Exchange FAQs

If you don’t find a solution, post a question in Microsoft for Mac Product Forums

Before you report a problem

  1. Make sure you are updated
  2. Restart your Mac
  3. Run Repair Permissions using Disk Utility
  4. Check to see if your question has already been answered.
  5. Look in Help (it’s under Help in the Menu Bar) or search OfficeforMacHelp.com for answers.
  6. If you still can’t find the answer then ask on the Microsoft for Mac Product Forums. For best results see How to report a problem.

Also see Microsoft’s list: Known Issues in Outlook 2011

See requirements for Exchange support


  1. How do I store mail offline if my Exchange mailbox gets full? (Where are folders under “On My Computer” ?)
  2. What do I do if one or more of my folders has stopped syncing?
  3. NOT VERIFIED - What do I do if my Exchange account is unreliably syncing?
  4. Will Outlook 2011 work with Exchange 2003?
  5. How do I raise the attachment size limit in Outlook to let me send files larger than 10MB?
  6. Does Outlook support server-side rules?
  7. Can Outlook book resources?
  8. Does Outlook for Mac sync message statuses (Reply, Reply All and Forward) with Exchange?
  9. Can Outlook for Mac use Outlook Anywhere to connect to my Exchange server?
  10. Does Outlook for Mac support multiple Exchange accounts?
  11. I receive error code -17199 when connecting to Exchange. What’s wrong?
  12. I receive error code -17997 when connecting to Exchange. What’s wrong?
  13. Does Outlook for Mac support Push?
  14. I’ve assigned categories to items in public folders and items shared by other users. No one else can see them.
  15. Outlook is not displaying new GAL items.
  16. How do I recover recently deleted emails (those from the emptied deleted items folder)
  17. Autodiscover keeps changing the URL for my Exchange account. How do I fix this?
  18. How do I archive mail automatically to folders “On My Computer”?

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(1) How do I store mail offline if my Exchange mailbox gets full?

Outlook has a new feature, which many Exchange users have wanted for a long time: the ability to hide “On My Computer”. By default, if the first and only account you create in Outlook is an Exchange account then this new feature is enabled. You can disable it by going to Outlook menu –> Preferences… –> Personal Settings –> General and deselecting the option Hide On My Computer folders.

If you are having trouble creating a folder under “On My Computer”, uncheck “Group folders” in Outlook’s General preferences. See this article Basics: Folders On My Computer for more info.

Third party option to automate move: http://www.officeformachelp.com/2011/01/archive-your-outlook-2011-exchange-messages-using-oeao/

(2) What do I do if one or more of my folders has stopped syncing?

Most likely you need to empty your Exchange cache files for those folders. Right-click or Control-click each folder, select Folder Properties… and click the Empty button to empty the cache. You can also select the account itself and empty the cache for all of your folders. Messages will be synchronized from the server.

When clearing caches for Sent Items and Calendars, be careful not to lose any unsynchronized data. Select all messages and drag them to a temporary folder under On My Computer. Clear your caches and then copy any missing messages from your temporary folder back to your Sent Items folder or Calendar.

(3) NOT VERIFIED - What do I do if my Exchange account is unreliably syncing?

In some cases, Outlook for Mac makes an initial sync with Exchange but then syncs sporadically or not at all thereafter. Clearing caches and recreating the account do not work. Editing the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ASP.NET\2.0.50727.0\MaxConcurrentRequestsPerCPU registry or modifying the aspnet.config file on the Hub server to handle the additional load from the extra Exchange Web Services traffic may resolve this. The default value is 12. Try setting this number to something much higher such as 5000.

Read ASP.NET Thread Usage on IIS 7.0 and 6.0 for more information.

If this resolves your issue, please contact us and report your experience.

(4) Will Outlook 2011 work with Exchange 2003?

No. Outlook 2011 uses the Exchange Web Services (EWS) protocol, which was introduced in Exchange Server 2007. Entourage 2008 will support Exchange Server 2003 using the WebDAV protocol.

(5) How do I raise the attachment size limit in Outlook to let me send files larger than 10MB?

