Showing posts with label outlook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outlook. Show all posts

June 25, 2016

Microsoft Outlook: 5 Common Errors and How To Fix Them

             5 Common Outlook Errors and How to Fix Them

Email is one of, if not still the most important communications tools for individuals and businesses today in the 21st century. Whenever it stops working, people start to get nervous. While there are many things that a user can do to mess up their email, many of these problems can be resolved with a restart of the software or the computer. 

However when the old standby of restarting doesn’t work, it is time to start looking into the issue a bit more deeply. Here are some of the most common errors and how to fix them found in Outlook 2007 and 2010:

1. Error message that reads: “Cannot open your default e-mail folders. The information store could not be opened.”
This issue can be fixed by first locating Outlook.exe that can be found here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14. Next, right click Outlook.exe and then click on Properties. On the Compatibility tab, clear the check box that reads ‘Run this program in compatibility mode’. Then click Ok and restart Outlook.

2. Error message that reads: “Your Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable.”
This error is a bit trickier to resolve only because there can be many different causes. No data connection – test your SMTP connection using telnet. If you are unsure how to do this, Microsoft has published a handy-dandy guide on their TechNet site that walks you through this process:

A. Office Outlook files are locked – there are times when .ost and .pst files are accidentally, or purposefully, set to read only. Check the permissions of these two files by navigating to: C:Users<username>AppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook for .pst files and C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice12 for .ost files. Make sure that neither is set to read only.

B. Third party applications are interfering with Outlook – many programs, including anti-malware solutions, can interfere with Outlook connecting to the Exchange Server. To check to see if this is the cause, start Outlook in safe mode. Outlook files are corrupted – this can happen after an upgrade is applied to Outlook. If any of the .dat files listed below are present they should be deleted or renamed.
  • Extend.dat – C:Documents and Settings<username>Local SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook
  • Frmcache.dat – C:Documents and Settings<username>Application DataMicrosoftForms
  • Views.dat – C:Documents and Settings<username>Application DataMicrosoftOutlook
  • Outcmd.dat – C:Documents and Settings<username>Application DataMicrosoftOutlook
All the files, with the exception of Outcmd.dat will be re-created. The Outcmd.dat file saves customized toolbar settings so if it is removed these settings will have to be re-applied.

3. Office Outlook will not open personal folders or personal folders do not show up in Outlook.
Personal folders are often the main cause of many problems related to Outlook. Microsoft has published the Inbox Repair tool, Scanpst.exe, that can be used to scan .pst and .ost files for errors in the file structure. If this is not intact, it will reset the file structure and rebuild the headers. This tool will only work on the files that reside on your computer’s hard drive, not the files on the Microsoft Exchange Server. This will also help to resolve the error message: “Cannot open your default e-mail folder.

4. Error messages that read either: “The action cannot be completed. The connection to the Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable. Your network adapter does not have a default gateway” or “Your Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable”.

This error occurs when Outlook is unsure of the default gateway address. The former is the error message that shows when the Outlook profile is configured automatically and the latter appears when the profile is manually configured. Both have the same fix.
  • To repair this you will need to edit the registry so clicking on Start and then Run is necessary.
  • Then, enter regedit in the Open box and click OK. Next, navigate to the registry key:
  • On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  • Type DefConnectOpts, and then press ENTER.
  • Now, right-click DefConnectOpts, and then click Modify.
  • In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
5. None of the authentication methods supported by this client are supported by your server.
This happens to people when they use their computer in multiple locations. For example, a laptop is taken home and connected to the home network or perhaps a computer is taken on the road. Basically, it comes from authentication rules for the SMTP server. When this error occurs go to the Account Settings tab and click on Change then More Settings. Now select the Outgoing Server tab. The option that reads: “My outgoing server requires authentication” and the one that reads: “Log on to incoming mail server before sending mail” should both be looked at. If there is a check in the option box remove it.

