Tips & Tricks
Email is an essential communication resource for TRU employees. Below are some steps that you can take to ensure that your email has the best chance at quick response times and minimal errors.
When you go through these troubleshooting steps please close and re-open Outlook between each step to ensure that all changes are fully processed.
Turn on Cached Exchange Mode
The first thing that you can do to improve your performance in Outlook is turning on Cached Exchange Mode.
Cached Exchange Mode allows Outlook to store a local copy of your mailbox, meaning that when you access your mailbox Outlook does not need to contact the mail server, thus improving the overall response time of Outlook.
To turn on Cached Exchange Mode please follow the directions found Here
After turning on Cached Exchange Mode you will need to restart Outlook.
Choosing how long to keep mail offline
When you turn on Cached Exchange Mode you will be asked how long you want to keep mail stored offline.For example if you set the time range to 1 year then all mail that you have received within the past year will be saved locally on your computer.
The default time range is 1 year, however users are able to set this when they turn on Cached Exchange Mode.
When deciding how much mail you should keep offline, users will need to consider the points listed below:
- The longer the time period, the more space that will be required to save offline an version of your mailbox, large shared mailboxes will require more space than personal mailboxes.
- Users will only be able to view and search the emails that are kept offline, This means that in order to search an entire mailbox you will need to set your caching time range to all.
Clear the Outlook Cache
Clearing Outlook's cached files can resolve issues caused by Outlook holding on to old and outdated information, which can in turn fix a lot of other issues that Outlook may be experiencing.
When you clear the Outlook cache be sure not to delete the .ost files as these are the local copies of your mailboxes and deleting them will cause Outlook to need to retrieve all your emails from the server, which can take a long time depending on the size of your mailbox.
To clear your Outlook cache please follow the steps below.
- Close all Office programs, including Outlook and Skype.
- Press the Windows and R keys at the same time to open the Run box. Type %localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook into the box and click OK
- Delete all files of this folder, except the .ost files.
- Restart Outlook.
- You may receive the following errors when you restart Outlook after clearing your cache. Click OK on all the windows to clear the warnings.
Run Outlook in Safe Mode
Safe Mode will open Outlook without loading any of the add-ins that are installed, allowing us to find out if Outlooks poor performance is due to badly behaving add-ins.
- Right-click the Start button, in the bottom left corner of your screen, and click Run.
- Type Outlook.exe /safe, and click OK.
If you find that Outlook runs better in Safe Mode, the slowness is likely being caused by an add-in, In this case please call the IT Service Desk so that a technician can assist you in diagnosing which add-in is causing problems.
Add Shared Mailboxes Using Recommended Method
- Open Outlook and click File in the top left corner
- Click Add account and enter only the email address into the email address field and click Next
- If prompted for a password choose "Sign in With Another Acount" and enter your email address and password (being connected to the VPN may allow you to bypass this step)
- Click "Finish"
- Restart Outlook
Remove Unused Shared Mailboxes
- Open Outlook
- On the left side mailbox navigation menu right click on the mailbox you want to remove and select "Remove"
Note: Removing the mailbox from your Outlook does not remove your access to it or the emails within it.
Note: The more shared mailboxes you have in Outlook, the more likely you are to experience Outlook issues"
Mobile Devices - Use Outlook App
If you regularly check your email on your mobile device it is recommended that you use the Microsoft Outlook app as opposed to the default mail app that comes with your device.
Microsoft has provided information on the Outlook app for iOS and Android here.
Recreate your Outlook Profile
If turning on Cached Exchange Mode and clearing your cache did not resolve the issue, the next thing to try is to recreate your Outlook profile.
The Outlook profile consists of the accounts, data files, and settings that specify where your email messages are saved. Creating a new one will download fresh settings from the server, along with a fresh .ost file.
To setup a new Outlook profile please follow the instructions below.
- Close Outlook.
- Select the Windows icon/Start menu, type Control Panel in the search box and open Control Panel.
- In Control Panel, search for Mail, and select it.
- Click Show Profiles.
- Click Add.
- In the Profile Name box, type “TRUExchange” for the profile, and then choose OK. This will take you through the “Add Account” wizard.
- Fill in your email address and password, leaving the “Your Name” field blank. This will be pulled from the server. Click Next.
- If prompted a second time, enter your email password, and check the box “remember my credentials”. Click OK.
- Once all three checkboxes are green, click FINISH.
- On the Mail dialogue window, change the radio button to Prompt for a Profile to be used and click OK.
- The next time Outlook starts, it will display the Choose Profile Dialog. Select the newly created “TRUExchange” profile and let Outlook start.
Depending on the size of the mailbox that you added, it can take up to 15 minutes for emails, folders, and calendar items to download from the server. You can use Outlook while this is downloading.
Adding additional email accounts
After you create a new Outlook profile you will need to add any additional emails that you access to the new profile through the steps below.
- In Outlook, select File and click on the Add Account button, This will take you through the “Add Account” wizard.
- Fill in the email address and password, leaving the “Your Name” field blank. This will be pulled from the server. Click Next.
- If prompted a second time, enter the email password, and check the box “remember my credentials”. Click OK.
- Once all three checkboxes are green, click FINISH.
If after trying all of the above troubleshooting methods your Outlook is still running poorly, please contact the IT Service Desk so that they can gather further information that will help IT Services to find the root of this problem.
The contact information for the IT Service Desk can be found Here.