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Outlook 2003/2007 Cached Mode
When you configure Outlook 2003/2007 to work with the SPU Exchange Server all of your messages are stored on the server and a local/cached copy is maintained on the personal computer. This cached copy allows you to work with your email messages when you are not connected to a network. Changes that you make while "off-line" are stored locally until the next time you connect to the server and are then synchronized to your server account.

Once configured, the Outlook Exchange connection will deliver and receive email constantly when you are online. If you are living on-campus in student housing, using Outlook 2003/2007 in this manner works quite well. Mail will be saved on the server and cached on your local computer so it is available when the online connection is not present.

There are other ways to keep your email quotas in order on the Tips for Storage, Backup and Disk Space web page.

Outlook Personal/Offline Folders
Microsoft Outlook 2003/2007 features several ways to store your email where it will not affect your storage limit on the email server. One of these features is referred to as Personal or Offline Folders. Though these email messages themselves will be accessible through the Outlook software, they will not be backed up or stored on the server.

In most cases, current faculty and staff email MUST be maintained on SPU provided servers. Faculty and staff are asked to NOT create local archives of email messages that are stored on your university assigned computer, a personally owned computer, or on removable media. Since employee email is a vital institutional business tool, it needs to be managed and preserved with care and caution. Faculty and staff should review the Email Retention and Recovery Policy for additional guidance.


For students or alumni, Outlook Personal/Offline Folders (PST files) may help you manage your email quota. However, remember that these files are not stored or synchronized with the server. They act, instead, as a holding area for email. These folders are stored on your computer in a local file called a ".pst". They can be opened, appear as a folder in Outlook, can have email moved into or out of them, and can be closed. Once closed the entire .pst can be moved and/or reopened by other Outlook applications. While a good way to move information from one Microsoft based email system to another, PST files are prone to corruption, data loss and failure. PST files also are not compatible with SPU sponsored Microsoft backup technology. They are currently being phased out of recommended usage at SPU.

How To:

To create offline folders, go to Outlook -> Tools -> Email Accounts -> View/Change Existing Account -> Next -> Change. Make sure Outlook is set to use Cached Mode for this account.

To create a new PST folder, go to Outlook -> File -> New -> Outlook Data File. Select the type of file and location you would like to have it stored. Remember this location. This file will need to be moved when you upgrade to a new computer. Now you should see a new Personal Folder in Outlook. Any email stored here will be moved from your server storage and into the PST on your computer's local storage.

Common Problems:

Offline files - Computer users may be in offline mode and not realize it. Messages will appear to send but actually are stored for sending once the computer is online again. Watch the bottom right corner of your Outlook 2003/2007 task bar to make sure you are connected to the Exchange server and all of the messages have been updated.

Personal Folders - data corruption results in the file not being able to be opened. Data may be unrecoverable. This folder needs to be backed up, if the PST is not there will be data loss when the computer fails.

See Also:
Email Client Configuration


Last Updated: 3/11/2010