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Outlook synching


I have several mail accounts, with yahoo and such (pop). I have two computers, one at home, and a laptop. I use Outlook that gathers the new mails from these different account, and then I put them into several Outlook folders / subfolders, by drag and drop. (I also could buy some add-in that would help me here, and will probably do so: There is QuickFile (70$), SimplyFile (50$), SpeedFiler (40$), and also ClearContext (90$) - SimplyFile seems to be best to me, but I would have to try them first.)

Now I don't want those mails, in yahoo, etc., to be deleted after downloading, but want them to be preserved there, too. This means I cannot download mails from both of my computers, as I would like to do, since Outlook in computer 1 does not know that I did download all these mails by Outlook in computer 2, and I would quickly create total chaos - this goes without saying, and I never tried to do such an idiotic thing.

What I do, I use computer 1 for accessing my mails, then copy my Outlook pst file to computer 2, then access my yahoo accounts again. This is a lot of fuss, but should work.

I also had a look at alternatives: I read all available reviews on Outlook synch tools, but I see there they all seem to be rather buggy. SynchPST from Wisco (90$), for example, will be available from bitsdujour soon, but reading the user reviews on will probably make you refrain from your purchase (and its competitors don't seem to function better).

Then, there is "Exchange Hosting", for example from, but one "mailbox", as they call it, is 10$ per month, and I don't know how many of these "mailboxes" I will need - in the end, such a solution seems to be the very best one here, for people like me who don't want to switch from Outlook to google.mail and similar, and who want to use several computers to access their mail. (But I don't know anything about Exchange, and Rackspace won't explain their system in a way I am able to understand.)

Now for my immediate problem, though.

As said, I use computer 1 with Outlook 1 for accessing my mails, then I copy the pst file to computer 2 and want to use Outlook 2 there, then again I want to transfer that same pst file back to computer 1 and access my mail account by Outlook 1, and so on.

Now, the second computer, with the refreshed pst file coming from computer 1, will NOT "know" that all these mails are downloaded and stored and categorized within my pst file, but it will begin to download thousands of "new" mails.

This means, the second computer, the second Outlook installation, with the same pst file that functions well in computer 1, behaves as if I had a second pst file here, and not the pst file from computer 1.

So, even with the fuss I'm going into in order to make my system work (I know it's crazy, and I should work with google.mail or something like that instead), nothing works, and I can't access my mail but with one computer, not both.

Does anybody know if I must reset some option within that second (identical) Outlook installation on my second computer, in order to stop that second installation from downloading all these mails that are already within its file system? (It's that unique pst file, WITH all these mails within its hierarchy - I see them, I can open them, and notwithstanding that, that second installation downloads all these files again, when the same pst file in computer one behaves normally: Here, only new files are downloaded.)

I should add that my system is exactly what they say you should do on numerous web sites, and nowhere there is a hint at the problems I encounter here.

The easiest solution is going to be switching those POP account to IMAP.  Even Yahoo offer IMAP access these days. (use SSL IMAPS on port 993) (use SSL SMTPS on port 465)

Trying to synch up POP accounts across multiple computers is an exercise in absolute frustration (as you've found out).

You can read "everywhere" that Outlook and imap is asking for big trouble. As I said above, copying again and again the same pst file between different computers, should be good enough since dozens of sites tell you to do so, and this completely avoids the problem of synchings different pst files, so the only problem is that this doesn't work, probably because I have some wrong setting in that second Outlook installation.

If it works, there would be the way to not copy the same pst file anymore, again and again, but to have it on a usb stick; the problem here is that most usb sticks are way too slow (even those that are presumed to be fast, have never understood why this is so).

A "professional" solution would be hosted "Exchange", but here, I don't know how Exchange (and then, hosted Exchange) works. If I understand Imap right, the mails are NOT on your computer(s) but only within on the server: no web connection, no access to your mails: this is unacceptable for me. Possible, with hosted Exchange, it's the same problem.

That's why I'm asking help with my Outlook (settings?) problem, and then, I even could buy, instead of storing my pst file on a usb stick, on a 1" usb harddisk - these are much faster, so this would be a realistic solution.

Of course, it occured to me that perhaps the info "which mail from the inbox of the web mail provider has been downloaded already, and which hasn't", is NOT stored within the pst file but elsewhere (and as I said, I only copy the pst file, between the two computers) - but then, dozens of sites tell you you just have to copy the pst file, so it seems the info which file has been downloaded already, is stored WITHIN that pst file - but not accessed / checked by my second Outlook installation (which recognizes that same pst file as its default file, though)...

Carol Haynes:
Sorry I may be being dense but why not just download from your POP accounts on both computers and on both computers set up POP to leave the email on the server (just set it to delete if you delete from an email from the computer).

You can set up rules in Outlook to filter mail into folders and in recent incarnations of Outlook you can export and import those rules form one computer to another.

The only issue I can see is syncing sent mail - why don't you just occasionally export sent mail on both computers to a PST file and then import just sent mail on the other ignoring duplicates?

Alternatively BCC yourself a copy of every email you send by rule in Outlook and then filter those into the sent items folder.

Having said all that given the current hacking problems (going on for months) at Yahoo do you really want to use Yahoo servers as a private store for your emails?

Another approach would be to periodically archive your email from Yahoo into something like MailStore (

There is a free version for home use.

MailStore could be synced across both computers using a simple file sync tool.

Mailstore allows archiving direct from POP or IMAP accounts and also archive Outlook quite happily. It also optionally deletes mail from the source by rule so it is a great way to reduce the size of your PST files and still have fast access, and easy searching to your entire email archive.

Mailstore will also allow you to send emails back to Outlook if you need to or even extract emails as plain text or .eml files

Worth checking out.

I am using MailStore Server these days and it is great because it plugs directly into Outlook (in the toolbars/ribbon) and can be automated.

Sorry I may be being dense but why not just download from your POP accounts on both computers and on both computers set up POP to leave the email on the server (just set it to delete if you delete from an email from the computer).
-Carol Haynes (March 07, 2013, 07:53 PM)
--- End quote ---

This is what I do, using the free Windows Live Mail (Windows Essentials) client on several computers. All my hotmail, yahoo, Gmail email comes into Windows Live Mail, they are in sync across the computers, and copies are left of the server.


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