Outlook 2010 Advanced – Lesson 3 – Managing Messages

When your Outlook items become out of date, you can store them or delete them. You can archive them automatically after a specified time interval or archive them manually. When you archive your items, you store them in your My Documents folder on your hard drive. You can retrieve archived items at any time.

Another way to make item management easier for yourself is to specify categories for your items. A category is a keyword or a phrase you add to an item to help identify it. Designating categories helps you find and group your items. In addition, by creating your own filters, you can show and hide items according to your own criteria.

Cleaning Up Folders

You can cleanup any folder in Outlook 2010 to have Outlook automatically delete any redundant messages. The Conversation Cleanup settings in the Outlook Options dialog box allow you to control what types of messages get moved to the Deleted Items area.

Use the following procedure to clean up a folder.

  1. Right-click on the folder you want to clean up in the Navigation pane.
  2. Select Clean Up Folder from the context menu.

Outlook displays the Clean Up Folder dialog box.

  1. To see the settings, select Settings.

Outlook displays the Outlook Options dialog box.

  1. Scroll down within the Mail tab to see the Conversation Clean Up area. You can select a new folder for the items that will be cleaned up. Check or clear the other boxes to indicate what types of messages will go to the selected clean up folder. When you have finished, select OK.
  2. To clean up the selected folder, select Clean Up Folder on the Clean Up Folder dialog box.

Outlook deletes any messages that match your settings and move them to the default clean up folder (may be your deleted items folder).

Using Mailbox Cleanup

The mailbox cleanup tool allows you to perform several actions to help reduce the size of your Outlook file, including finding items older than a certain number of days or items larger than a certain size. It shows any items that meet the criteria separately, where you can move or delete them. You can also use mailbox cleanup to view your mailbox size, auto archive old items, or empty your deleted items folder.

Use the following procedure to open the Mailbox Cleanup tool.

  1. Select the File tab from the Ribbon to open the Backstage View.
  2. Select Cleanup Tools.
  3. Select Mailbox Cleanup.

Outlook displays the Mailbox Cleanup dialog box.

The Mailbox Cleanup options.

  • Select View Mailbox Size to view the total size of your mailbox.
  • To locate old items, select Find items older than n days and enter a number between 1 and 999. Select Find.
  • To locate large items, select Find items larger than n kilobytes and enter a number between 1 and 9999. Select Find.
  • To move older items in your mailbox to an archive Outlook Data File (.pst), select AutoArchive. We’ll talk more about archiving data later in this module.
  • Select View Deleted Items Size to view the size of your Deleted Items folder.
  • Select Empty to empty your Deleted Items folder.
  • Select View Conflicts Size to view the size of your Conflicts folder.
  • Select Delete to delete the contents of your Conflicts folder.

Understanding Data Configurations

Outlook 2010 creates the following types of files:

  • Outlook data file (.pst)
  • Outlook data file (.ost)
  • Offline Address Book (.oab)
  • Command bar and menu customizations (.dat)
  • Navigation pane settings (.xml)
  • Signatures (.rtf, .txt, .htm)
  • Stationery (.htm)
  • Dictionary (.dic)
  • Templates (.oft)
  • Send/Receive Settings (.srs)
  • Message (.msg, .htm, .rtf)

The following table explains the different data configuration files for Outlook 2010. The top locations are for Windows 7 or Vista. The bottom is for Windows XP.

 

Name Where it is located Description
Outlook Data File (.pst) Documents\Outlook Files folder

OR

My Documents\Outlook Files folder

The Outlook Data files include your email messages, calendars, contacts, tasks, and notes. Outlook is required to open these files.
Outlook Data File (.ost) drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

OR

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

This Outlook data file synchronizes items from the Exchange server. Your data remains on the server, so you can recreate this file on a new computer without having to back it up.
Offline Address Book (.oab) drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

OR

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Microsoft Exchange Server accounts create an .oab file to include names, email addresses, titles, and office locations from the Global Address List . This file is created and updated automatically.
Command bar and menu customizations (.dat) drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook\outcmd.dat

