Showing posts with label Outlook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Outlook. Show all posts

Friday, March 4, 2011

How to Force Outlook PST files to another location

By default Outlook saves PST files in this folder %localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook\ when running Vista or Windows 7 (%appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook\ for Windows XP).

When it comes to Hotmail and Gmail there is no way from within Outlook to relocate the PST files.

If you for some reason want to move these files Outlook will just recreate them and start downloading your emails again.

But there is a registry hack to force the PST Path. This can either be done before you add the account to Outlook or if you need to move existing PST files. In the later case you need to move the PST files from the default location to the new location as well.

Close Outlook and Locate Outlook in the registry (regedit.exe).

Outlook 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\

Outlook 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\

Outlook 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\

Then create a new Expandable String Value named ForcePSTPath and as value enter the path where you want the PST files to be.

Now start Outlook and the new path should be used.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lookeen review – better search for Outlook

I have many times found it frustrating the the instant search in Outlook is slow and buggy and does not always show what it should. Too bad but Microsoft is not good on search either on the PC or on the web.

I eventually heard about Lookeen in one of the comments on this blog and decided to take a look.

I added my 15 PST files to the index with a total of 4 GB and started the indexing. I did not measure the time for the process but it was much quicker than the Outlook indexing.

Below you can see the toolbar that is added to Outlook after installing Lookeen.

Lookeen toolbar


  • Lookeen is indeed much quicker to search with than Outlook.
  • I have found that the search result is also much better. I found most of what I search for.
  • I can even search closed PST files and local folders. And Lookeen is able to open the elements you will find in a closed store WITHOUT being forced to open the complete store in Outlook.
  • The search works across mails, attachments, appointments, tasks, notes and contacts.
  • For companies central indexing is supported.

Here are the buttons on the toolbar:

Conversation Button - If you want get an overview of a complete conversation between you and another person (the sender) please mark an e-mail from this person and afterwards click on the  button in the Lookeen toolbar.

Find more Button - If you want to find more e-mails concerning the same subject please mark the e-mail concerned and afterwards click on the button.

Day Button - If you want to find all e-mails from this day, click one the button.

Week Button - If you want to find all e-mails from the last seven days, please click on the button.


A complex software without problem does not exist so I found a few with Lookeen too.

I have found some cases where what I search for does not show up even though it should. But it works much better than the Outlook search functionality.

Lookeen isn’t able to search for domains if you use “” as search string. They’re working on this. You just have to search for “domain” – without .com or anything else. Update. This has been fixed in a coming version I got the chance to try.

I typically want to directly be able to have emails indexed as soon as they are received, created, moved or changed. Unfortunately there’s no on-the-fly indexing possibility with Lookeen. But you’re able to set the automatic indexing e.g. to “every 5 minutes”! You will find this feature in the Lookeen options. It has worked good enough for me even though I would need to have it indexing more quicker.

I have also run into a minor bug when adding local folders to index.

I got this error: “Chosen folder or a parent folder is already included!” and found that if the folder started in a similar way it happened. Like c:\FOLDER1 and c:\FOLDER2. The workaround would for now be to select the top level like C:\ and then unselect those folders you don’t want to index.


Some things I was missing in the product and wish are added in the future.

I would like to see the Flag Status or Follow Up as a column in the result list. I use flags quite a lot to be able to follow up on emails.

When I open an email in the search list I would like to easily move to the previous or next email but I need to close the email and return to the search result for this. At least it is possible to get a tooltip showing the beginning of an email.

It would also be useful to be able to drag emails from the search result list directly to a folder in Outlook.

I found some nagging message boxes when using “Move to folder” that I hope will be optimized in the future. If I select 10 emails and five of them already are in the correct folder I will get 5 messages about those that cannot be moved. Update. This has been fixed in a coming version I got the chance to try.

Here you can find the query syntax for searching giving you pretty good flexibility to narrow your searches to find what you want.

During my tests I have used Outlook 2007 SP1 and Outlook 2007 SP2 both on Windows Vista and Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit). The version of Lookeen I have used is

All in all I have been a happy user of Lookeen and also found the support to be quick to respond to my questions.

Trial of Lookeen is available for free for 14 days.

