Control Outlook 2007 in cached mode settings with group policies

Enabling or disabling Cached Exchange mode can affect Exchange Server performance. You can control these settings using a centralized group policy. Get an introduction to some policy settings that can help Microsoft Outlook 2007 in cached mode operate at peak performance.

Microsoft Outlook 2007 cached mode -- also known as Cached Exchange Mode -- is more than just a convenience feature. Enabling or disabling it can have a dramatic effect on Exchange Server performance. This is why it makes sense to control cached mode settings through a centralized group policy. This tip from Microsoft Exchange Server expert Brien Posey explains several policy settings that can help Outlook 2007 perform at its peak levels...

while in cached mode.


All settings discussed in this tip are located at: User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 -> Tools -> Account Settings -> Exchange -> Cached Exchange Mode.

Cached Exchange Mode (File -> Cached Exchange Mode) -- This is one of the more important settings related to cached Exchange mode, because it allows you to control the type of caching Exchange Server uses when a new Outlook profile is established. You can set caching to one of these three modes:

  • Download Full Items
  • Download Headers
  • Download Headers and then Full Items.

Notice that the name of this group policy object includes (File -> Cached Exchange Mode). This is because the group policy setting disables cached Exchange mode option on Outlook's File menu. You will see references to (File -> Cached Exchange Mode) in several other settings .

Using Cached Exchange Mode for new and existing Outlook profiles -- This option forces users to operate Outlook in cached mode. Disable this group policy setting to force users to operate Outlook in online mode instead.

Do not sync in Cached Exchange mode when users click Send/Receive -- Enabling this group policy setting prevents users from manually synchronizing an offline folder with Exchange by pressing the Send/Receive button or the F9 key. Even when this option is enabled, users can continue to manually synchronize individual folders by pressing Shift+F9.

Enter seconds to wait to upload changes to server -- As the name implies, this setting allows you to force a delay before changes are uploaded to an Exchange server. This helps the server operate more efficiently because changes can be uploaded in batches instead of individually.

Enter seconds to wait to download changes from server -- Just as you can enact a delay before changes are uploaded to an Exchange server, you can also require a delay before new items are downloaded to the cache. This way, if a user deletes a message when it arrives, the message is not written to the cache.

Enter maximum seconds to wait to sync changes -- This option is similar to the last two. It allows you to tell Outlook 2007 how many seconds to wait before synchronizing changes.

More Microsoft Outlook resources:
Tool deploys customized Microsoft Outlook 2007 configurations

How to enforce Microsoft Outlook cached mode via group policy

Understanding Microsoft Outlook 2007 data file usage

Disallow Downloaded Full Items (File -> Cached Exchange Mode) -- This setting disables the Download Full Items option that's located in Outlook's File -> Cached Exchange Mode menu. This setting is only valid for users with mailboxes that are hosted on an Exchange 2007 server.

Disallow Download Headers Then Full Items (File -> Cached Exchange Mode) -- This setting disables the Download Headers and then Full Items option that's located in Outlook's File -> Cached Exchange Mode menu. This setting is only valid for users with mailboxes that are hosted on an Exchange 2007 server.

Disallow Download Headers (File -> Cached Exchange Mode) -- This setting disables the Download Headers option that's located in Outlook's File -> Cached Exchange Mode menu. This setting is only valid for users with mailboxes that are hosted on an Exchange 2007 server.

Disallow on Slow Connections (File -> Cached Exchange Mode) -- This disables the On Slow Connections Download Only Headers option that's located in Outlook's File -> Cached Exchange Mode menu. This setting is only valid for users with mailboxes that are hosted on an Exchange 2007 server.

Download Public Folder Favorites -- Enabling this option synchronizes users' favorite public folders with their .OST files.

Download Shared Non-Mail Folders -- When Outlook is operating in cached mode, then any shared folders that a user has access to (not including mail folders) are cached to that user's OST file. You can use this setting to prevent shared folders from being cached.

Note: There are similar settings available to organizations running Outlook 2003, but you need to download a different template.

About the author: Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a five-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his work with Exchange Server, Windows Server, Internet Information Services (IIS), and File Systems and Storage. Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal website at www.brienposey.com.

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This was first published in June 2009

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