OR

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outcmd.dat

This .dat file stores information about any command bar or menu customizations you have made in Outlook.
Navigation Pane settings (.xml) drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Outlook\profile name.xml

OR

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\profile name.xml

This .xml file includes information about the contents of the Navigation pane, including folders you have created.
Signatures (.rtf, .txt, .htm) drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures

OR

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures

These files include information about any signatures you have created.
Stationery (.htm) drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

OR

drive:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

OR

drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

These files include information about any stationery you have created.
Dictionary (.dic) drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\UProof

OR

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\UProof

This file includes information about words you have added to the Outlook spelling dictionary.
Templates (.oft) drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

OR

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates

This file include information about any templates you have created.

Setting Up AutoArchiving

In no time, you can collect a tremendous amount of Outlook data, especially email messages that can crowd your folders and make it difficult to find wanted items. You can manually transfer individual files to a storage area, but it is more efficient to let Outlook archive older data on a regular basis and store the data for you in your My Documents folder.

Setting up AutoArchiving is a two-step process: First you set the intervals in the Options dialog box, shown in Figure 11. Then you set the options in the Properties dialog box for each folder. You set the options in each folder’s Properties dialog box except for the Contacts folder, which cannot be AutoArchived.

Figure 11: The AutoArchive section of the Options Dialog Box

The default aging period for Calendar, Tasks, and Journal is six months; for Sent Items and Deleted Items, it is two months. By default, Outlook archives your data every two weeks. This means that every two weeks Outlook checks your data files to see if any are older than their aging period. When Outlook finds files that fit this profile, it asks you at start up whether to archive them. You can change the aging period for each folder on the AutoArchive page of a folder’s Properties dialog box.

If you want to AutoArchive the data in your Inbox and Notes folders, you must turn on the AutoArchive feature for these folders yourself. You turn on the AutoArchive feature for these folders using the AutoArchive page of the Properties dialog box for the folder you want to archive. Figure 12 shows the AutoArchive page of the dialog box.

After you set up AutoArchiving, the feature automatically activates whenever you start Outlook. If the aging period for a folder has expired, Outlook displays a message box at startup that asks, Do you want to AutoArchive now? You then choose whether to complete the archiving process. If you do not choose to archive at the time of the notice, Outlook does not notify you about archiving again until the AutoArchive period for the next folder has expired.

Figure 12: The AutoArchive Page

Figure 12: The AutoArchive Page

To set up AutoArchiving:

1. From the File menu, choose Options.

2. In the Options dialog box, select the Advanced button.

3. On the AutoArchive section, select the AutoArchive Settings button

4. The AutoArchive dialog box will appear

5. Place a tick in the Run AutoArchive every check box.

4. In the AutoArchive every…day(s) at startup spin box, enter the number of days.

5. Choose OK. And OK again

6. On the Outlook Bar, right-click an Outlook folder in Mail and select Properties The Properties dialog box for that folder will appear.

8. In the Properties dialog box, select the AutoArchive tab.

9. On the AutoArchive page, if necessary, select the Archive this folder using these settings

10. In the Clean out items older than spin box, enter the number of units, and from the drop-down list, select the calendar period.

11. If necessary, select Move old items to: choose Browse, and in the Find Personal Folders dialog box, select the drive and path for the archive file. Choose OK

 

In the following exercise, you will set up AutoArchiving.

1. Start Outlook and log on Reminders might appear.
2. If necessary, dismiss all reminders
3. Open the Tasks folder The task list appears in the Task Navigation Pane on the left hand side of your screen.
4. Make sure the Current View is Simple List
5. Sort the list by Due Date, displaying the oldest task first
6. From the File menu, choose Options The Options dialog box appears.
7. Select the Advanced button The AutoArchive option appears here.
8. Make sure in the AutoArchive every check box is selected
9. In the AutoArchive every … day(s) at startup spin box, enter 7
10. Make sure the Default archive file: area displays the file path
C:\My Documents\archive.pst
11. Choose OK and OK again
12. On the Outlook Bar, right-click the Journal shortcut The shortcut menu appears.
13. Choose Properties The Journal Properties dialog box appears.
14. Select the AutoArchive tab The AutoArchive page appears.
15. In the Clean out items older than spin box, enter 2, and in the drop-down list box, make sure Months is selected
16. Select Move old items to: option and Choose Browse
17. In the Find Personal Folders dialog box, select C:\My Documents\archive.pst
18. Choose OK The data in the Journal older than two months is set to be archived the next time you open Outlook.

