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Does Exchange cached mode work with all versions of Microsoft Outlook?

Our office consists of Windows 2000 Server SP4, Windows XP SP2, Vista machines and versions of Microsoft Outlook from Outlook 2000 to 2007. It is my understanding that Exchange Server cached mode creates a copy of the user's Outlook profile on the client PC -- as an .OST file -- and then synchronizes the two when connected.

If our users log into a PC that is not their main PC, their email disappears from their inboxes. I thought that if a user deletes email from a 'remote' PC, then that email will be deleted when the user opens Microsoft Outlook on their 'main' PC. This makes sense since the Exchange server retains a current configuration of the user's Outlook profile.

How does Exchange cached mode work with the various versions of Microsoft Outlook? If a user's home client is Outlook 2000, and they log into an Outlook 2003 'remote' client, will Exchange cached mode take effect?

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Exchange Server cached mode is supported in Microsoft Outlook 2003 and 2007. It's not available in earlier versions. Because it's a client feature, it will not follow a user from workstation to workstation. Instead, the user will have to configure it in each installation of Outlook 2003 that he or she uses.

As you indicated, Exchange cached mode creates a local copy of the user's mailbox. It's best used in low quality or low bandwidth connections, and also on mobile computers. Workstations on a decent LAN typically do not have the need for cached mode.

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This was first published in June 2008

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