imported in Outlook and how contacts can be created within Outlook. This chapter then moves on to explain specific contact fields. It introduces new personal distribution lists for Outlook and shows how Outlook contact folders are used as address books for sending e-mail.

·     Outlook offers two ways to look at contacts:

·         Contact folders. Contact folders can be displayed in the main window on Outlook. They can be shown in views as address cards‑as shown below‑or in list form.

·         Contact item windows. Contact item windows display one contact at a time. They allow comfortable entry of contact data and use tabs to structure information that a contact item can hold.


Building a Contact Database

Importing existing Contacts

Many users already have existing contact information on their personal computers. Outlook offers an easy way to import those contacts. Outlook provides an import/export wizard that can be started through the “FilesèImport and Export...” menu.

Supported Formats

Outlook imports from a variety of current contact managers such as Act, Ecco, Lotus Organizer, Sidekick and Schedule+. It also allows import of contact information from databases like Access and Foxpro and a variety of other file formats.

Mapping Fields

Outlook supports the mapping of import source fields to Outlook contact fields. Drag fields from the list box on the left and drop them on the Outlook contact fields on the right list box to match them upon import.

Creating Contacts in Outlook

Outlook provides multiple ways to create contacts‑from entering a contact with a lot of information to quickly capturing an e-mail address or phone number.


New Contact

A new contact can be created through the contact’s “Actions” menus or the “New” toolbar button on the standard Outlook toolbar. This is the best option for a user who wants to enter detailed contact information from a business card, letterhead or paper address book.


New Contact from the Same Company‑

This can be created using the contact’s “Actions” menu. The company name, business address and business phone numbers of the active contact are copied from the existing contact to the new one. This option can shorten the time needed to enter a contact if one from the same company already exists.


Views “New Row”

Outlook table views show a blank row at the top that allows direct entry of contact information. This is a good way to quickly enter a contact name and phone number.

Forwarded Contacts and vCards

Contacts or vCards that have been forwarded as attachments of an e-mail message can be dragged from the message and dropped into contact folders. vCards present contact information as electronic business cards on an open Internet standard. This is the fastest way to enter a contact. A customer or friend can send his own contact information this way and colleagues can forward contact information from their own databases.

Create from Exchange Server Global Address Book Entries

Exchange e-mail users can add global address book entries by pressing the new add to “Personal Address Book” button. All fields will be copied in a new Outlook contact. This is a convenient way for a user to import selected colleagues information into a contact folder‑for synchronization to a hand held device or for offline access.

Address book entries for a contact can be opened using the standard Microsoft Exchange address book. Users can also double-click or use the context menu on any recipient name in an e-mail message or a task/meeting request as shown in the following picture.

Create from E-mail

E-mail can be created by simply right-clicking on any name in the from/to/cc/bcc fields. This is a very fast way to enter the name of a person from whom the user received e-mail in the contact folder.


Auto Merge Contact Information

·    If a user maintains a large number of contacts it is possible that contacts are accidentally entered twice. If business partners send an electronic business card with their e-mail messages the danger of duplicates is even higher because it easy to drag the same business card in a contact folder twice. Therefore, Outlook 2000 checks every time a user adds a new contact for existing duplicates.


·     If a duplicate is detected, Outlook offers two options:


·         Add the new contact as a duplicate‑after all, a user might actually deal with two contacts that have the same name.

·         Update the existing contact with all the fields that have a different value in the new contact file. This intelligent merge preserves existing field values and only updates new information. A user receives a new electronic business card (vCard) from John Doe. They can drag it on their contact folder, it already exists, the dialog is activated and they choose to update. John Doe’s new fax number will be added to his existing contact, but the notes that user made about John’s hobbies will not be touched.

·     Users can also choose to open the existing contact to verify its information.

Contact Fields

The contact item window presents a row of tabs on the top that structure the fields that allow users to capture contact information.


General Tab

Company and Job Title

The company name and job title for the contact can be entered in these fields. Use the full-name dialog box to enter fields manually.


