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.