April 4, 2016

Outlook Premium: Pricing, Details, and Features Released (Unofficial At The Moment)

Microsoft’s additional features in Outlook will be priced at $3.99 per month, according to an updated page on Microsoft’s website, uncovered today. 
Earlier this year, news leaked of a new, paid version of Microsoft’s email service, called “Outlook Premium,” which would allow users to set up custom domain accounts to serve as more professional email addresses (rather than, or However, while Microsoft confirmed the pilot program at the time, it didn’t offer further details on launch, pricing, or full feature set.
According to Outlook Premium’s landing page, users who choose to sign up for Outlook Premium will get five personalized email addresses, an ad-free inbox, and more, for $3.99 per month. However, the site notes that the entire first year will be free, with the subscription only kicking in afterward.
There is still no formal launch date for the service, which as of today requires that interested users request an invite to try out Outlook Premium, as opposed to being able to immediately sign up from the website. That link is here:
While Microsoft has not yet made a formal announcement about its plans with Outlook Premium, it did earlier confirm that the program was considered an “experiment” in the pilot phases. The company said then it was not “an existing offering.”
What’s also interesting about Outlook Premium is that it will, to some extent, compete with Microsoft’s “Ad-Free Outlook,” priced at $19.95 per year – a bit less than Outlook Premium. Of course Premium offers more features. (See below screenshot taken today, 4/4/2016).
According to a FAQ linked to from Outlook Premium’s website, Microsoft has partnered with domain provider GoDaddy to help Premium customers acquire the domain they want to use with their personalized email address. This domain will also be free for the first year, but then customers will need to renew the name every year with GoDaddy or another provider, if they choose to later transfer it.
After signing up thousands of users as a Microsoft MVP, this process is dead simple, especially with Outlook 2016/365. During sign-up, Outlook Premium walks users through an interface where they can check for available domain names, and it will propose others. After completing this registration process, customers can then set their new personalized email as the default and choose which email they want to send from when composing a new message. Users are also able to share calendars, contacts and documents with the other people who have emails on the same domain.
In addition, Microsoft says that Outlook Premium will work with those customers who bought Office 365 Home with a personalized email address. By adding on the Premium service, users can invite up to four other individuals to create personalized emails on this account.
The amazing and Microsoft's innovation shines brightly, because this means that Premium works as both a standalone product and an add-on to Office 365 Home. This also means that Premium could work for both businesses and families who either want or need multiple email addresses that can be managed from the Premium Domain Dashboard.

February 25, 2016

Microsoft Outlook: Converting an Offline File (.ost) to a Personal File (.pst)

Oftentimes, Microsoft Outlook users who are leaving their current employer want to take their mail, calendar, or contacts with them and do one of two things - delete the Microsoft Exchange account from their profile without realizing the Contacts are stored in the Exchange account or they take the OST file with them, not realizing it can only be opened using the account that created it.
If your company uses a group policy that blocks PST creation, your choices are limited to exporting calendar and contacts to CSV (or Excel, if you have Excel at home). If you don't have many calendar or contacts, you can forward them to a personal address. If using Outlook 2007 or 2010, you can send your entire calendar as an iCal.
Important Note: Check company policies before taking home the contents of your mailbox.

Restore Exchange Account

If you deleted the Exchange account, you may be able to recover the account if your operating system supports system restore and you only recently deleted the account. If too much time has passed you are less likely to have a restore point available.
  1. Open the system restore application. In Vista it is at Start Menu, Programs, Accessories, System Tools.
    Or enter %systemroot%\system32\rstrui.exe in Start search field or Start menu, Run.
  2. Pick a date just before the profile was deleted.
When Windows restarts the account will be back and you can move or export the contents of the OST to a PST. Then either delete the account or run restore again to return to the point made before the restore.

Method 1: Archive

You can use Archive to move or copy many items to a PST - this method is best when you want to move almost everything in your mailbox. Note that you cannot archive Contacts. Set the AutoArchive default in Tools, Options, Other, AutoArchive and apply it to all folders. Then go to File, Archive and run it.
AutoArchiving uses the last modified date so you'll need to use a low number when archiving recent items. If you use Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 you can force AutoArchive to use the Received Date. See  Microsoft Outlook's Autoarchive feature information here:
If you use this method and also need the Contacts, you'll need to move them to the new data file.