Archiving Manually

If you want to archive a folder immediately, you use the Archive dialog box, shown in Figure 13, which you access from the File menu. If you want to archive your Contacts folder, you can only archive it manually.

Figure 13: The Archive Dialog Box

Figure 13: The Archive Dialog Box

To archive manually:

1. From the Folder tab, choose AutoArchive Settings button.

2. The Archive dialog box will appear. In the Archive dialog box, select the Archive this folder and all subfolders: option button.

3. In the folder list, select a folder. (we currently have Inbox selected )

4. From the Archive items older than: drop-down Date Navigator, select a date.

5. Choose OK.

In the following exercise, you will archive manually.

1. From the Folder tab, choose AutoArchive Settings button The Archive dialog box appears.
2. Make sure the Archive this folder and all subfolders: option button is selected
3. In the folder list, make sure the Tasks folder is selected
4. From the Archive items older than: drop-down Date Navigator, select today’s date two months ago
5. In the Archive file text box, make sure C:\My Documents\archive.pst appears
6. Choose OK The items in the Tasks folder older than two months are archived.
7. If a message box appears that says, AutoArchive is ready to archive now. Do you want to have old items archived now? choose No

Retrieving Archived Items

Once the aging period has been reached, Outlook sends you a message at startup that asks if you want it to AutoArchive your files. Your Yes response activates archiving, and Outlook stores your old files for you.

If you need an old file, you can retrieve it from the archives using the Import and Export Wizard. Outlook stores your archives in your My Documents folder as archive.pst. As with other Microsoft wizards, this wizard walks you step-by-step through the importing process.

Before you complete the final step in the Import and Export Wizard, Outlook lets you select whether to replace duplicates with imported files, to allow duplicates to be created, or not to import duplicates. You make your selection with the option buttons shown in Figure 14. If you indeed have duplicates, you might find it helpful to allow duplicates to be created so that you can examine both items to decide which one you want to keep. Then you can delete the unwanted item. You might also decide that any duplicate in your active file is more current than what you have stored in your archives, in which case you would not want to import duplicates at all. If you are indeed searching for an older version of an active item, then you might prefer to replace duplicates with imported files.

Figure 14: The Import Personal Folders Screen of the Import and Export Wizard

Figure 14: The Import Personal Folders Screen of the Import and Export Wizard

To retrieve archived items:

1. From the file menu, choose Open, choose Import.

2. In the first screen of the Import and Export Wizard, choose Import from another program or file:

3. Choose Next

4. Then choose from Select file type to Import from: Outlook Data File (.pst).

4. Choose Next.

5. In the first Import Personal Folders screen, in the File to import area, select the correct path and folder.

6. In the Options area, select an option button.

7. Choose Next.

8. In the next Import Personal Folders screen, accept the selections, and then choose Finish.

In the following exercise, you will retrieve archived items.

1. Make sure the Tasks folder is open and sorted by due date
2. From the File menu, Open, choose Import The Import and Export Wizard appears.
3. In the Choose an action to perform: area, select Import from another program or file (each of these areas give a Description at the bottom of wizard dialogue box as to what this action will do and in this case this action also includes the import of Personal Folders (.PST))
4. Choose Next The first Import a File screen of the Import and Export Wizard appears.
5. From the file type to import from: Select Outlook Data File (.pst)

6. Choose Next

7. The Import Personal Folders screen will appear

8. In the File to import area, make sure C:\My Documents
\archive.pst
is selected

9. In the Options area, select the Allow duplicates to be created option button.
7. Choose Next The second Import Personal Folders screen appears.
8. Accept the selections, and then choose Finish The archives are retrieved and reappear in your task list.

