Storing Replies with Received Items

Not directly Exchange related but mail-related, I’d like to mention a function in Outlook which could make organizing e-mail a lot easier, depending on if and how you organize them of course.

Normally, when replying to an e-mail in Outlook, it will store a copy of that message in the Sent Items folder of that account. That is, assuming you have 1 Exchange account set up or multiple in conjunction with the DelegateSentItemsStyle setting as described here.

Now after a while, your Sent Items folder will be full of messages sent over the past period. For received messages you may have created folders and perhaps rules to automatically organize incoming e-mail in projects or customers folders. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can keep those messages with their replies automatically, instead of having to organize your Sent Items by manually distributing its contents over the projects and customers folders?

Well, you can actually, and it’s a setting in Outlook. Open up the File > Options and select the Mail settings. In the right pane, check the When replying to a message that is not in the Inbox, save the reply in the same folder setting:

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Note that this setting in pre-Outlook 2010 versions is called In Folders Other Than The Inbox, Save Replies With Original Message.

Now when you reply to a message, it will save the reply in the same folder unless the message was in the Inbox.

Note that this setting will apply to all accounts and personal folders.

Office 365 and “There are no items to show in this folder”

Be advised that when accessing shared mailboxes on Office 365 using Outlook in online mode, you may experience an issue with Outlook not properly updating the mailbox view.

Instead, Outlook will return a “There are no items to show in this view” message. The folder in the folder navigation pane displayed the proper number of (unread) items in the folder.

This could be the symptom of an issue which was already solved in Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 Rollup 5. It seems the Office 365 data centers are not running a current version of Exchange, as today I received the message the Office 365 environment is currently being upgraded with Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2. The message also mentions the upgrade is to be completed at the end of the month.

More information on the issue in knowledge base articles kb2500648, announcing the fix is included in Exchange 2010 SP1 RU5.

Until then, the suggested workaround is to click one of the columns twice after which Outlook will update the view properly. Of course, you could also enable cached mode, if your setup and company policy permits (e.g. not running Outlook on terminal server).

Delegated Sent and Deleted Items behavior

Many people using Outlook access multiple mailboxes, either because the mailbox is shared or they are a delegate (e.g. they have send-as permissions). What many users find confusing is that by default, Outlook will put the copies of all sent messages in the Sent Items folder of the default account. For example, when Peter sends a message as John, users expect Outlook to put the message in the Sent Items of John. Also, when Peter deletes a message from John’s mailbox, it will end up in Peter’s Deleted Items folder.

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Luckily, this behavior can be altered for Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 using two registry settings. In order for these setting to work, Outlook needs to have a certain hotfix; which hotfix depends on the Outlook version used. Note that a later service pack or hotfix may already contain this setting:

To enable the different Sent Items behavior, you need to create or edit the a value named DelegateSentItemsStyle, type REG_DWORD and set it to 1 (default is 0 or not present). The location of the registry value is HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook\Preferences, where <version> depends on the Outlook version used; use 11 for Outlook 2003, 12 for Outlook 2007 or 14 for Outlook 2010.

To alter the Deleted Items behavior, create or edit a value named DelegateWasteBasketStyle, type REG_DWORD and set it to 4 (default is 8 or not present). The location of the registry value is HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook\Options\General; for version number use one of the values mentioned before.

After implementing these registry values, either manually or by publishing them in group policies, sent items and deleted items will be stored with the mailbox:

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Note: these registry keys only work when using Outlook in Cached Mode; more information in kb2703723.

 

Exchange 2010 SP1 Update Rollup 4 Issues

Be advised that in addition to earlier reports, there are not only data loss issues with Exchange 2010 SP1 Rollup 4 when moving folder structures from public folders to mailboxes or other public folders.  Apparantly, data loss can also occur when moving folder structures to PST files. In both cases, only the top folder and messages are moved, subfolders and their contents are not moved but deleted.

On the issue, Microsoft’s Ross Smith said the following:

In SP1 RU4 we addressed the issue where you could not recover deleted public folders from dumpster. However, Outlook incorrectly passes a flag that indicates the item has been deleted when it has not.  As a result, when you perform a copy or move in the manner Jens described, the sub-folders are deleted.  As mentioned previously, you can recover these deleted folders from dumpster.  We’ve contacted the Outlook team to assist in further diagnosis of the issue and to help us determine the right vehicle for a fix, we’ll provide more details soon – in the meantime please open a CSS case.