File As

The File As field displays a contact name in different combinations of last name, first name and company. Scott Cooper working for Exploration Air can be filed as “Scott Cooper,” “Cooper, Scott,” “Exploration Air,” “Cooper, Scott (Exploration Air)” or “Exploration Air (Scott Cooper).” You can also type in your own key, for example,. “Doctor.”


File As is very useful as a sort by field. Contacts from the same company can be shown together if they are filed as “Company (Name).” Contacts representing companies might not have a first, middle or last name. Just the company field will be filled in, so sorting the contact list by the last name would produce a list with all companies first‑their full name is blank‑and all contacts with a name. Sorting by File As solves this problem.

Address fields

Outlook offers three address fields: Business, Home and Other. One of these addresses can be selected as the default address‑this address is used when a letter is created for the contact.


The address can be entered in one multi-line text field and is automatically parsed.

E-mail address and Web Pages

Outlook allows users to specify three e-mail addresses and one web page for each contact.


Phone Numbers

Outlook provides 19 fields in which to save phone numbers. The buttons next to the phone number field permit the user to select which numbers are displayed.



This field allows contacts to be associated with other contacts‑for example, the contact representing Mr. Cooper is associated with the contact representing his company “Exploration Air.” The contacts in the field can be opened using double-click or through the context menu. The secretary of a contact can be associated in this way as well. If Mr. Cooper is not picking up his phone, it is very easy to navigate to his secretary, see her phone number and give her a call.



The categories field allows organization of contacts in category groups like “Business” or ‘’Friends.” Views in Outlook can then be manipulated to show only contacts that belong to a certain category or to group by categories. Outlook provides a standard set of categories that can be freely changed and extended.



Users can allow assistants access to their contact folder. This permits a user to give an assistant access to her contact folder. The user, however, might not wish to share the contact information of an old college friend or of a relative. With this field, they can mark those contacts as private and they will not be accessible to delegates.


Detail Tab

The detail tab allows additional contact information to be stored.

Department, Office, Profession, Manager, Assistant, Nickname, Spouse

Additional information fields.


Birthday and Anniversary

Setting these fields automatically creates calendar entries with yearly reoccurrence that are excellent reminders.


Net Meeting Directory Server

The directory server stores the NetMeeting settings for with this contact. Microsoft NetMeeting offers a complete Internet and intranet conferencing solution that lets you easily communicate and collaborate with others on your company's intranet or the Internet. Users see and hear meeting participants, look at the same documents and folders or use a whiteboard to create simple illustrations. They can also exchange text, chat, message and share files.


Other Tabs


Shows Outlook items that are associated with this contact‑this tab will be explained in detail under Interacting with Contacts‑Tracking Activities.



Allows the registration of security certificates to send and receive encrypted e-mail from this contact.


All Fields

Shows a tabular listing of all contact fields.

Distribution Lists

Outlook 2000 supports personal distribution lists in contact folders. If a user sends e-mail regularly to the same group of people they can create a distribution list for this group. Future e-mails can then be addressed to the distribution list and will be send to all members. A good example of a personal distribution list is a project team‑since a team member has to send regular updates to their group they can create one distribution list with their team members instead of entering the names every time they send e-mail.


Users can employ the “Actions” menu to send e-mail or meeting requests to distribution lists.


Creation of distribution lists

Distribution lists are created through the contact folder “Actions” menu or the “New” toolbar button.

Adding Members

New distribution list members with existing address book/contact folder entries can be added using “Select Members” dialog.


Contacts that do not exist in any address book can be added using the “Add New” dialog.


Updating Member Addresses

Whenever e-mail is sent to a distribution list, Outlook automatically checks if the e-mail address of a distribution list member in the underlying contact or global address book entry has changed. If so, the new address is used to send mail. Users can visually update the e-mail addresses shown in the distribution list window by pressing the “Update Now” button.

