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Basic Microsoft Outlook Support Issues

By Author: Mytechsquad
Total Articles: 6

Whether you support only yourself or an enterprise full of users, you'll find Outlook challenging but worth it. Most of the time, it's enough to know where Outlook stores its data. However, as you take advantage of Outlook's various features, you'll run into a few peculiar behaviors.

Work with your .pst file

Outlook stores each user's folders, messages, forms, and files in a special file known as a Personal Folder file. You can save, copy, and even move a Personal Folder (.pst) file, although you shouldn't move it unless you have a specific reason for doing so and know what you're doing. Use Windows Search to find the file quickly using the search string *.pst. Usually, this file is on the local drive. However, if you're on Microsoft Exchange Server, you might not have access to it. In that case, you'll need to talk with your administrator.

Backing up your .pst file occasionally is a good idea. How often depends on you. But if you get a lot of important mail, every day isn't too often. To back up your Personal Folder file and all its subfolders, simply export it, as follows:

Choose Import and Export from the File menu to launch the wizard.
Choose Export To A File from the Choose An Action To Perform list and click Next.
Select Personal Folder File (.pst) from the Create A File Of Type list and click Next.
Choose Personal Folders from the Select The Folder To Export From list.
Check the Include Subfolders option and click Next.
Specify a folder and filename for the backup file.
From Options, specify how to treat duplicate items.
Click Finish.


Back up Outlook's stuff

Outlook's views — Calendar, Contacts, Journal, Tasks, and E-mail — aren't always part of the Personal Folders file. You can backup these components separately, as follows:

Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 from the previous tip.
Choose the Outlook item folder you want to export from the Select The Folder To Export From list and click Next.
By entering or browsing, specify a folder and filename for the backup file.
From Options, specify how to treat duplicate items.
Click Finish.
Repeat as necessary for each Outlook folder.
If you're on a corporate server, do the following:
From the Tools menu, choose Services and then click the Delivery tab.
From Deliver New Mail To The Following Location, choose Remote Mail and identify your Personal Folder file or choose your Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox, if you want to use offline folders.
Click OK.
Exit and restart Outlook.


Export Outlook folders to another format

Although the right code can help Office applications talk to one another, sometimes it's quicker to export data. An automated solution is definitely worth the effort if users must frequently repeat the task. Knowing which format to export to is the real trick. You can export Outlook data to another format as follows:

Choose Import And Export from the File menu.
In the resulting pane, select Export To A File and click Next.
From the Create A File of Type list, choose the appropriate file type and click Next. One of the seven types should be adequate for most purposes.
Choose the folder you want to export from and click Next.
Enter the path and filename for the exported file and click Next. Or click Browse to locate the appropriate folder and then enter just a filename.
Click Finish. In this final window, Outlook may give you the opportunity to map fields. Generally, you won't need to change the wizard's settings unless you have very specific reasons for doing so.


Outlook exports internal field names. You can change these names in the exported file, but you can't change them before the export. You can use an export to learn the internal names if you decide to code the solution later. Knowing those internal field names is essential.

Delete folders

Adding folders is so easy that you might add more folders than you actually need. It's common to create too many and then find you need to cut back a bit. Fortunately, deleting folders is easy:

Right-click the folder you want to delete.
Choose Delete foldername.


That's it! Outlook will move the deleted folder to the Deleted Items folder, as a subfolder. If you want to permanently delete the folder, right-click the deleted folder (in the Deleted Items folder) and choose Delete. When Outlook prompts you to permanently delete the folder, click Yes. Otherwise, the data in that folder is still in the Delete Items folder, consuming resources. In addition, if a folder contains sensitive or confidential data, it's visible to anyone who accesses your computer. If Delete isn't available with a right-click, call your administrator. microsoft support email


More Information
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