Disclosure. I received a license for Lookeen and have been using it for a few months now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

February Cumulative Update for Outlook 2007

The Microsoft Office Outlook February Cumulative Update (CU) contains a large set of the fixes that release as part of the 2007 Microsoft Office suite Service Pack 2 (SP2).

Outlook 2007 SP2 delivers performance improvements in four major areas:

  • General Responsiveness
    SP2 reduces I/O disk usage and UI response time.
  • Startup
    SP2 removes long operations from initial startup.
  • Shutdown
    SP2 makes Outlook exit predictably despite pending activities.
  • Folder/View Switch
    SP2 improves view rendering and folder switching.

Frequently Asked Questions about the February CU and Announcing the February Cumulative Update for Outlook 2007 as well as this article Outlook 2007 improvements in the February 2009 cumulative update

Last word of warning. I have run into some glitches after applying this update with incomplete search results with blank rows at the bottom as well as duplicated rows in the result. But other than that Outlook is indeed quicker and snappier. Now if they just could make search better and quicker.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Outlook 2007 Not Responding using instant search

I often have problems with Microsoft Outlook 2007 becoming unresponsive when performing a search through the instant search pane.

I can leave it running for 10 minutes and it is still hanged so I need to force it to close and restart it.

My system is Windows Vista and I have tried to disable all add-ons to no avail. I use the latest Windows Search 4.0.

Any ideas how to solve this or track down what the source of the problem is?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Solution to Outlook.exe keep running after exit

For some time I've run into the problem that Outlook 2007 is not closed fully. The application is no longer visible but the process keeps running as can be seen in Task Manager. It is normal that it can take a few seconds up to some minutes but now it never stops running. And if an email comes during this time I got notified about it and can open that email. If I try to start Outlook it shows the application using the same Outlook.exe process. This happens on Vista SP1 and might happen on other Windows versions as well.

The solution in my case was that I found Skype (version 3.6) locking up Outlook because it was set to "Show Outlook Contacts" in the View menu. When I disabled that option Outlook closed as it should.


One symptom I have seen is that I get the notification that "A data file did not close properly the last time it was used as is being checked for problems. Performance might be affected while the check is in progress."

data file did not close properly notification

Another is this message when starting Outlook could be "Outlook failed to start correctly last time. Starting Outlook in safe mode will help you correct or isolate the startup problem in order to successfully start the program. Some functionality may be disabled in this mode. Do you want to start Outlook in safe mode?"

Outlook failed to start

Then "Data file check in process" can be seen for quite a while.

Outlook Data file check in process

Some other tips if this happens are to check the consistency of the PST files using SCANPST.EXE. Check also for other applications that might connect to Outlook or access the PST files like Google Desktop. Antivirus programs could also be the cause of the locks.

If nothing else works you can try to select "Perform an automatic sen/receive when exiting." in Options>Send/Receive...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Windows Vista indexing sidebar gadget

and after a while the index is up-to-date

I rely heavily on being able to quickly find information on my computer and among my emails in Outlook so this is a useful gadget.

It's easy to pause the indexing and also force it to index now with the latest Windows Search 4 update for Vista. Previously I used a couple of home made shortcuts for that purpose to a couple of cmd files with:
NET START "Windows Search"
and also
NET STOP "Windows Search"

Thanks Brandon Paddock for making it available. Get it via his blog or directly here.

I got an error that it could not find the adaptive.vbs script file but it was easily solved by adding an "en-us" folder and move the vbs folder there.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Windows Search 4.0 Preview installed

This was good enough reason to make me install Windows Search 4.0:

Great improvements have been made with regards to performance. Even now as Preview, Windows Search 4.0 has query response time about 33%faster than search queries in Windows Vista RTM.

Restart of the PC was needed.

I recommend doing the installation the last thing you do and leave the computer running as the index needs to be rebuilt. If you have Outlook make sure to have it up and running as well or the mailboxes will not be indexed. I also suggest that you run SCANPST to fix any potential problems with your PST files.

Outlook indexing

Many hours later the re-indexing was done. It really is a notable speed increase when searching among the thousands of emails.

For more see the Vista blog post Announcing the Windows Search 4.0 Preview

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Email Standards Project

I recently found this website Email Standards Project and think it's a great initiative.

Find out how your email client is doing.

