Working Offline in Microsoft Outlook

There are times when you may want to read email and write email and be off the network. Examples may be when you are on an airplane without wifi and you want to use the time, in flight, to read email you just haven’t gotten to today. You may even want to reply to an email. The option to work “offline” is available to you with REAL Outlook. (NOTE: this does not work with the web client, OWA, because of course being on the web requires an internet conection.)

Any file attachments, either previously looked at or not, you WILL be able to read. What you will not be able to read, however,  are graphics that are put into email messages where you have not right clicked to download and view those graphics in the message itself. However, if you did right click and download them before you disconnected from the network, you will be able to see those graphics.

So, let’s get started, this is very easy. I am assuming you are sitting on a plane or other location where you either do not have Ethernet (wifi) connectivity or you just don’t want to pay for it right now.  I am also assuming you have REAL Outlook installed and configured to your account and you have checked your email recently on this machine so that you are looking at a fairly current copy of your email list. Keep in mind that you cannot read any email that is not there so the last thing you should do before you leave town and disconnect from the ‘net, is to check your email on THIS computer. That will guarantee you have a fairly recent copy of your recent emails.

With the network off, open the REAL Outlook client. Look for the Send/Receive tab and click it.

Now look for the Work Offline button at the top. Click it.

Notice there is a gold background behind the button. If you look to the status bar at the bottom you will also see a red X and it will say, next to the X, Working Offline.

If you look to your computer’s task bar (typically at the bottom of the screen, you may also see the Outlook icon with an X over it.

Now click on the Home tab.

You can now work with your email the way you normally do.

You may read, forward, or create new messages. HOWEVER, any outbound messages will not actually go out UNTIL you reconnect to the internet and set your email to work back online.

So let’s do that now.  First, reconnect to the Internet. Once you are connected to the internet, bring up REAL Outlook and click the Send/Receive tab. Find the gold backgrounded “Work Offline” button and click it. I find clicking below the X where it says Work Offline to be more responsive. If the gold background doesn’t go away you are still offline….click it again and wait. Do this until the gold background goes away.

You will notice the gold background is gone, The X at the bottom is gone and it now says “Connected to Microsoft Exchange”. If you look to your task bar the X on the Outlook icon is also gone. Any outbound emails you created (whether new, forwards, or replies) will now immediately go out without you having to do anything else.

JSG: 091112