Synchronizing e-mail

Microsoft® Office Outlook®  2003 includes a feature called cached mode, which is useful for mobile users. Cached mode creates a local copy of a user's mailbox, populates it with all items in his or her current mailbox, and creates an offline copy of the address book. This process is called synchronization.

noteNote
The time required for this synchronization depends on the user's connection speeds. We strongly recommend using a wired local area network (LAN) connection the first time.

A user's mailbox is synchronized in the following order:

  1. Utility folders
  2. Calendar
  3. Contacts
  4. Drafts
  5. Inbox
  6. All other folders (user-defined)
  7. Sent Items
  8. Deleted Items
  9. Public Folder Favorites (user-added)

The Inbox appears empty until the Calendar, Contacts, and Drafts folders are synchronized. After all folders are synchronized, the status bar reports that all folders are up to date. Users can then disconnect their computer from the network and still have access to their mailbox.

As long as the status bar reports that all folders are up to date, users can be sure that all of their mailbox contents are fully accessible while they work offline. If Outlook 2003 connects to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and detects a difference between the server mailbox and the local cached mailbox, it immediately begins synchronizing. E-mail headers are downloaded first, followed by the messages. Any e-mail messages or meeting invitations created offline are sent as soon as users reconnect to the Exchange server, and changes made to other folders (such as Contacts) are applied.

Connection Speeds

Outlook 2003 determines the connection speed to the Exchange server. If the connection speed is 128 kilobits per second (Kbps) or slower (for example, if an ISDN or dial-up modem is used), the connection speed is determined to be Online/Slow. If the connection speed is faster than 128 Kbps (for example, if broadband, WLAN, or a LAN is used), the configuration is considered to be Online/Fast. See the following table for more information.

 

Online/Fast Online /Slow

E-mail items

The e-mail headers are retrieved, followed by the full contents of each message.

E-mail items

Only the e-mail headers are retrieved. When a user opens an e-mail message or clicks Download the rest of this message now from the preview pane, the full contents of the e-mail message are downloaded from the server. If an e-mail message only contains header information, a small Page icon appears in the message title.

Offline Address Book (OAB)

The OAB is updated every 24 hours.

Offline Address Book (OAB)

The OAB is not updated.

Typically, Outlook 2003 configures the optimum setting based on connection speed. However, sometimes these settings must be configured manually; for example, when someone is using a laptop on a wireless LAN to connect with another computer that in turn connects to the Exchange server through a dial-up connection. In this case, it appears that a fast connection (wireless LAN) has been established, when in fact it is a slow (dial-up) connection.

noteNote
To manually configure connection speed settings, open Outlook 2003. From the File menu, point to Exchange Connection, and then click LAN/Fast Connection or Dial-up/Slow Connection, depending on your connection type.

See Also

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