Here are some samples showing how clients like Google Gmail, Lotus Notes 8, Outlook 2007, Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Mail ended up in their acid test.


Some companies like IBM and Yahoo! have responded as can be seen on their blog.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Right click trouble in Vista

Suddenly my Internet Explorer in Windows Vista started to act strange. I could not right click and get the shortcut menu showing and nothing happened when I clicked on the >> for example.


Suddenly IE7 crashed after I had clicked around for a while. Usually IE starts again and I waited a while. In the meantime I went over to Outlook and right clicked on an email and it didn't show the menu there either.

I found in the task manager that iexplorer.exe was still running so I killed the process and things started to act normally again. Not a permanent solution as I still don't know why it failed in the first place but I have not seen it again.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Access 2003 to Access 2007 useful links when upgrading

If you are about to start using or just have started to use Access 2007 these links can be useful.


As a bonus here are some links about the other Office products:

I found out about the interactive guides that helps to find things in the new 2007 ribbon on the Access Team Blog.

If you want help with developing a database or application in Access feel free to contact me. I have many years of experience creating database applications, both small and large. For example one that integrated information flow between CAD, ERP, EDM and more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

WinZip E-Mail Companion 2.0 Beta

WinZip E-Mail Companion is a handy application that I just gave a try. Do you know of some free alternatives that maybe supports 7-zip?


WinZip® E-Mail Companion Beta makes it easy to zip (compress) the documents and other files that you attach to Microsoft® Outlook, Outlook Express, and Windows Mail e-mail messages. Zipping attachments saves transmission time and disk storage for both the sender and receiver of the e-mail.

If you want to try the beta download it from here:

Update. I found that on Vista and Outlook 2007 the Configure settings are not retained. After contacting WinZip they explained that it is only when accessing configure from within an email message. When using Tools/Options/WinZip E-Mail Companion it works. Hopefully they will fix this in due time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Outlook 2007 hangs at Send/Receive Status 50%

Several times I have got Outlook 2007 to hang when it shows Send/Receive Status 50% or some other percentage. Typically this happens when I start Outlook after having it closed for a while. I have tried different things to get it past this problem but so far the only solution that works is to restart the computer. (Running Windows Vista and not connected to an Exchange server)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Adobe Reader 8.1 includes PDF Preview Handler

image Robin raised a good question to my previous post if the Outlook 2007 preview is included with the reader.

Adobe Reader 8.1 does include the Outlook 2007 and Windows Explorer PDF Previewer, Windows Search filter, and Windows Explorer icon preview extension (see the image).

When I tried in my Virtual PC 2007 Vista test environment I could not get the Windows Search filter to work. Not sure why. Maybe text within PDF files cannot be searched with the PDF filter that is included with the Reader.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

PDF Preview Handler included with Adobe Acrobat 8.1

Recently Adobe Acrobat 8.1 was released. One good thing is that a PDF Preview Handler is included so you can look at PDF files directly within Outlook 2007. The viewer is very basic and it is not much you do. I directly missed being able to zoom in and zoom out but a workaround is to resize the message window.


The first time you click on a PDF file it takes a few seconds but after that the viewer fires up in less than a second.



It also works in Windows Explorer


New features in Adobe Acrobat 8.1
New operating system support:

  • Windows XP 64-bit edition
  • Windows 2003 64-bit edition
  • Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit editions
    Note: There is a known issue with 64-bit versions of these operating systems which causes the Adobe PDF Printer to not work correctly. Microsoft has released a Hot Fix for this issue which is documented in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article #930627 available at Adobe has tested and will support the Adobe PDF Printer with this Hot Fix installed.

New features:

  • Vista Preview Handler: Preview Handler is a new user interface for viewing PDF files in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 on Windows Vista and Windows XP, as well as in Windows Explorer on Windows Vista. Preview Handler must be turned on in both applications.
  • Microsoft Office 2007 support.
  • PDF printer driver in Vista supports high quality PDF creation.
  • PDFMaker Office 2007 PDF Creation.
  • Option to create Quick and Simple PDFs from Word 2007.
  • New PDFMaker Ribbon UI in Office 2007.
  • Mac OS X version now includes Flash MPP for improved support for Flash files with multimedia on Mac OS.
  • InDesign Plug-In update supports communication with InDesign for Creative Suites 3.
  • Option to print documents to a FedEx Kinko?s office in the USA. English only.
  • Direct render of Dynamic forms
  • FIPS 140 Support

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Outlook 2007 Signatures and Stationary dialog box missing

I run into problem with Outlook 2007. When I selected Tools>Options>Mail Format>Signatures nothing happened. Restarted. Started in safe mode (holding down CTRL during start). No dialog box showed up.