Contact Folders as Address Books

Outlook uses the default contact folder as an e-mail address book. Other contact folders can be used as address books as well. This allows users to organize their contacts in multiple folders. Some users create one contact folder for business contacts and one for private contacts. Others share customer contacts with their teams in a public contact folder. All these contacts can be used to address e-mail. Outlook will try to resolve a name entered in the e-mail address field against contact entries in address books. Users can also select an address using the “Select Names” dialog that can be opened from e-mail messages.

There are two steps involved in activating a contact folder to serve as an e-mail address book.


Setting the Folder Property

Open the “Contact Properties” dialog using “FileèFolderèProperties” for “Folder’” or the contact folders context menu. Select the tab “Outlook Address Book” and check the “Show folder as an e-mail Address Book” check-box.

Adding the Folder to the Address Lists

Open the “Services” dialog using “ToolsèServices”. Adjust the order in which address lists are searched.

Press the “Add” button to show the “Add Address List” dialog and add a contact folder to the address books searched.

Interacting with Contacts

Entering contact information in Outlook contact folders and using contact folders as e-mail address books is only the first step to effective contact management. Outlook contacts serve not only as an address book for e-mail, but can be the place where all contact interactions are initiated. Outlook can be used to schedule appointments with contacts, to automatically dial and document phone calls, to write letters, to initiate NetMeeting conferencing software, to begin mail merge processes and to start many other activities.


Outlook also allows users to view a complete history of their interactions with a contact. For example, e-mails send to or received from a contact, journal entries created to log interactions, or tasks due can be quickly reviewed before another interaction‑like a phone call‑is started.

Creating and Documenting Contact Activities

Contact related actions are activated via the contact’s “Actions” menu. The most important contact actions can also be initiated using a right-click on the contact in the main window of Outlook.

clip_image001[6]All Outlook items that are created from a contact are automatically associated with that particular contact.


New Letter to Contact

The Microsoft Word Letter Wizard is started and initialized with the contact’s mailing address. If the mailing address is also the business address, the contact’s job title and company name are included in the address.

New Message to Contact

A new e-mail message addressed to the contact is created.


New Meeting Request to Contact

A meeting request addressed to the contact is created. A meeting request is send as an e-mail message to the contact. A calendar entry in the user’s calendar is created as well.


New Appointment with Contact

A new appointment is created for the contact. This command does not send an e-mail to the contact and is the preferred way to create appointments that are not scheduled or confirmed by e-mail.


New Task for Contact

A new task item is created for the contact.


New Journal Entry for Contact

A new journal entry is created for the contact. Journal entries allow users to record notes about contact interactions like phone calls or meeting notes. The “Activities” tab on each contact allows them to see a history of all journal entries for the contact. The “Activities” tab is explained in detail in the section “Tracking Activities”.



Links allow users to associate existing items, like tasks or appointments, as well as documents with a contact. Existing outlook items can be selected from dialog‑their “Contacts” field will be set to the selected contact. To associate documents, Outlook offers the user a file-open dialog and creates a journal entry with a shortcut to this file. This is a great way to associate documents like sales proposals or letters with a contact.


Phone Calls

Outlook can automatically dial contact phone numbers if a modem is installed on the user’s computer.

Explore Web page

Will open the contact’s web page.


Flag for Follow Up

Setting a Flag on a contact is an excellent way for users to remind themselves of an action that needs to be taken for this contact. With the Flag users can enter a custom follow-up action or pick from standard text like “Follow up, Call, Send e-mail.” They can also set a reminder that will notify them at a specified time.

Forward/Forward as vCard

Creates a new e-mail with the contact attached in Outlook or vCard format. This allows users to share their contact information with others.

Tracking Activities

The “Contacts” Field on Outlook Items

The “Contacts” field associates any Outlook item with a contact. A user can see a task to call a customer in his task list. One double-click on the contact’s name in the “Contacts” field and the contact is opened with the phone number visible and ready to be dialed. A meeting with a contact has to be rescheduled by telephone. Again, one click on the name opens the contact and presents the phone number.


