Outlook for Mac on Exchange server - want a data file on dropbox

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jagizzi, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. jagizzi macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2014
    I need to reduce my inbox size. Seemingly simple, and in the past it has been with Outlook. Now on the Mac I am not so sure.

    I can export an .olm file but it is not readily accessible if I understand Outlook help correctly. It is a source for import but not live access to emails.

    I would like a file somewhere that my two Macs, and one PC, can access emails from using the Outlook interface.

    Has anyone done this already, I am guessing so, and how did you go about it?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. There is quite a bit of info online but it all references the "on my computer" file. Which is literally on my computer. All good if I only want the one Mac to access it locally but this will not serve for both Macs and the PC laptop. I don't see a way in Outlook to reassign the location for this file. That should be all that is required but danged if I can figure out how to do it.
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    If you want multiple computers to see all the same emails/folders then you might as well leave the email on the IMAP or Exchange server.
  3. jagizzi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2014
    Yes of course, the issue is that the inbox size is limited on the server to 2 GB. So I am forced to come up with an archiving solution. My preference would be to have the archived emails available no matter which device I am using to access Outlook email.
  4. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I'm a longtime user of Outlook on both platforms. Accessing archived data is a piece of cake.

    Export your data-to-be archived to a location of your choice - your hard drive, a flash drive, a network drive. You'll create an .OLM file.

    To get your information so that it's accessible in Outlook, but not on your server, import the .OLM file - you'll see that data as "On My Computer" in a directory that looks like "Archived Mail > Outlook for Mac Archive > On My Computer > Inbox".

    Once you're absolutely convinced that your data is intact, you can delete the data from your server. I've never lost any data - from 73 accounts (iCloud/Gmail/Google Apps/Exchange Server 2003/2007/2010/2013). I also used Outlook 2004 for the Mac. QED.
  5. jagizzi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2014
    So you simply import the .olm file into each running version of Outlook then. In my case, three times, two macs and a PC.

    There is no way to have that .olm file accessible without importing? In days past, on a PC, I could simply create a .pst file that I could point multiple instances of Outlook to and they would all share that file.

    That is not possible on the MAC?

    I understand your workaround, and appreciate your sharing, and it will solve my short term problem, but it is not quite what I was hoping for.
  6. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Yes, you'd need to import the OLM file separately. Keep in mind that Office 2011 was created in 2010, when the "Exchange" IMAPI format was a moving target, in flux. Exchange 2013 has only recently been nailed down. In that light, the Office 2011 backend hasn't been updated for almost 3 years - and it's the most-updated app of the suite! I'm hoping that, as a small business owner, MS is working on an updated version of their suite for the Mac Platform. Really.

    I understand what you were hoping for. As I described, there's no reason you can't put that OLM file on a network drive and point each of your versions of Outlook to that file - I have, and it works fine. An Outlook app is pointed to its accounts, and to an OLM file, and I get access to all of my relevant data as needed. I do use Dropbox, but I don't trust them after the data breach earlier this year - I put my OLM data on an accessible server, and it works like clockwork.

    As for PST files, PST for 2010 is different than PST for 2013, so I started using OLM files - your IT guy should look up and accommodate for the differences. Mac Office 2011 PST files look like Office 2010 PST files - which were "in flux", that coming from MS directly, which drove me to put my needed archives in OLM files on a server I could access on the road.

    FWIW, consider a move to Office365 - I have, and we're moving to it. No more IT crap, more overhead, accessibility across platforms, more more Server headaches and lots more headroom, and our CAL costs are much cheaper than an Exchange Server - and I sold one of our Exchange Server licenses. We get "Exchange" - for a per-user charge with a 10GB ceiling for a lot less than my IT guy provided. BTW, I let him go for not informing me of competitive options and I don't even miss him...
  7. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    Let's go over some basics...

    Only Outlook for Mac can import the .olm file.
    Exporting as .olm file often fails to get all data. If you see a log file along with the .olm file, it shows what failed to export.
    Outlook for Mac can import a .pst file but cannot create a .pst file.

    Saving any data under the "On My Computer" folders in Outlook can result in lost data. Outlook is prone to corruption and if you can't rebuild, all data under "On My Computer" can be lost.

    I suggest you get the Microsoft online Exchange account for $4/month with a 50 GB limit. You don't have to put your domain on the account. You can use it in lieu of the "On My Computer" folders.

    Exchange Online


    When the next version of Office for Mac is released it will be through Office365. Get the business version and it will come with Exchange as part of the service. Home does not include Exchange. O365 license comes with 5 installs on both Mac and PC.

    An added benefit to the Exchange is you now get access to your contacts and calendars on your phone.

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