Using Outlook

Last updated: August 26, 2022

Setting up Outlook on a Managed Workstation

Managed Workstations are joined to the domain. When launching Outlook for the first time, it will detect your domain login and prompt you to setup Outlook with your e-mail address. Just follow the prompts, most users don’t need to change any of the default options. After setup, Outlook will begin to download your mail to your machine, for most users this should happen fairly quickly. Though, for users with larger mailboxes, it may appear that your inbox is empty. It may take a few minutes for mail to appear in you mailbox.

Common Tips for using Outlook

  •  Use the in-program Help feature (the question mark in the upper right corner).  Many answers to your questions are available in this resource.
  • Always use Scheduling Assistant to invite people and resources to a meeting.
  • Want to set an Out of Office Message?  Always use Outlook Web Access (OWA).  Click Options, then Set Automatic Replies.
  • Upon initial login to your Outlook account, check the box “Remember my Credentials” if you do not wish to be prompted for login information each time you open your Outlook account.
Other Outlook Issues

Microsoft no longer supports adding a second Exchange account in Outlook using the second account’s Exchange credentials. While accounts that are currently setup that way may continue to work, they will eventually stop working altogether. Instead, you’ll need to be granted “Full Access” and “Send As” permissions to the account and then add it to your machine as an additional mailbox.

We have instructions on how to get those permissions added on this page: Common Problems and Solutions for Sharing E-mails

Adding an Additional Mailbox to Outlook

Once you have “Full Access” and “Send As” permissions to a shared netid’s mailbox, follow these steps to add it to Outlook:

  1. Open Outlook and click the File Tab
  2. Click the Account Settings button and choose “Account Settings…
  3. Select your account in the account list and click the “Change…” button
  4. In the bottom-right corner of the Change Account window click on “More Settings…
  5. Click the Advanced tab
  6. Next to the “Open these additional mailboxes:” listbox, click “Add
  7. Enter the e-mail address of the shared mailbox that you have permissions to add and click “OK
  8. Click “Apply” and then “OK
  9. Click “Next” and then, on the next window, “Finish

Outlook corrupt profile workarounds

In cached mode, or even in non-cached mode, occasionally the local mailbox cache file can become corrupted or exhibit odd behavior.  Symptoms can include:

      • meeting information that does not match with OWA
      • frequent sync errors
      • poor performance
      • an OST cache file many GB larger than the actual size

Strategy 1:  Often, removing the cache file and allowing Outlook to download a fresh copy will resolve these problems.

      1. Steps:

        1. Locate cache file:  C:\Users\[netid]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\
        2. Locate any .OST files.  Typically the cache file will be named <profilename>.ost OR and should have a recent modified date
        3. Make sure Outlook is closed and rename the .ost file (e.g. .ost.old).
        4. If you get an error about not being able to rename the file, you may also need to close and exit Lync.
        5. Open Outlook and it will automatically generate a new .ost file.

Strategy 2:  If the problem is not resolved:

        1. again make sure Outlook is closed
        2. move all files in this folder to a new location (e.g. “old” or “deleteme”, etc).
        3. Open Outlook again and it should regenerate all files and folders automatically.

If the problem is resolved, you can delete the renamed files and folders to reclaim disk space.

Other locations that contain Outlook configuration files:


These files are typically look and feel settings for Outlook.  Outlook will recreate these automatically as well.  Removing them will cause some Outlook configurations to be reset back to the default.

The outlook.srs file in this location contains “Send and Receive Settings” and renaming or deleting it and allowing it to be recreated can resolve errors with sending and receiving in Outlook.

Using cached mode

      • Cached Mode stores a copy of your mailbox on your local computer for quick access to your data. Any changes you make are synchronized periodically with the server whenever a connection is available.   Cached Mode does not provide “real time” updates to your views of other account data.

        Do not use cached mode if:

        • you are engaged in a “delegate” relationship in any way
        • you have been granted “shared” access to other calendars (Note: granting shared access is almost never necessary; use the Scheduling Assistant instead.)

        Enabling Cached Mode

        • Open Account Settings:  Outlook 2016: Click on File – Info – Account Settings – Account Settings.
        • Make sure the Microsoft Exchange account is selected and click Change.
        • Check the box marked Use Cached Exchange Mode

Undeliverable messages – usually caused by a corrupted cached address

      • Open an new email message
      • Begin to type in the name of the person whose message was undeliverable
      • When the name appears in the drop-down box, highlight the name and press the Delete key.
      • On your next email to that person, begin to type in the name or UW NetID, and click the Check Names icon to get the correct address.

Your Mailbox is Getting Full and You Can’t Send E-mail

With 50GB of space for each user, it is unlikely that you’re going to run out of room. However, if you do start to approach that limit, you’ll start to receive these warnings:

      • Your mailbox is becoming too large.
      • Your mailbox is almost full.
      • Your mailbox is full.

As your mailbox grows, you will receive warnings: first you’ll be unable to send mail; then you won’t be able to receive it and people trying to email you will get a non-delivery report.

 Large attachments

Often what’s taking up your quota is email large attachments. To delete attachments from messages in Outlook:

  1. Double-click on the desired message to open it in its own window.
  2. Click on the attachment you want to remove with the right mouse button.
  3. Select Remove from the menu.
  4. Close the message window.
  5. Click OK when asked Do you want to save changes?

Sort by size

Click in the blue bar that says Arrange by:  Date and choose Size.  This will put the largest messages at the top. You can then save the attachments to your H: or I: drive and be able to delete the message(s) taking up so much space.

Find large folders

See where your usage lies. Right-Click on Mailbox – (your name) and select Properties. On that window, click the Folder Size button. It will show you how much space your Outlook files are using and which folders are taking the most room.

Prune Sent and Deleted Items folders

You can see big space savings by pruning back your Sent Items folder. When you’re done with your deletions, remember to empty your Deleted Items folder in order to actually see the space savings.

Checking your usage

Outlook: Click on File tab and look for the Mailbox Settings status bar which will show your usage.

Other options:

The Managing Your Email link on the UW Email page

The Records Retention pages for information on what emails must be retained and for how long