The “Contacts” field is automatically set to the contact name when an item is created through the contact’s “Actions” menu. A contact name can also be manually entered or selected from a dialog activated by clicking the “Contacts” button.

Showing Activities on the Contact Item Window

On the contact item window Outlook provides the “Activities” tab to show all items related to a contact. Outlook searches defined folders for matching entries in the “Contacts” field and for matching e-mail addresses in mail messages. Users can select different folder groups with the combobox in the upper left corner.

The Views

The views on the “Activities” tab are fully customizable Outlook views. Users can change the displayed fields, sort order, group by settings and other settings‑like gridlines and fonts.


The items displayed in the table can be opened using their right-click menus, double click or acted on with the right click menu.


The Predefined Folder Groups

Outlook ships with six predefined folder groups: “Journal,” “Upcoming Tasks/Appointments,” “Contacts,” Notes,” “E-mail” and “All Items.” The first four folder groups are for searching Outlook default folders. E-mail searches the whole store, since Outlook can not know which folder structure users will employ to archive their e-mail.

Customizing Folder Groups

To customize the searched folder groups the user has to activate the “Contact Properties” dialog of a contact folder through the “FileèFolderèFolder Properties” menu.

Recommended customizations:


·         Searching the full mailbox of a user for e-mail can be time consuming. The search can be sped up if the user defines the exact e-mail folders that should be searched‑like “Inbox, Outbox, Sent Items” in the example.

·         Users can define folder groups in archive folders to be searched. Using archive folders is recommended since it minimizes the size of a mailbox.


Setting the Default Folder Group

·     This tab also allows users to set the default view that will be shown when the activities tab on the contact form is selected.

The Activities tab‑an Evolution from the Outlook Journal

In Microsoft Outlook 97/98 the “Activities” tab was called “Journal”. It only displayed journal entries and it was not possible to see other items like tasks or calendar entries.


The journal can be configured to automatically create a journal entry for e-mail and meetings or task requests received by or sent to a contact. In Outlook 98, this was a good way to see past interactions with a contact. In Outlook 2000, e-mail messages, tasks and appointments can be show directly on the “Activities” tab and it is no longer necessary to create journal entries for them.


Outlook 2000 switches automatic journaling by default. We advise users who employed this feature in Outlook 98 or Outlook 97 to switch automatic journaling as well.


Mail Merge to Contacts

MicrosoftÒ Word has powerful Mail Merge capabilities. Personalized letters can be send to many contacts, labels and envelopes can be printed for mass mailings and even personalized mass e-mails can be sent out from Word. While Word is providing the Mail Merge capabilities, Outlook allows the user to provide the contact information. Users can set a filter in the current view of contacts in an Outlook contact folder‑for example, to show only contacts with the category “Prime Customers.” When they initiate the Mail Merge process through the “ToolsèMail Merge” menu in contact folders, only contacts that match that filter are exported to Word.


This feature requires Microsoft Word 95 or higher.

Selecting Contacts

Starting Mail Merge from Outlook takes advantage of the Outlook powerful view architecture. Users can filter on all fields of a contact‑standard or user-defined.


Contact Fields

By default all contact fields are exported to Microsoft Word for use in the Mail Merge and again, custom fields are fully supported. Users can specify to employ only fields that are displayed in their current view‑which speeds up the export process and creates smaller files.


Contact Data

Outlook exports selected contacts to a temporary file that is automatically cleaned up after use. Users can specify a file name if they want to reuse the exported contacts later or if the creation process of the Mail Merge document stretches over multiple days.


Main Document

Users can also specify to create a new document or to use an existing file.

Merge Options

Outlook supports all Microsoft Word merge types. Users can create form letters, catalog lists, envelopes or labels. The Mail Merge process can create a new document or output to a printer. It can also send faxes or e-mail messages.


Printing Contact Information

Even in the information age it is still important to print data on actual paper for use in a paper organizer or to bring to a meeting. Outlook can print contact information in many ways.


