Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

EzOutlookSync – Synchronizing 2 or more outlook PST files

In our home office, I like to have the ability for my wife to see my emails. She doesn’t need to have realtime access but does need to see things. I also like to keep a working copy of my outlook file on my laptop. My desktop is still the ‘main machine’ for outlook.

In this situation, I could go for my own exchange server or a hosted exchange solution. Both are expensive and the latter even more so, because I am working with about 20+ email addresses as a result of our websites.

So, for now, I wanted something that would sync the PST files between the three machines and do so inexpensively. The solution for now turned out to be EZOutlookSync.
http://www.ezoutlooksync.com/

I can purchase one copy of ezoutlooksync pro and put it on the desktop. From there, I can synchronize the PST folders on both machines.

Main Desktop – Runs EZOUTLOOKSYNC and is set to ‘leave messages on server for 2 days’ for our main account

Laptop – There are two data files visible. 1 is the data file that is set to receive messages and “leave messages on server’. That is not connected to ezoutlook. The second data file is set to sync with ezoutlooksync

Wife’s Desktop – Not set to receive or send messages, just view them.

Overall, once it’s installed it works pretty well. Here are a couple of tips.

  1. Outlook needs to be closed on all machines before you attempt to sync
  2. You can only sync machines in pairs. So I do desktop-laptop desktop-wife.
  3. IMPORTANT – EzOutlookSync does not like it when you move messages or other items to a different folder. The message will keep popping back up as you resync. We found a simple solution – COPY the item to the folder you want, then DELETE the original. That will work. It’s an extra step or two but it is the only way we’ve been able to move messages from one folder to another,.
  4. If you have your machines set to ‘leave messages on the server for 2 days’ you will have to work around things a little. If you try deleting the messages, they will keep coming back if they are still on your server with a pop3 connection. We have our main copy of outlook set to leave messages on for 2 days. That way, when we are on the road, we can see newly received messages. Here is a workaround for that issue (1) Sync all your PSTs. (2) We then go to one of the machines but ONLY delete messages more than 3 days old. If you delete the newer messages, they will return (4) Resync the PSTs. (5) Open the copy of outlook that is set for 2 days and do a SEND RECEIVE ALL.
  5. Note – Our laptop has 2 outlook data files as mentioned in the configuration above. If you are sending emails and want to retain them, keep in mind that you will have to move them from the non EZOutlookSync file to the EZOutlookSync data file and appropriate folder.

Summary – EzOutlookSync Pro meets our needs and expectations. However, it does require some work, caution and thinking to get it to do exactly what we want.

NOTE – use extreme caution until you are 100% sure of how things are working. Also, be absolutely sure to do regular backups of your pst file. You can scramble things beyond belief if you are not careful Also, if you have outlook on your laptop you have a lot of confidential data. An encryption solution and strong user passwords would be more than a good idea..

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