The solution that helped was to run Microsoft Office Diagnostics available at Help>Office Diagnostics in Outlook.
Also at: Windows Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Office\Microsoft Office Tools.Microsoft Office Diagnostics

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

No search results in Outlook 2007 on Windows Vista

I got no results (or limited result) returned when searching for e-mail items using Instant Search in Outlook 2007 on Windows Vista.

I tried the suggestions mentioned in the help but to no avail. Then I tried to run the Inbox Repair Tool SCANPST.EXE found on my machine in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12

I run it on all PST files and there where errors found in all of the files.

I also run a rebuild of the index just to be sure and it seems like using the Inbox Repair Tool was the solution to the problem.

But the irritating thing is that after a few days the PST got corrupted again. Outlook should really be better at notifying when problems arise like this.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Update for Outlook 2007

This Microsoft update has to be done manually and if you use Outlook 2007 it is worth considering it. I've used it for some days and it seems working fine. I appreciate every millisecond of performance enhancement for Outlook 2007 that is possible to get.

This update fixes a problem in which a calendar item that is marked as private is opened if it is found by using the Search Desktop feature. The update also fixes performance issues that occur when you work with items in a large .pst file or .ost file.

Update for Outlook 2007 (KB933493)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Preview AutoCAD text files in Outlook 2007 and Vista

I mentioned about PDF preview handlers in a previous post.

Here is a picture showing how an AutoLISP file with the LSP file extension is previewed in Outlok 2007.

Here is a preview in Vista Explorer.

The above was achieved without any extra coding. A simple registry hack made lsp files and other files to be handled just like plain txt files.

Here is a sample reg file including some txt format files that are used by AutoCAD. CUS, DCL, LIN, LSP, MNL, MNS, MNU, PAT, PGP, SCR and SHP. This works for Windows Vista and Microsoft Outlook 2007. If you want other files to be handled like TXT files it is simple to edit the reg file and add or remove these. For example you might want to add CMD, BAT, VBS.

Here is a snippet from the file.


To remove it you can create a REG file with lines like this.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

PDF Preview Handler for Vista and Outlook 2007

Here are a couple of great Preview Handlers for PDF files.

Foxit PDF Preview Handler as well as Adobe PDF Preview Handler.

Another one is in this MSDN article. The code download for this article includes a framework that makes it a snap to implement your own preview handlers, and it provides several sample previewers (including previewers for PDF, XML, ZIP, MSI, BIN, CSV, XPS, and XAML files).

If I had more time I would write one for DWG and DWF files. With the above code samples it's a quite easy task.

What are File Previewers for Outlook?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

RSS Bandit released but I'm using Google Reader for now

I have used RSS Bandit as a feed reader for many years and before that Bloglines. But due to some long standing bugs in the previous version I gave Google Reader a fair try and I must say that it is really good.

Now RSS Bandit v1.5.0.10 is released and fixed these problems. Getting used to Google Reader I'm not sure I will use RSS Bandit for a while anyway. I've installed it and tried it and it is much better than before.

The biggest thing missing in Google Reader is ability to search. Isn't Google a search company? One little thing I miss in Google Reader is to drag and drop feeds from one folder to another. But I like the keyboard shortcuts. Here are some of them:

j/k item down/up selects the next/previous item in the list
space/shift-space page down/up moves the page down/up
n/p scan down/up in list view, selects the next item without opening it
enter open/close item in list view, expands or collapses the selected item
m mark as read/unread switches the read state of the selected item
v view original opens the original source for this article in a new window
shift-a mark all as read marks all items in the current view as read
1 expanded view displays the subscription as expanded items
2 list view displays the subscription as a list of headlines

I also tried the previous version of Attensa for Outlook but did not like it at all for the way I read feeds. There is a new free beta of Attensa for Outlook 2007 but I don't feel like trying it right now.

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