Standard Format

Outlook can print contact information on standard paper sizes supported by a user’s printer, but also on many different custom paper formats like Day-Timer, Day Runner, FiloFax, Franklin Day Planner and Avery.

Single Contact

Users can also print the information of one contact in an Outlook specific format that shows all valuable properties.



Views can be printed exactly as they are defined on screen. Fields visible in the view will be printed.

Organizing Contacts

A user can not work with a contact if they can not find it. This chapter will show how Outlook helps the user to find contacts. It will also illustrate how Outlook allows users to structure a large contact database to fulfill their individual needs.

Finding a Contact


A combobox on the standard Outlook toolbar. Outlook searches contact folders and the Exchange global address book, then opens matching contacts. Since this combobox is visible in all modules, it allows users to find contacts without leaving the module they are currently using.


Find Pane

Activated through “ToolsèFind” or the “Find” toolbar button. Contact’s name, company, address, category fields and optionally the notes field are searched for text entered in the Find Pane edit field.


Type Ahead

Typing in non-editable views will scroll to the entry that matches the sort by field‑In the picture typing “Bell” activated “Bellevue Community College”.


Index Tab in Card Views

Just like a real organizer, Outlook Card View displays letters of the alphabet on the right site‑click the letter to navigate to the first entry starting with the respective letter.


Advanced Find

Activated using the menu “Toolsè Advanced Find” or the folder context menu. Allows for complex searches of one or multiple contact folders.


Look up e-mail recipient

The context menu of e-mail recipients allows the look up of contacts.

Organizing Groups of Contacts


Users can create as many contact folders as they like. It makes sense to clearly separate contacts in contact folders if their group membership will does not change. For example, a good use of contact folders would be to create a folder “Friends and Family” and a folder “Business”. It is very unlikely that a user will start to do business with his mother or will become a close friend with a customer contact. A bad use would be to create a folder “Contacts to call this week”‑the user would end up copying contacts back and forth all the time.



Views allow users to present contacts in one folder in a user defined form. Users can filter out specific contacts, decide which fields are shown, group by certain fields and set other formatting options. Views are the right tool to build contact groups when the group membership is based on frequently changing contact fields. The category of a customer might change from “normal” to “preferred,” a customer might be flagged for a follow up call one week and might be without a flag set the next.

The first big benefit of Views is that they are dynamic. As soon as the field of the contact is set, its group member ship is established. The following View is grouped by Flag Status. If the Flag Status of a contact is set, it will immediately appear in the “Flagged” group. The second big benefit of Views is that a contact can appear in multiple Views at the same time while it can only live in one folder. A user can use a View “Best Customers” to determine who gets the free baseball tickets and a View “Next Actions” to show the customers that are flagged for action. One customer can appear in both Views.


The users can create as many Views as they need and can customize a wide array of parameters. A View with all its settings can be saved under a name.

View Type

Users can create Views of different type‑for contact folders the two important ones are the card view and the table view. The Card View shows a small card for each contact, the Table View shows contacts in a list form.


Activating Views

Users can activate views through the “ViewèCurrent View” fly-out menu or using the organize pane.

Saving Views

Users can save views via the “Define Views” dialog activated by the “ViewsèCurrent ViewèDefine Views” menu.


View Properties

The “ViewèCurrent ViewèCustomize Current View” menu or a right click on the column headers of a table view activate the “View Summary” dialog.

This “View Summary” dialog allows user to set view properties.



Users can freely pick which fields are displayed in any view type. It is possible to display standard Outlook fields as well as user-defined fields.


Group by

Contacts can be displayed in contact groups based on contact fields. Groups can be expanded or collapsed by clicking on their header rows. A view grouped by Flag Status would show all contacts that are flagged for a follow-up action in one group.


Views can by sorted by any field. Clicking on the column header sorts a view by this column.



Very powerful filters can be defined for a view. If a filter is set, the view will only display the contacts that satisfy this filter. For example setting the filter to “Categories = Business” will only show business contacts.