You can uninstall Rollup 4 from your Exchange servers to prevent potential data loss caused by these issues.

Note that Rollup 5 is scheduled for August, so you might start to wonder what will arrive first, RU5 or RU4v2.

Fix for Outlook 2007 Personal Archive update

As announced early February, the Office team has released a fix for the Outlook 2007 Personal Archive issues. This fix is also integrated in the Office 2007 Cumulative Update for February 2011 (kb2493732).

The description of the Outlook fix included in this CU can be found at kb2475891.Unfortunately, it doesn’t mention any specific Personal Archive issues.

You can request the individual hotfix here.

Outlook 2007 archive KB published, omits archive function

After releasing the hotfix for enabling Exchange 2010 personal archives for Outlook 2007 users yesterday, the related knowledgebase article was published today (KB2458611).

What you might notice when reading the list of fixed issued is that the article doesn’t mention the included support for archives. Interesting. One might wonder what that implies from a support perspective.

Update: There are reports of issues with Outlook 2007 after installing update KB2412171, like Loss of Archive/Auto-Archive functions (not to be confused with personal archives), performance issues and Outlook Anywhere/NTLM issues.  Since KB2458611 is based on that update, so you might expect similar issues. More information here by Outlook MVP Ben Schorr.

Update: Official information confirms three issues have been identified with this fix:

  1. Secure Password Authentication issues when configured but server doesn’t support it (e.g. GMail);
  2. If you haven’t configured an Exchange account,
    1. Performance issues;
    2. Inability to configure AutoArchive for IMAP/POP3 or Outlook Live accounts.

More information on the Outlook Product Team blog here.

Update: The Microsoft Exchange team blogged about the December 2010 update for Office 2007 here. They state that “This update extends archive support to Outlook 2007″. In the same blog, the archiving functionality I described earlier here is hereby also officially confirmed.

Update: The Outlook team re-released the hotfix which addresses the 3 issues mentioned above (and on which the Outlook team blogged here). You can download the updated KB2412171 hotfix here.

Outlook 2007 hotfix for Exchange 2010 Personal Archive support

Update: After fixing some issues (see here) the Outlook team re-released hotfix KB2412171 and made it available for direct download here or you can get it through Windows Update.

It seems the Office 2007 Cumulative Update for December 2010 (KB2479671) will contain support for the long awaited support for Exchange 2010 Personal Archives in Outlook 2007. Note that support is limited as not all functionality found in Outlook 2010 is present, but it is usable from a customer perspective.

After applying the Outlook 2007 hotfix (SP2 is a prerequisite), archive-enabled users can do the following:

  • Access and move messages to or from their personal archive;
  • Mailboxes for which you have full access permissions will be automatically added to your Outlook view (known as auto mapping of shared mailboxes) inspecting the msExchDelegateListLink attribute (more info on this at Steve Goodman’s blog here);
  • If you have full access permissions to an archive-enabled mailbox, that archive will be accessible and automatically displayed as well.
    In the screenshot below you’ll the the user’s mailbox (Francis Blake), his Personal Archive and he has full access permissions to Philip Mortimer’s mailbox, who is also archive-enabled:

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Unfortunately, there are also a few things not implemented, e.g.

  • No support for archiving policies, meaning users won’t be able to override centrally configured retention and archiving policy settings using personal tags in Outlook. More info on archiving policies and personal tags here;
  • Not integral searches, meaning you need to search the mailbox or the personal archive seperately. Searching “all mail items” will not retrieve results from the personal archive, as shown in the screenshot below:

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It is unknown if these omissions are going to be introduced in a later hotfix, as the initial hotfix for personal archives in Outlook 2007 was set for Q1/Q2 2011.

Be advised that this hotfix will enable personal archive functionality for the following product versions only:

  • Office Ultimate (Retail)
  • Office ProPlus (Volume License)
  • Office Enterprise (Volume License)
  • Outlook Standalone (Retail or Volume License)

Note that the Outlook 2007 update for archive support is still not mentioned on the cumulative update page as the cumulative update package has yet to be released. However, the KB article has been published (KB2458611). You can request and retrieve the individual hotfix here.

Thanks for Ankur Kothari (@ankbomb) from product management for the early update.