Exchange Messaging Outlook

A weekly newsletter about Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook
July 19 2012

Volume 17 Issue 24

Link to updated articles: July 19 2012

Up next week: What's new in Exchange 2013.


My Favorite New Features

This was supposed to be a vacation week, but the release of Outlook 2013 & Exchange 2013 public betas, I decided it was worth giving up a few hours to write about all the cool stuff and not so cool changes we have to look forward to in Outlook 2013. I'll cover Exchange 2013 next week.

My favorite features:

The delete button in the message list. Even though I try to use the keyboard more and the mouse less (keyboarding is faster most of the time), I still use the mouse more than I really should, especially in Outlook. The delete button is convenient… and a great enabler.

Reply in the reading pane. No need to open a new window when you want to reply to a message. Click the reply button above the message header and type right in the Reading pane. If you use the mouse to select formatting, it’s less convenient (and more mouse movements) than opening a window but you can POP OUT (and into a separate window) at any time.

Active Sync support for email accounts. Outlook 2013 uses ActiveSync to connect to Hotmail accounts. It only supports the newest version of Exchange Active Sync though, so it won’t work with Gmail accounts. Or Exchange 2003. And unlike smartphones, you’ll only get the default Hotmail calendar, not all of the Hotmail calendars in Outlook.

Rearrange folders in the navigation pane. Don’t like the order of your folders in the Folder list? Drag them around to arrange in an oder you like. This works in both the Mail module’s folder list and the Folder list module.

Control how much content is synced when you use Exchange server. Similar to the sync filters in current versions of Outlook, but limited to items by date only, you can configure Outlook 2013 to sync only newer items. The default setting is 12 months and can be changed in File, Account settings. You'll need to double click to open the account and view or change the offline mail setting. If you need to access older items, you can use search. On one hand, this makes sense and keeps the local cache file smaller (my ost is about 500 MB, down from 3 GB) but I can foresee problems when users get quota warnings and only delete content from Outlook, ignoring the older messages stored online.

Mixed feelings:

The reminder dialog stays on top. All the time. Well, maybe it's not quite that bad, but it is more visible than Outlook 2010's. As one of the critics of Outlook 2010's reminder dialog, I like the persistence of Outlook 2013's reminder dialog but it’s a little too persistent at times.

What I don't like:

Good-bye To-Do Bar, it was nice knowing you. You can add the to-Do Bar to the list of features we learned to love for two versions, only to see it disappear.

The To-Do Bar was replaced by a feature called "Peeks". When you hover the mouse over a link, you can peek at the calendar or task list or click on the links to open the module. Like the To-Do Bar calendar, the peek is limited to displaying appointments on the default calendar. Unlike the To-do Bar, you’ll only see ‘todays’ appointments, not the next 5, which may be spread over several days. (You can select any date to see the appointments for that date.)

Peeks are ok, but I liked the To-do bar open in all folders. I can pin the peeks open, but I need to pin (or unpin) them separately. The width of the peek is not adjustable. Well, it is adjustable but it's pointless since it only shows one navigation calendar. I can't slide it to the center to view calendars for the next three months. I can't slide it right to make it smaller either. Its one size fits all.

What you need to know about Outlook 2013

If you plan to try Outlook 2013, it's highly recommended that you install it in the virtual machine or on a spare computer. Don't use it on your production machine.

Office 2013 is not supported on Windows XP. You need to use Windows 7 or Windows 8. If you are installing Office 2013 on Windows 8, you need to use the newest build available. It will not work on the Consumer Preview released in early March.

If you are upgrading from an earlier version of Outlook and are not installing the Click to Run version, you should uninstall Outlook before installing Office 2013.

The click to run install lets you have two versions of Outlook installed. C2R is not supported with Office 2003.

Profiles and Accounts

Do not use a profile you created in an older version of Outlook. Outlook updates the profile and you won't be able to use it with the older version if you decide to uninstall Outlook 2013. For best results, you should make a new profile. If you were using the Outlook Connector for a Hotmail account and want to try using an existing profile, you need to delete the account from your profile first.