Other Settings

Users can define the font of the view, control whether or not gridlines are shown, or switch on a third pane that displays the note field of contacts.


Automatic formatting

Users can decide to define special formatting rules for the display of individual contacts. For example contacts of the category “VIP” could be displayed in red, bold font.

Customizing Fields & Forms

While Outlook provides many fields for contact information, it is not possible to satisfy every user. Therefore it is easy for users to create their own special fields, add them to views and contact forms.

Adding Fields

It is easy to add fields to contacts in an Outlook contact folder.


Type of field

Users can freely name their fields and choose from a large variety of data type and formatting options.


Add new fields in the following ways:

·         Field Chooser. Users can activate the Field Chooser through the column header’s context menu. The Field Chooser has a “New” button that shows the “New Field” Dialog. Newly created fields can be dragged from the field chooser into the active view. The Field Chooser can also be activated in the Forms Design view of a contact form.

·         View customization. Users can activate the “Show Fields” dialog of the “View summary” dialog.

Customizing Forms

Outlook allows full customization of contact forms, including customization of the first tab. Users can simply add additional fields to be displayed, but can also use the full power of the Visual Basic Script programming language to create complex custom forms. This section will give a quick overview. More detailed information can be found in the Forms Design Help file.


Step 1: Entering Design Mode

Enter design mode from any form in a contact folder using “ToolsèFormsèDesign This Form.”


Step 2: Making changes

Design the form by moving, removing and adding fields and pages in the form. All fields in the form and all fields added from the Field Chooser retain their built-in properties and functions.

Step 3: Publishing the form

·     Publish the form to the contact folder using the “ToolsèFormsèPublish Form” command.


Step 4: Creating a new contact with the custom form

·         Make the new form the default form. On the “General” tab of the “Contacts Properties” dialog, the new form can be set as the default form for this folder. All commands that create a contact like the “Actions” menu or the new toolbar will now use this form to create new items.

·         Use “Actions” menu. If the form was published in the contact folder a “New Form Name” command will be appended to the “Actions” menu for each custom form in this folder.

·     Note: Outlook saves a form design with each contact. That means that the form design of existing contacts is not changed when a new form becomes the default form for a contact folder.

·     This design is very powerful because it allows multiple form designs to coexist in one contact folder. However, this means that the forms of existing contacts do not automatically change when the folder’s default form is modified. A Component Object Model (COM) add-in that allows users to switch the forms of existing contacts will be available for download on the Outlook 2000 web site at http://www.microsoft.com/.

Sharing Contacts

Sending Contact Information by E-mail

·     Outlook makes it very easy to forward contact information through e-mail. Users can attach any number of Outlook contacts to an e-mail message using the “InsertèItem” dialog. They can also directly forward a contact as a vCard or as an Outlook contact through a contact’s “Actions” menu.


·     NetFolders‑an add-on component introduced in Outlook 98‑allow users to easily share information over e-mail without an Exchange Server. To share a folder, the user chooses Share from the File menu. Subsequent changes to the folder are then broadcast to users via e-mail. The e-mail does not appear in users’ inboxes, but is instead used by Outlook to update the folder on each user’s computer. With NetFolders, users can share information with anyone to whom they send e-mail.

·     NetFolders give smaller organizations without Exchange Server or users that are travelling with laptops an easy way to share contact folders.

Exchange Server

Contact Centric Collaboration around Public Folders

·     In many cases more than one person is working with a set of contacts‑like a team composed of sales people, marketing and technical staff and support personal. To provide the best service for the customers, the activities of this group have to be coordinated. Everybody has to know what meetings took place, what e-mail messages have been exchanged and which tasks still have to be completed.

·     In Microsoft Exchange, users can create public folders to share this kind of data in workgroups. Outlook 2000 supports contact activity tracking in public folders. Journal entries, tasks and e-mail items can be stored in a public folder and viewed from the Activities tab of a public contact. The following example explains how to set up a contact centric workgroup collaboration space.