Method 2: Export to a PST

Although Export is not usually recommended, when converting an OST to a PST, Export is generally a quick and easy way to move all content from the OST to a PST or ven just the calendar and contacts. If your company blocks the creation of PST files, export to CSV or Excel format.

Method 3: Move the items to a new PST

Create a new PST in your profile and drag the folders you want to take with you to the PST. This method will preserve custom views and forms published to folder.
Dragging default folders, such as Inbox, Calendar, and Contacts, brings up a message that you can't move default folders. The contents will be copied instead, with the folder named Inbox (1), Calendar (1), etc.

Method 4: Forward by E-mail

If you don't have too many items you want to keep, you can email them to your personal email address. Select the item(s), right click and choose Forward. If you have many, you could drag them to a folder in My Documents, then zip the folder and email the zip file.
Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 users can email the entire calendar as a single iCal, provided they use Outlook 2007 or another calendaring application that supports multi-event icals at home. Older versions of Outlook do not support multi-event icals.

Microsoft Outlook: The Difference Between .OST and .PST files

Microsoft Outlook: The Difference Between 
.OST and .PST files (Office 2010)

About Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)

There are two types of Outlook Data Files used by Outlook. An Outlook Data File (.pst) is used for most accounts. If you are using a Microsoft Exchange account, your items are usually delivered to and saved on the mail server. To allow you to work with your messages even when you can’t connect to the mail server, a second type of data file that is named an offline Outlook Data File (.ost) is kept on your computer.

The primary differences between the two types of Outlook data files are as follows:

1, Outlook Data Files (.pst) are used for POP3, IMAP, and web-based mail accounts. When you want to create archives or back up your Outlook folders and items on your computer, such as Exchange accounts, you must create and use additional .pst files.

2. Outlook Data Files (.ost) are used when you have an Exchange account and want to work offline or use or use the default Cached Exchange Mode. This type of data file is also used for accounts that you set up with the Outlook Connector for (formerly Hotmail). Outlook Data Files (.ost) are always copies of items that are saved on a mail server and don’t have to be backed up like Outlook Data Files (.pst)

Outlook Data File (.pst files)

A Personal Folders file (.pst) is an Outlook data file that stores your messages and other items on your computer. This is the most common file in which information in Outlook is saved by home users or in small organizations. Home users usually use an Internet service provider (ISP) to connect to the Internet. The ISP also provides one or more email accounts. The most common types of accounts are referred to by their Internet protocol names — POP3 and IMAP. Another type of account is an HTTP or web-based account that works similar to IMAP email accounts. All three account types use a .pst file.

Your items can also be moved or archived to an Outlook Data File (.pst). Because a .pst file is kept on your computer, it is not subject to mailbox size limits on the mail server. By moving items to a .pst file on your computer, you can free up storage space in the mailbox on your mail server. Outlook can be configured to deliver new items to a .pst file, but if you do this, it has several disadvantages. This includes being unable to work with your items when you are using Microsoft Outlook Web Access with the Exchange Server email account or when you are working on another computer.

WARNING: Do not access an Outlook Data File (.pst) from a network share or another computer, mainly because it increases the possibility of data loss.

TIP   You should regularly back up your Outlook Data Files (.pst) and save them in a safe place. Your ISP or Microsoft can’t recover your e-mail or other items if the file is lost.

Offline Outlook Data File (.ost files)

Typically, when you use a Microsoft Exchange Server account, your email messages, calendar, and other items are delivered to and saved on the server. You can configure Outlook to keep a local copy of your items on your computer in an Outlook data file that is named an offline Outlook Data File (.ost). This allows you to use Cached Exchange Mode or to work offline when a connection to the Exchange computer may not be possible or wanted. 

IMPORTANT: The .ost file is synchronized with the Exchange computer when a connection is available.

Offline folders are replicas of the folders found in your mailbox on the computer that is running Microsoft Exchange. They make it possible to take a folder from a server location, work with the contents of the folder when you are not connected to the network, and then, when you are connected again, update the folder and its corresponding server folder to make the contents of both folders identical. This process is known as synchronizing folders.

