Accessing AOL via Outlook


R

rslessor

I'd been thinking I'd need finally (and reluctantly) to lose my long-
established and nicely brief AOL address, because of AOL's continuing
failure to offer two really useful features available in Outlook:

- automatic storage of incoming messages on the local hard disk. (AOL
makes you do it manually - or transfer them explicitly to online
storage - which means you can lose important messages if you don't get
round to archiving them within the month or so they are normally
available on the AOL server. That can easily happen at busy times,
especially when travelling.)

- ability to set reminders for important messages.

However, I've recently realised that AOL is now sufficiently
compatible with Outlook to enable access to the former from the
latter. That seems like a better way of achieving what I want.

I've therefore today set up an AOL account in Outlook. There are a few
minor oddities (for example, Outlook doesn't delete unwanted messages
from the Inbox, but just puts a line through them and apparently
leaves the deletion to AOL!), but in general it seems to be working
well. IMAP means the messages are still available for Web access on
the usual AOL basis (not for ever, of course!), but meanwhile I can
manipulate them in Outlook in more or less the usual way.

I just had a nasty thought, though!

*Is* Outlook automatically storing incoming and outgoing messages
in .pst folders on my hard disk, or is it just accessing them on the
AOL server as needed - so that I would still lose them after a month
or so?

Can anyone reassure me? I can't find any reference to this particular
point online.

Richard
 
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G

Gordon

I'd been thinking I'd need finally (and reluctantly) to lose my long-
established and nicely brief AOL address, because of AOL's continuing
failure to offer two really useful features available in Outlook:

- automatic storage of incoming messages on the local hard disk. (AOL
makes you do it manually - or transfer them explicitly to online
storage - which means you can lose important messages if you don't get
round to archiving them within the month or so they are normally
available on the AOL server. That can easily happen at busy times,
especially when travelling.)

- ability to set reminders for important messages.

However, I've recently realised that AOL is now sufficiently
compatible with Outlook to enable access to the former from the
latter. That seems like a better way of achieving what I want.

I've therefore today set up an AOL account in Outlook. There are a few
minor oddities (for example, Outlook doesn't delete unwanted messages
from the Inbox, but just puts a line through them and apparently
leaves the deletion to AOL!), but in general it seems to be working
well. IMAP means the messages are still available for Web access on
the usual AOL basis (not for ever, of course!), but meanwhile I can
manipulate them in Outlook in more or less the usual way.

I just had a nasty thought, though!

*Is* Outlook automatically storing incoming and outgoing messages
in .pst folders on my hard disk, or is it just accessing them on the
AOL server as needed - so that I would still lose them after a month
or so?

Can anyone reassure me? I can't find any reference to this particular
point online.

Richard


An IMAP email account mirrors the folders on the server, so unless you move
messages to a local store, they will eventually disappear.
 
B

BillR

The line through a message is a feature of IMAP. You need to "purge" deleted
items. it's usually up to you unless the provider has an age limit on
messages.
Does AOL have any such policy?

You could always add a free Gmail account to Outlook which is POP3 and works
fine. It might better suit you.
 
B

Brian Tillman

I've therefore today set up an AOL account in Outlook. There are a few
minor oddities (for example, Outlook doesn't delete unwanted messages
from the Inbox, but just puts a line through them and apparently
leaves the deletion to AOL!), but in general it seems to be working
well.

That's the result of how IMAP works. The purging of messages marked for
deletion is really up to Outlook, however, not AOL. If you want to hide
those messages until you get around to purging them, change your folder view
to "Hide Messages Marked for Deletion". The placement of that view option
is different for different versions of Outlook, and because you didn't
mention the version you're using, I can't be more explicit about what to
click (it will be in the View menu tree, however), you can add the Advanced
toolbar and select the view directly from the View menu in any version.
*Is* Outlook automatically storing incoming and outgoing messages
in .pst folders on my hard disk, or is it just accessing them on the
AOL server as needed - so that I would still lose them after a month
or so?

Yes and yes. Outlook creates a local PST whose contents matches the server,
but that's the point. It matches the server. If you delete something in
Outlook, it will be deleted on the server the next time Outlook syncs to the
server, but if the server deleted something, Outlook will, too.
Can anyone reassure me? I can't find any reference to this particular
point online.

Since the IMAP folders cannot be your default folders, you have another set
of folders, which contains your Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, an Inbox, Outbox,
and Sent Items folders. Create a rule that moves or copies incoming
mesasges from the IMAP Inbox to the appropriate folder in that folder set.
Then you'll have a local copy that will not go away unless you delete it.
You can also copy any existing messages from the IMAP folders into folders
in that PST, creating them if need be to match the folders on the IMAP
server.
 
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