Administrator/work group manager set up:

·         Create Public Folders. Create a contact folder in the public folder space. Create a journal, task and e-mail folder as subfolders to this contact folder.

·         User Permissions. For each of the folders give access permission to team through the “Permissions” tab of the folder properties.

·         Define Folder Groups for Activities Tab of Contacts in the Contact folder. Select the work group contact folder, open its properties dialog and activate the “Activities” tab.

·         Customize the Activities View. Create a contact in the public contact folder, go to the “Activities” tab. The “Show:” combobox now contains the two folder groups that were defined. Customize the view to show the columns and view settings that all users in the group should see by right-clicking on the column headers or using the “View” menu.

· Notify users of the new folder. Send a shortcut of the contact folder to the users who will work with this contact folder using “FileèFolderèSend Link to Folder”.

·         Notify users of the new folder. Send a shortcut of the contact folder to the users who will work with this contact folder using “FileèFolderèSend Link to Folder”.

Work Group member set up

·         Adding the contact folder to favorites. Because the public folder favorite group has a “per user” setting, each user has to individually add the contact folder with its subfolders to their own favorite group. This is easily done by opening the folder and using the “FileèFolderè Add to Public Folder Favorites” command.

·         Registering the contact folder as an address book. If the user wants to implement the contacts in the public contact folder as an e-mail address book they have to configure the contact folder on the “Folder Properties” dialog. This registration also enables the QuickFind toolbar to search this contact folder.

Working with the contacts in the folder

·         Creating new associated items. All the “Actions” menu commands create items that will be saved in the user’s default folder. Therefore, new items should not be saved with the “Save” or “Save and Close” commands, rather with the “FileèMove to Folder” command.

· Viewing Shared Activities. The “Activities” tab will now show the items that are stored in the folder groups that the administrator defined.


Sharing E-mail

It is a very common need to share incoming and outgoing e-mail from contacts within a workgroup. Exchange allows user to address e-mail directly to a public folder.


Add to Address book

Users add the folder to their address book through the “Folder Properties” dialog “Administration” tab. That allows them to address the folder in e-mail just like they would a regular contact


Forward or Blind Carbon Copy

Users can now forward incoming e-mail to that folder. They can enter the folder address in the “BCC:” field of outgoing e-mail to make copies of the e-mail available to their group members. “BCC” stands for “Blind Carbon Copy”‑the customer who receives the e-mail is not able to see that it was copied to a work group folder.

Synchronizing Contact Information with Hand Held PC’s

Microsoft Outlook 97 and Outlook 98 can exchange information such as e-mail, schedules and contacts with a variety of handheld computing and communication devices, such as WindowsÔ CE Handheld PC computers, the Rex card from Franklin Publishing, the PalmPilot from Palm Computing, and certain cellular phones.


What to do when you can't send email with Outlook 2010

What’s that? You say you can’t send email with Outlook 2010? Well, don’t panic. There’s an excellent chance we can figure out what’s going on right here. There are a few possible causes for this problem, and because they occur in different situations we can figure out which one you are experiencing and get it fixed.

Let’s start with some questions that will enable us to narrow down the problem. They are:


  • You can’t send or receive email at all?
  • You are setting up a new account and can receive but can’t sent email?
  • You can receive messages but you can’t send email even though it used to work?
  • You can receive messages anywhere but can’t send email in certain locations?

You Can’t Send Or Receive Email At All

In my experience, the most common reason people can’t send email or receive it at all with Outlook 2010 is that they don’t have an email account configured. Outlook can work with all sorts of email accounts, but doesn’t come with any accounts pre-installed. To see if your copy is configured to work with one or more email accounts, try this:


can't send email

No accounts are configured here.

