Everything has been going great with the new hosted exchange service I use. Apart from a nasty surprise with Outlook. I'd not thought much about where the offline cache was being stored (for those who don't know, in order to work when you're not connected to the remote Exchange server and to speed up responses on a slow network, Outlook maintains a local - highly secure - cache. It's stores in a .ost file)

My OST file had been created in the default location on my C: drive and over the last couple of months has been steadily growing - although I try and keep things under control I'm not the most organised, and people will insist on sending me large documents / designs for review and I like to keep a record of what I'm agreeing to.

On my Vaio the machine came partitioned with a fairly small C: drive (15GB) and the rest of space  on D: - and I've been fairly good at keeping documents and datafiles on D: and most of the stuff on C is related to the OS and essential programs (and my swapfile is on D: ... though I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile getting a 2GB MemoryStick and putting the swapfile on there (although I think Vista will be able to take more advantage of that idea)

Despite trying to behave.... my C: drive had less than 1GB space left and was spending way too much time with the disk going, so the OST had to move.

But it's not as easy as going into a simple dialog and asking Outlook to move it somewhere for you - although in Outlook2007 it's a lot easier than previous incarnations... you just have to follow the steps.

The process isn't that difficult (though you do have to stop/restart Outlook when instructed to make it all work). It's a bit clearer if you click through to the picture but the steps are

  • Go into Tools | Account Settings
  • On the Data Files tab select the data file for the account
  • Turn off "Cached mode" on the "advanced" tab
  • Disable "Offline use" on the "offline folder" settings popup
  • And then.... you can move the .ost (in Explorer) and reference the new location to have Outlook work with it
  • Don't forget to re-enable "Offline use" and turn "Cached mode" back on

Simple when you know how!

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