Excerpt from Michael’s New Outlook Book: How to Store Local Mail in Outlook Mac 2011

Mar 26, 2011

Here’s an excerpt from my new Outlook book (the 3rd edition of Total Workday Control). In the excerpt below I describe how Exchange users on Outlook for Mac 2011 can store mail locally, thus clearing space on their Exchange Server account. This roughly duplicates the Personal Folders feature on Windows Outlook. This is from Appendix A, page 332:

Local folders on Outlook for Mac 2011 are called On My Computer folders. To ensure you can see your On My Computer folders in the Navigation Pane, go to File>Preferences>General and clear the check box next to Hide On My Computer Folders. Also, to make the list of local folders more clear, in that same General settings dialog box, clear the check box next to the setting: Group Similar Folders, Such as Inboxes, from Different Accounts. I discuss this control more later in this appendix, but leave the check box cleared for now.

Next, look in the Navigation Pane (left side of screen); if you have an Exchange account, you will see the folders associated with Exchange at the top. Below that you will see a section called ON MY COMPUTER with (if Mail is selected) a set of five folders below it by default.

These default folders in this lower section start out empty; they are local storage areas that you can use to offload and archive data from your Exchange Server.

Note:     Unlike Windows Outlook, local folders in one group on the Mac are not stored in one Mac OS file. Rather, they are a collection of Mac OS files (one per e-mail message).

You can use the predelivered mail folders under ON MY COMPUTER to store mail moved from your Exchange account. Or you can add more folders there by selecting the ON MY COMPUTER label and CTRL-clicking it, and then choosing New Folder—perhaps adding a Processed Mail folder. Or you can add subfolders to the existing five folders. Note that you cannot delete or rename the original five folders; they are part of the system.

Of course, if you have no Exchange account, the ON MY COMPUTER section will be your only section; that’s where your Internet based mail is downloaded to so you can read it.

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10 Responses to Excerpt from Michael’s New Outlook Book: How to Store Local Mail in Outlook Mac 2011

  1. todd little says:

    Michael, when creating personal folders in the navigation bar is there any way to increase the font size of the folder name? I have ten or so folders but the names are so small i can barely make them out.

    Thanks for any help

  2. todd little says:

    I have a recent version of outlook for mac

  3. Lindsay G says:

    I have local folder on Mac Mail (total about 20Gb) and have to move to Outlook. Is there an easy way to move local folders in the Mac Mail client to local On My Computer files in Outlook. I search online and see warnings that the import in Outlook on the Mac doesn’t work. The only way I see is to put them up on exchange server first and then drag them to the local Outlook folders but there must be an easier wa?.

  4. mike says:

    Thanks michael! How do I go about backing these up? Where are they located and can they be imported to a new computer on say a pc refresh?

  5. phin eas says:

    Lindsay G: If you Google around there is one solution that actually works on the Mac on Lion. It involves a 3rd-party product called Emailchemy. I can’t give you step by step but the instructions do work — and I found them w/Google. I did it earlier this year. If I were you I’d break that folder up into at least 5 separate folders.

  6. Erik says:

    It seems like it should be possible, but I can’t figure out how. Can a “rule” be set up to automatically transfer emails from the exchange inbox onto the local folder when they are a certain number of days old?

    • Michael Linenberger says:

      Yes, you can use AutoArchive for that. Study Appendix B of the Outlook book, it tells you how.

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