  1. Start Outlook 2010 if it isn’t already running.
  2. Click the File tab on the ribbon. This takes you to the Outlook 2010 Backstage area.
  3. In the menu running down the left side of the window, click Info if it is not already selected. This displays the Account Information page.
  4. Click the Account Settings button. This opens a menu. Click Account Settings in that menu to open the Account Settings dialog box.
  5. Click the E-mail tab if it is not already selected. This opens a page that displays the email accounts your copy of Outlook 2010 is configured to work with.

If your page looks like this, then the reason you can’t send email is that Outlook is not configured with an email account. You either need to talk to the people at your employer who are responsible for email, or go to THIS PAGE to find out about setting up a web-based email account you can use with Outlook 2010.

If an account does show up in this dialog box, then you need to confirm that it is set up correctly. To do that, you can visit my Outlook 2010 Webmail page and see if I have posted instructions for your type of account. If so, try working through them and confirm that your connection is configured properly.

If I haven’t posted instructions for your type of account, and you set up the account yourself, then you will need to work your way through the instructions you used once again and be sure that everything is set up per those instructions.

You Are Setting Up A New Account And Can Receive But Can’t Send Email

If you are setting up an account and it receives messages fine but you can’t send email, there are a few possibilities. I suggest you visit this New Account Can’t Send Email page.

You Can Receive But You Can’t Send Email Even Though It Used To Work

As Internet Service Providers, cable companies, and email services have become more security conscious, lots of people have seen this kind of problem. Visit this Can’t Send Email Anymore page for help.

You Can Receive Messages Anywhere But Can’t Send Email In Certain Locations

You Are An Email Addict If....

'What would be most harmful to your health: no food; no water; or no e-mail? All over the world, people are beginning to wonder why all roads now lead to our inboxes...

In less than 20 years e-mail and its off-shoot, instant messaging (IM), have monopolized business communication. Who picks up the phone anymore, or crosses the room to talk with a co-worker (!?!), unless the building is on fire?

Born in 1990, e-mail undoubtedly offers great advantages. Our inboxes record our important conversations, requests and replies. And it is a cheap, quick and convenient way to connect your business or stay in touch with far-flung friends and family.

Mail in moderation
But our growing over reliance on e-mail is leading may people to believe they have an unhealthy dependence. Check these symptoms to see if you could be an e-mail addict:

  • You find it hard to focus on a task for longer than 15 minutes without checking your inbox.
  • You get nervous if you can’t access your e-mail for a few hours.
  • You feel lonely if you receive no new mail after your lunch break.
  • You scan your inbox first thing in the morning and before going to sleep each night.

From the White House to your house
If you now consider yourself an “emailaholic”, you share powerful company. President Obama has recently revealed he is addicted to his handheld e-mail device. From the Oval Office to your office and in thousands between, people are beginning to admit they waste too much time in their inbox.

Why is this bad?
Being obsessed with e-mail actually reduces your productivity if you spend more time waiting for messages than finishing important jobs. Equally, it’s unhealthy if you find yourself getting up in the night to find a WiFi spot, or in your free time it stops you from relaxing with friends and family.

Facing your addiction
Here are four tips on how to tackle your addiction.

  1. Set a virtual curfew: Outside work hours you need to reduce the impact of e-mail on yourself and loved ones. You need downtime and they want to enjoy your company without inbox incursions. If you have to, give yourself one hour when you come home from work to check and then turn-off and chill-out. Try not to get online as soon as you wake up and before sleeping. Even consider having one e-mail-free day per week.
  2. Talk more, type less: Too often we type mails that raise more questions than they answer. You can actually save yourself time at work by making a quick call to colleagues to avoid unclear e-mail trails.
  3. Write and post a letter:  Once your fingers remember how to handle a pen again you might even enjoy this. Receiving a hand-written letter is special. Share that with a friend or a client and remember there’s more to life than the online.
  4. Go cold turkey: Take a holiday without your laptop. Don’t look at your accounts. Not once! You’ll be surprised, the world can keep going without you.

Avoid the inbox trap
It might be small, but your inbox can easily become a big time-waster. To lift your productivity and enjoyment away from work try to spend more time thinking outside your inbox.