Outlook 2013 uses a new compressed format for the offline data file (.ost) and the compressed version of the .ost are up to 40% smaller than the .ost files used in earlier versions of Outlook. The older ost files are kept and can be open by Outlook 2013. Administrators can use GPO to disable the creation of the compressed ost files.

Speaking of profiles, the Profile key was moved from the Windows Messaging Subsystem to the Office path with all of the other preferences and options. It's now at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Profiles

Outlook 2013's EAS service works with Hotmail. AutoDiscover should find the account and configure it, but if not, you will need to set it up manually. Use as the EAS server name.

Outlook's EAS service will not work with Gmail. Yes, I know Window 8's mail uses EAS to connect to Gmail. Gmail implemented an older version of Exchange ActiveSync and Outlook 2013 was designed to work only with the newer version. Additionally, administrators have the ability to block Outlook as an EAS client (as they can with any phone).

IMAP accounts no longer use a pst file. Like Exchange cached mode and Hotmail, IMAP uses an ost file for the local cache.

As I mentioned n the previous article, you can control how much is synced from Exchange. If you have a small hard drive, you can keep only the next 3 or 6 months in Outlook and use search or OWA when you need to view older messages.


You can't change Outlook's color scheme. To paraphrase Henry Ford, you can have any color you like, as long as it's white. You can add some decorations to the upper right corner (of all office applications). Big Deal. Outlook is still white. It's actually not too bad in this build. Early builds were 'white out' white and painful to use for more than a couple of hours. This build has more gray scale and much better coloring. Because of the large number of complaints in the few days since the beta release, I think its safe to say there will be less white at RTM. Microsoft can't ignore these complaints.

Good-bye orange; Outlook's application color is blue. While this means the icon looks similar to the icon used by Word and Lync, it also means that hard to see orange highlighting is now an easier to see blue. Overall, once you get used to looking for the blue icon, the color scheme will be perfect.


Outlook 2013 includes an option to warn you if it thinks you might have forgotten to include an attachment. It can be disabled. The blank subject warning cannot be turned off.

As I mentioned previously, you can reply to messages in the reading pane and delete messages from the folder list.


Contact Activities are history. The Journal is still available (use Ctrl+8) but it’s a shadow of it's former self. To create new journal entries, you’ll need to use Ctrl+8,N. Anyone who is still using the Journal needs to find a new solution. Now.

Contacts are now People. Actually, they are still contacts but the Navigation shortcut is called People. You can pin you frequently used contacts to the People peek for easier access.

The contact cards that pop up when you hover over an address are a little more useful. If one or more contacts exist for a person, the contact card will link to all of the contacts. For example, my contact card links to Facebook & LinkedIn profiles, and a contact. You can also edit a contact from the contact card.

The Social connector lets you choose which social account should be default, falling back to the other social services when information (such as contact photos) is not available for the preferred account. If you want LinkedIn photos instead of Facebook, this setting will make you happy.


You can display the weather in the calendar module. It’s cute and useful if you use the calendar module a lot, but if you use Calendar peek, you won’t see the forecast temperatures and icons. Hover over the icons to see more details or click a link to see more weather online. You can add several locations and switch between them as needed.

The Holidays list includes dates through 2022 for movable holidays, 2031 for some holidays on fixed dates. It remains to be seen if any dates are wrong. It wouldn't be Outlook if the new HOL list didn't have at least one error.

Exchange 2003 Support in Outlook 2013

Exchange 2003 is not supported by Outlook 2013.

While this is disappointing to a number of people still using Exchange 2003, it didn't come as much of a surprise. Even ignoring the fact that Exchange 2003 is 10 years old and long out of support, the precedent was set many years ago: Outlook 2010 doesn't work with Exchange 2000 and Outlook 2007 doesn't work with Exchange 5.5. Outlook 2016 probably won't work with Exchange 2007.

Outlook 2013 supports Exchange ActiveSync and while you can use EAS with Hotmail accounts, it won't work with Exchange 2003's (or Gmail's) implementation of EAS. You are limited to POP3 or IMAP with Exchange 2003.

If you want to try Outlook 2013, you can use it with a Hotmail account, Office 365, POP3, or IMAP account if you don't have access to an Exchange 2007, 2010, or 2013 server.

