Outlook Email Support and Organizational Tips

outlook email support

Outlook Email Support is evolving.   We still find it everywhere, at home and at work but are you using it effectively and is there something better?  As a network IT consultant and system administrator for small to medium-sized enterprises, I encounter many email issues that arise primarily from ineffective organizational techniques which cause business productivity to suffer. Below, I offer suggestions to some of the most common email and task oriented problems that I come across.  Then we dive into more detail on Outlook email support.  Outlook is the number one desktop email application used around the world.  We help optimize it for your specific needs.

Additional Resources

 

Problem 1 – Use of business accounts for personal email

Employee Bob signs up for marketing emails (Groupon, Starbucks, Target, etc.) using his company email address. He also uses his company email address as his personal Facebook account and as the primary communication method for keeping in touch with family and friends.

Answer 1

Counsel employees to use their corporate accounts for business purposes only. Assist them with unsubscribing from all marketing emails and to setup a Google or Hotmail accounts for those personal needs. Personally, I use a separate Hotmail (junk) account in addition to personal (family and friends correspondence) account for subscribing to email or organizations I’m unsure of their plans for my information.

Problem 2 – Email accounts are slow to open when utilizing desktop email applications

Bob loves using Outlook but access to his email is getting increasingly slow to load and really unstable.

Answer 2

For web-based email (my favorite is Gmail), a good rule of thumb is to maintain email storage under 2 gigabytes. Deleting email permanently (especially when connecting to it in a few different ways) takes some effort. I would suggest buying a copy of Microsoft Outlook (which comes with Microsoft Office but can be purchased separately), and set it up using the IMAP (instead of POP) protocol. IMAP forces synchronization of email and actually removes it from the cloud storage location as it’s pulled down into Outlook. That way, employees can take action on an email once and be done with it.

Problem 3 – What are my IMAP settings?

Answer 3

As discussed before, these settings will allow you to sync your email with all computers and devices.  I will build this list out for Google, Yahoo, and  the local San Diego providers as I see fit.

 

Problem 4 – Too many Outlook folders

User Bob LOVES Outlook folders and has hundreds of nested folders to “make filing email easier and more organized.”

Answer 4

I counsel my clients to not get into the habit of organizing email into folders because even the most organized employees don’t maintain the folders properly (removing them when no longer needed). If you are using hundreds of nested folders in Outlook, the size of the local email database (called a PST) will get enormous. Outlook has a very good built-in search functionality. Use it.

Note:  There is an article for archiving oldest message from specified dates.

Problem 5 – You need to maintain a record of email for a certain number of years

If you have a legal or archival need to maintain a certain number of years of email, the 2 gigabyte limit is not realistic.

Answer 5

If you have a legal or archival reason for maintaining email beyond a year, I would suggest maintaining one PST per year. That way, retrieval of archived emails can be performed by other people if necessary and there is some assurance that corruption of a single PST wouldn’t affect other years.

Problem 6 – PST Files are local to my computer.  How can I be sure they are backed up?

Some workstation backup systems struggle with open PSTs.

Answer 6

Utilize your Office 365 Exchange Server Support to setup free online archiving.  Otherwise, it is best to copy the PST to your file server if you are still using IMAP.  Specifically, your home drive.  It is typically mapped as your H:\ drive.  Otherwise, when the local workstation fails.  You will lose your archived email data.  To be extra clear.  Please have a copy of your 2016 pst and older on your desktop and a redundant copy on your file server in case the desktop or laptop fails

Problem 7 – You would like to use your smartphone for personal and business email

Answer 7

Android devices and Apple iOS have generic email apps installed by default. Use these apps and configure them for your personal/junk email accounts (marketing emails, Facebook, Groupon, etc) and then turn off notifications. Use the separate Gmail app or Microsoft Outlook app (formerly known as Acompli) to organize your business email and perhaps an additional friends/family account.

