Providing an initial OST file for an Outlook Cached Exchange Mode deployment
Outlook Cached Exchange Mode allows you to smoothly work online and offline with the Mailbox Information, hence allowing you to access mail, calendar, address book, and other Outlook information by using a local cache file, the Offline Folder (OST) file.
It is best to allow Microsoft Office Outlook 2013 to create the initial cache files (including the OST file), but it can be a slow process if users have large mailboxes and slow network connections.
With Outlook 2013 the option of using the Sync Slider Control might come in handy in order have only part of your Mailbox Information available locally such as the last 12 Months of Email Information.
Another way to avoid delays in accessing the full Mailbox Information offline is to bring the user's computer to a location that has a fast Internet connection and enable Cached Exchange Mode at that time.
Should that not be possible, the creation of an initial OST file and sending it to the remote user (for example, by copying the file to a CD or Flash Drive) is a valid option.
This article provides step-by-step procedures for creating an initial OST file, and then configuring Outlook on the user's computer to use the file when Cached Exchange Mode is enabled. It is important that you follow the procedures for creating and using the initial OST file exactly. The process works similarly for Office Outlook 2010, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013.
Note For information about configuring and deploying Cached Exchange Mode, see Plan a Cached Exchange Mode deployment in Outlook 2013.
Use the following procedure to create—as the administrator on a local computer—an up-to-date initial OST file for a specific Outlook 2013 user.
To create an initial OST file
- Log on as administrator at a workstation with Outlook 2013 installed. The administrator account must have permission to open the mailbox of the user for whom you plan to create the initial OST file. In most cases the fastest way is by providing Full Access Permissions to the user’s Mailbox using the Exchange Control Panel.
- Delete all Outlook profiles. In Control Panel, click the Mail icon, and then click Show Profiles to view the list of configured profiles for Outlook.
- Also, delete any files in the default folder location of the user for Outlook OST files.
Note Should you not be able to see the AppData Folder from the Explorer menu go to Organize – Folder and search options and from the Folder Options Window under the View Tab select the Option to Show hidden files, folders and drives
By default, Outlook OST files are located in the following folder:
Windows 7 / Windows Vista
- After the new profile is created, start Outlook and wait for the mailbox to be completely synchronized between the client and the Exchange server. The status bar displays the synchronization status and reads All Folders Are Up to Date when the synchronization is complete.
- Exit Outlook. Then copy the OST file from the Admin Appdata folder and place it in the User AppData Folder, where the file can be accessed by the user:
Windows 7 / Windows Vista
Now that you've created the initial file you can copy it any computer where the user logs on in order to configure his Outlook profile.
To use the initial OST file on the remote user's computer
- Log on to the user's computer as the user (not as administrator).
Note If you have more than one computer on which you want to use the same user’s OST file, you must create separate OST files for each computer. This is because each OST file is a unique replica of the mailbox and maintains a synchronization state that is unique to that file.
- Copy the OST File you created in the previous procedure to the proper Outlook folder on the user's computer. For example, if the user's profile uses the default location for Outlook files, copy the files to the following folder:
Windows 7 / Windows Vista
- Create an Outlook profile for the user. For step-by-step instructions on creating a new profile, see How to create and set up an e-mail account in Outlook. The Use Cached Exchange Mode is enabled by default for the new profile.
Note DO NOT Start Outlook in order to create the new Outlook Profile. Create the new profile from the Control Panel – Mail – Show Profiles Window
- Next, verify that the Outlook OST files are in the correct location.
- In Control Panel, click Mail, and then click E-mail Accounts.
- Click View or change existing e-mail accounts.
- Click Change, and then click More Settings.
- On the Advanced tab, click Offline Folder File Settings.
- Verify that the name and path of the OST file shown in File: match the name and path of the OST file you copied from the computer on which you were logged on as administrator.
- The only way you can change the OST file is on the initial profile creation, before finishing the wizard, by selecting Change account settings
- Start Outlook, using the newly created profile. Be sure to log on when a network connection is available. When Outlook starts with the new OST file, a connection to the Exchange server is required to validate that the user is authorized to use the OST file.
The remote user's computer is now configured to use Outlook 2013 with Cached Exchange Mode, starting with the initial OST file you provided as the basis for a synchronized mailbox.