Managing Junk Mail

Outlook can filter out certain types of messages and send them to a separate folder to keep your Inbox from being cluttered with junk mail. Outlook can also disable links in suspicious “phishing” type messages to protect you from malicious messages. This topic will address how to control these features so that you only have to look at the messages you want, and you make sure to see all the messages you want.

About the Junk Mail Filter

Outlook’s junk mail filters evaluate incoming messages using several factors to assess whether messages are spam. The junk mail filters do not prevent messages from being delivered. Outlook simply diverts these messages to a separate folder, where you can quickly scan for any real messages, then empty the folder.

The new Junk tool on the Ribbon allows you to quickly block or enable a sender or domain, or to mark the message as not junk.

You can control the protection level and control several junk e-mail filter settings using the Junk E-mail Options window.

View the location of the Junk E-mail folder in the Navigation pane.

 

Junk tool on the Ribbon:

Use the following procedure to open the Junk E-mail Options window.

  1. Select the Junk tool from the Ribbon.
  2. Select Junk E-mail Options.

Outlook opens the Junk E-mail Options window.

 

Enabling Junk Mail Filtering

Outlook offers the following levels of protection:

  • No automatic filtering – This level only moves messages from blocked senders to the Junk E-mail folder.
  • Low – This level moves the most obvious junk e-mail to the Junk E-mail folder, based on factors like the address or domain of the sender and the time sent.
  • High – This level moves more to the Junk E-mail folder. It may incorrectly move some legitimate messages as well.
  • Safe Lists Only – This level moves every message that is not on your safe senders list to the Junk E-mail folder.

With the Junk E-mail Options window open (from the previous topic), select the filtering option (Low is the recommended setting) and select OK to enable Junk E-mail filtering.

(You will need the Junk E-mail Options window in the next topics as well.)

Outlook displays a security message if you try to respond to a message in the Junk E-mail folder.

You can drag the message back to the Inbox if it is not junk e-mail.

 

Enabling the Phishing Filter

Phishing is the attempt to lure e-mail recipients into divulging personal information. Phishers use the information they gain to steal identities and/or money.

The Junk E-mail filter evaluates messages for suspicious links or spoofed or fake e-mail addresses.

By default, suspicious message detection is turned on.

If the filter determines a message is suspicious, the message is sent to the Junk E-mail folder, the message format is changed to plain text format, and the links in the message are disabled. You will not be able to reply to these messages.

Modifying Safe and Blocked Senders Lists

You can help Outlook learn which messages to consider junk e-mail by using the safe and blocked senders list.

  • Outlook never treats messages from Safe Senders as junk e-mail.
  • Outlook always moves messages from Blocked Senders to the Junk E-mail folder.

View the Safe Senders Tab on the Junk E-mail Options window.

Use the following procedure to add an e-mail address to the Safe Senders list.

  1. Select Add.

Outlook opens the Add Address or Domain window.

  1. Enter the e-mail address or domain name.
  2. Select OK.

Outlook adds the e-mail address or domain name to the Safe Senders List.

View the Blocked Senders list by selecting the Blocked Senders tab. You can add, edit, and remove items the same way as for the Safe Senders List.

Marking a Message as Junk or Not Junk

Sometimes Outlook incorrectly sends a message to the Junk E-mail folder. You can mark the message as not junk to return it to the Inbox and restore the functionality and attachments.

Depending on your junk e-mail settings, Outlook may not catch all spam messages as Junk. You can manually move the message to the Junk e-mail folder.

You can empty the Junk E-mail Folder at any time to permanently delete messages stored there. Outlook does not move them to the Deleted Items folder before deleting them.

Use the following procedure to mark a message as Not Junk.

  1. From the Junk E-mail Folder, highlight the message that is not junk.
  2. Select the Junk tool from the Ribbon and select Not Junk.

Outlook displays a Mark as Not Junk window.

  1. Check the box to add the e-mail address to the Safe Senders List.
  2. Select OK.

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