Problem 8 – Why can’t I see my Outlook calendar on all my devices

Answer 8

It only works well if you have Microsoft Exchange or Office 365. Find a cross-platform (computer web browser, phone, and tablet) calendar like Outlook app (formally known as Acompli) to set calendar appointments on your phone.   Use Google Calendar for the most universal viewing of all events including Facebook events.  On the desktop or laptop, use Miracal or One Calendar on Windows 10.   Miracal is cleaner but One Calendar allows you to perform calendar invites.  There are some other to toy around with if you don’t have Windows 10.  See the following:

eM Client for Windows and AirMail for Mac sync features include:

  • Iphone or Android email, calendar, and contacts sync to your local email application on your computer
  • Add, Remove, And Change Calendar and Contacts information
  • GChat Messenger

Problem 9 – But… I REALLY like Outlook calendar for the Desktop or Laptop

Answer 9

Fine. Get Exchange or Office 365.  The Exchange Server Support and online archiving of data is free if you go with Microsoft hosted Office 365.  I ran some numbers below for some hosting cost.  Too involved? Get Companionlink or Google Apps Sync. (Warning: both services are a bit quirky.)  Call us today for outlook email support and to retrieve an updated email hosting spreadsheet calculator.  These prices are always changing.

Outlook Email Support Pricing – Hosted Options

Office 365The spreadsheet for email hosting becomes increasing more expensive as your base of users grow.  Organizations must consider hosting their own Microsoft Exchange Email Server or a Linux based email server.

Problem 10 – What if I ran out of space to sync my Exchange email on C?

 

Answer 10

Prune your email or call us for Outlook Email Support.

Here’s the technical answer…

The preferred method is set an autoarchive process and rename/copy to a separate backup location.  Alternatively, create a PST on a separate hard drive and move data there but make sure the data is backed up.  The other option is move the OST.  Copy the OST to d:\outlook files, relocate using this post .   I haven’t had much luck with that blog post as a possible solution but I would definitely setup a “D:\outlook files” folder location.  Here is what really worked for me.

 

First, create a new Outlook profile.  Select “more settings” before finishing the profile.  Then go into advance and point the OST to the D:\outlook files  folder.

 

 

Problem 11 – Where is Outlook email data including contacts found?

 

Answer 11

Most data is in the PST file.  It’s best export your contacts and calendar from outlook to CSV file to cover your button when backing up PSTs.  Read up on NK2 files or dat files as they are now known as for cached auto complete email addresses.   Clients get upset if those aren’t backed up.  I strongly suggest you get a professional for this type of Outlook email support.  However, proceed below for backing up some important data locations if you are feeling up to it.

NK2 Location:  C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\RoamCache\*****.dat
****Usually the file begins with stream_autocomplete****.dat

Outlook 2016 Nk2 (.dat) files

 

 

 

 

  •  View File Sizes.  256 kb is usually your old .dat file containing the cached email addresses
  • View recent dates.  Email to a new email address, close outlook, and review the .dat files timestamp.
  • Make a backup copy before attempting to merge with the Nk2 program.

 

Typical Outlook file locations

C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\PST_file_name.pst
C:\Users\user name\documents\outlook files\

ProTip!  The source may vary from if they are using Exchange and the Exchange file is a .ost not pst.  Grab all settings within Mail32 in control panel before proceedinOutlook PST searchg with any wipe and read more about Outlook here.

It’s faster to restore your data when you copy your existing PST to the AppData location once you created a new profile.  Immediately exit Outlook once the profile is created and IMAP begins syncing the inbox.  Then change the newly created .PST file extension to .old.  Then copy your data from your quick back manual copy/backup from an external drive to C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\ and rename it the name of the current file with a .pst as an extension.

Outlook PST Path

 

 

 

 

Problem 12 – What about Outlook issues with authentication to Office 365 Exchange?

Answer 12

Utilize the Sara (this tool fixed my authentication problem) Tool,  delete work or school account, and delete Outlook registry profiles to fix many of the errors. Now go focus on your email or contact our team for further Outlook email support. 🙂

 

SARA Tool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\Identity\Identities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delete unnecessary devices in Azure AD

 

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