The Office 2013 / Office 365 trial includes an Exchange server account and Office 365 supports "connected accounts". As long as you can use POP3 or IMAP to collect your Exchange 2003 email, you can pull it into the Office 365 mailbox. When you use a connected account, you can reply using the correct email account.

After hearing that Exchange 2003 is not supported by Outlook 2013, one user said
"What?! My Android works fine with Exchange 2003 but Outlook 2013 doesn't?"

Android, like iPhones, use Exchange Active Sync to access your Exchange mailbox. EAS gives you the basic features of email, calendaring, contacts. Outlook uses Extended MAPI and takes full advantage of everything Exchange Server has to offer. While Outlook 2013 also supports EAS accounts, it requires the full-featured version of EAS found in Exchange 2010, not the older EAS found in Exchange 2003.

To get an idea of what your phone supports and what EAS provides, see Comparison of Exchange ActiveSync clients. (Wikipedia)

Changing Office 2013's colors

I mentioned this issue earlier but because it is a big problem for many people and generates a lot of questions and almost all comments are negative, it bears repeating.

The most frequently asked question to date is how to change the interface color. Outlook (and all of the Office apps) are so… white. Blindingly white. Hurts your eyes white.

Unfortunately, white is all you get. As bad as the blue, silver, black, or green color schemes were, for many users they would be better than all white. The only customizing you can do is to add a little gray scale decoration to the upper right corner of the application. It's cute eye candy, nothing more. (In any application except Outlook, go to File, Options, General and choose an Office Background.)

For now, the only option is to turn down your monitor brightness.

Outlook 2013 bug: Emptying Deleted Items deletes everything

Under certain conditions, Exchange server users testing Outlook 2013 discovered that emptying the Deleted Items folder deleted everything in the mailbox.

This can happen when an Exchange Account is configured in Online Mode (as opposed to cached Exchange mode) and the "Cached Exchange Mode Sync Settings" administrative template policy setting is configured.

To remove the Cached Exchange Mode Sync Settings setting, open the Group Policy editor and change the Cached Exchange Mode Sync Settings policy to "Not Configured".  This setting is under Microsoft Outlook 2013 > Account Settings > Cached Exchange Mode. Download the Group Policy templates for Office 2013.

You can also edit the registry to remove the setting associated with the policy. Delete the syncwindowsetting value found in

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\office\15.0\outlook\cached mode\syncwindowsetting

HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\office\15.0\outlook\cached mode\syncwindowsetting

New & Updated Exchange KB Articles

"Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service" error message when you try to extend database files in an Exchange Server 2007 environment
Fixes an issue in which Exchange Server 2007 database files cannot be extended because the NTFS fragmentation reaches the maximum size limit. Additionally, Event ID 482 is logged.

Description of Update Rollup 2 for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2 
Describes Update Rollup 2 for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2. The release date for this update is April 16, 2012.

Error message when you are connected to a mailbox that is hosted on Exchange Server 2010: "The Microsoft Exchange administrator has made a change that requires you quit and restart Outlook” 
Describes an issue that can occur if you switch network connections while you are connected to a server that is running Exchange Server 2010 and that is a member of a CAS array.

Japanese DBCS characters are corrupted when you reply to a message or forward a message in an Exchange Server 2010 SP2 environment 
Fixes an issue that occurs when you reply to or forward a message in an Exchange Server 2010 SP2 environment. When this issue occurs, Japanese DBCS characters in the message are corrupted.

MS10-106: Vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange Server could allow denial of service
Resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange that could allow denial of service if an authenticated attacker sent a specially crafted network message to a computer running the Exchange service.

New & Updated Outlook KB Articles

"The set of folders cannot be opened" error in Outlook 2010 
Fixes an issue in which you can no longer connect to public folders after you upgrade from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2010.

Appointments disappear from the calendar in Outlook 2010 
Describes an issue in which certain Saturday appointments are missing from the Outlook 2010 calendar.

Policy and user setting to force Outlook to use the default digital certificate
This article documents a registry value and group policy setting used to force Outlook to use the default digital certificate in Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2010.

Reply and Forward of email in Outlook 2010 results in 5.2.1 NDR 

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