Outlook has no limit on the size of attachments you may send. The limitation is on the server. Outlook along with Entourage, Web Services Edition, uses a new protocol for communicating with an Exchange server called Exchange Web Services (EWS). Entourage 2008 and earlier use an older protocol called WebDAV.

(6) Does Outlook support server-side rules?

The only server-side rules that Outlook for Mac currently  supports is Out of Office. It does not support setting server-side rules to move or manage messages and contacts or to act on calendar events. Microsoft acknowledges this as an Exchange feature many users want but that they did not get it into the initial release of Outlook 2011.

Your mail server as well as your Client Access Servers (CAS) need to be changed to allow attachments over 10MB. This is the default Exchange setting for Web Services. More info: How to Manage Maximum Message Size in Outlook Web Access

(7) Can Outlook book resources?

Outlook for Mac does not support “direct booking” as does Outlook for Windows. Direct booking is a MAPI-only feature and Outlook for Mac uses Exchange Web Services.. However, meeting organizers can take advantage of the Auto Accept Agent, a free download for Exchange 2003, or the Resource Booking Attendant built into Exchange 2007 and higher.

See Resource Scheduling.

(8) Does Outlook for Mac sync message statuses (Reply, Reply All and Forward) with Exchange?

Partially. Message status icons for Reply, Reply All and Forward when sent from Outlook will sync with Exchange, however, those statuses are not synchronized with ActiveSync devices such as the iPhone. Message status icons for messages sent via ActiveSync devices do not sync with Exchange and therefore do not sync with Outlook for Mac.

(9) Can Outlook for Mac use Outlook Anywhere to connect to my Exchange server?

Outlook Anywhere is the newer name for RPC over HTTP, which is what Outlook for Windows uses to connect to an Exchange server over the Internet. Typically, you’ll use the same address as the Outlook Web Access (OWA) address.

Outlook for Mac can do the same thing, however, it uses the Exchange Web Services (EWS) protocol instead of RPC. The EWS protocol must be enabled on the OWA server before Outlook for Mac can connect.

(10) Does Outlook for Mac support multiple Exchange accounts?

Unlike Outlook for Windows, which has a limit of one Exchange account for 2007 and three for 2010, Outlook for Mac has no limit on the number of Exchange accounts it can handle. Also, accounts can be configured within Outlook for Mac’s preferences. It does not require setup outside of the application.

(11) I receive error code -17199 when connecting to Exchange. What’s wrong?

More than likely, you are attempting to connect Outlook 2011 to an Exchange 2003 server. Exchange 2003 does not support the Exchange Web Services protocol that Outlook for Mac requires. Outlook for Mac supports at minimum Exchange Server 2007 SP1 with roll-up 4.

(12) I receive error code -17997 when connecting to Exchange. What’s wrong?

Verify that you are using the primary SMTP address of your Exchange account. Do not use an alias.

(13) Does Outlook for Mac support Push?

Push is the technology that allows an E-mail client, such as an ActiveSync client, to receive a new message as soon as the server receives it. This was not in the original implementation of the Exchange Web Services protocol but was added later. The first versions of Outlook for Mac do not support push E-mail but this is planned for a future major update. Instead, Outlook will poll an Exchange server every minute.

(14) I’ve assigned categories to items in public folders and items shared by other users. No one else can see them.

Categories assigned in Outlook are only for the benefit of the user who assigns them. If a user assigns a category to a shared item in a public folder or in a shared folder they will only be viewable on that one machine. Categories assigned to shared items do not sync to the Exchange server and will not be available for the same account on other computers nor will they be available to other users.

(15) Outlook is not displaying new GAL items.

The Offline Address Book (OAB) may need to be reset. Delete this file where ” ~ ” indicates the user’s home folder: ~/Library/Caches/com.microsoft.Outlook/cache.db

(16) In Entourage I used to be able to recover recently deleted emails (those from the emptied deleted items folder) by logging in to the exchange server using OWA.  With Outlook 2011 I cannot see how to do this.

Control-click the ‘deleted items’ folder in OWA and then click ‘Recover Deleted Items’.

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