You can add, delete, and change the contents of an offline folder exactly as you can for a folder on a server. For example, you can change and move items between folders, send messages that are included in your offline Outbox, and view the contents of your offline public folders. Meanwhile, new messages are kept in your Inbox on the server, and other people might add, delete, and change items in public folders. You’ll not be aware of these changes on the server until you synchronize.

The information that is synchronized includes the following:

Headers: For email items only, a header is a descriptive identifier that provides the sender's name, the subject line of the message, the time when the message was received, and the size of the message.

Full items: A full item includes the header, the body of the message, and any attachments, such as embedded objects or pictures.

When you work offline, folders that are synchronized are determined by Send/Receive groups. By using Send/Receive groups, you can choose which folders are synchronized and kept current so that when a connection to the server is not possible or you choose to work offline, you can continue to work with those items. You can also specify that updates to the Address Book be downloaded during synchronization.
If you use an Exchange Server email account, we recommend that you use Cached Exchange Mode. 

Most of the reasons to work offline are eliminated when you use Cached Exchange Mode. The lack of a network connection is almost transparent to you because you can continue to work with your items whether you are connected to the computer that is running Exchange.

By default, Cached Exchange Mode creates and uses an Offline Folder file (.ost) and then downloads and maintains a synchronized copy of the items in all folders in your mailbox. You work with the information on your computer, and Outlook synchronizes the information with the server. When your connection to the Exchange computer is interrupted, you can continue to work with your data. When a connection is restored, changes are automatically synchronized, and the folders and items on the server and on your computer are identical again.

With Cached Exchange Mode, you do not have to set up Send/Receive groups, choose folders that you want to be available offline, and then keep those folders synchronized.

File locations: You can save, copy, and move a data file (other than the file that is used as your default delivery location) to another location on your computer or to a share on the network. However, you must have folder read/write permissions to open an Outlook Data File (.pst).

Outlook Data Files (.pst)

NOTE   Microsoft Exchange Server accounts save your information on the mail server. To use Cached Exchange Mode or to work offline, copies of your items are saved in an offline Outlook Data File (.ost). See the Outlook Data Files (.ost) section for more information. Also, some organizations allow you to export or archive your items to a .pst file.
The fastest way to open the folder where your Outlook Data File (.pst and .ost) is saved is to do the following:

  1. In Outlook 2010, click the File tab.
  2. Click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings.
  3. On the Data Files tab, click an entry, and then click Open Folder Location.

Outlook Data Files (.pst) created by using Outlook 2010 are saved by default on your computer in the Documents\Outlook Files folder. 

If you are running Windows XP, these files are created in the My Documents\Outlook Files folder.

If you upgraded to Outlook 2010 on a computer that already had data files that were created in earlier versions of Outlook, these files are saved in a different location in a hidden folder:

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     

Windows XP     drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook


Outlook Data Files (.ost)
The .ost file is synchronized with the items on the server that runs Exchange. Because your data remains on the Exchange server, you can re-create this .ost file on your new computer without having to back up the .ost file.

Windows 8 and Windows 10
The good news: In all likelihood, the data files aren't really missing. When Windows 8 or 10 upgrades your computer, it creates a folder called "windows.old" and it contains all of the files used by the previous Windows installation, including your user account files.
To recover your data files (and other personal files) open Windows Explorer and go toC:Windows.old\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook Your old data files should be there, or in the Outlook Files folder in My Documents (the old My Documents!).
Because the folders under the AppData folder are usually marked Hidden, you may need to configure Windows Explorer to display hidden files and folders or remove the read only (and Hidden) flag from the properties of the AppData folder and apply it to all child folders.
To show Hidden files and folders in Windows 8, switch to the View tab in Windows Explorer. The option is on the right.

To remove the Read only and Hidden flag:
  1. Right-click on the folder and choose Properties.
  2. Clear the boxes and click Apply.
  3. Choose Apply changes to folder, subfolders and files then click OK.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista     

Windows XP     
drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook .