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Is isn't possible to directly share Outlook Express folders on a network, but there is a workaround.

Can I share my Outlook Express folders on a network?

To the best of my knowledge, this isn't possible directly. Outlook Express appears to explicitly disable placing its datastore on a network location.

The best alternative I'd investigate is using remote desktop / terminal services (if you're running the appropriate versions of Win2000 or WinXP). Or perhaps a remote access solution like pcAnywhere.

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Article C2207 - October 17, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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26 Comments
Fred Jabbur
October 21, 2004 3:05 PM

You can change the key "Store Root" in the registry key HKCurrentUser/Identities/{xxxx}/Software/Microsoft/Outlook Express/5.0 to a network path (like \\machine\share\outlook )

Respect2Glory
October 28, 2004 5:31 PM

Security's default setting will not share the C: Drive on the Network -- To work around this safely; Move Outlook Express' Folders to the D: Drive.

In IE's Internet Options change your OE Folder's location. Move the files into new location.
-or-
Locate software for creating a D: Drive (splitting the C: Drive) into two or more drives - where you don't have to reformat your C: Drive.

I know there's software to do this. I just heard about it, but the name evades me at the moment.

AF
November 8, 2004 12:59 AM

Changing the key "Store Root", as described by Fred Jabbur, is what I have done smoothly for many years. Until XP SP2 arrived in our desktops. SP2 with shared mailboxes created many strange situations and very soon ended with entire identity corupted.

I am working to figure out is that caused from SP2 itself (i.e. SP2 does not allow OE shared mailboxes) or is any specific configuration in our Windows Server 2003 that conflicts with XP SP2.

Temporarely I returned all mailboxes on the local drives.

Any advice is very much appreciated.

Milan
November 17, 2004 5:51 AM

I have a problem with OE storing messages on a network server. After changing the `Store Root´ reg key so it points to a mapped network drive, and copying mail to that location, everything worked fine for few days. The idea was to create roaming user profiles with their e-mail stored on the server, so they wouldn`t have to download it each time they log in. But there is a problem, OE is creating new inbox file, and old mail cannot be opened. OS is Win XP SP1 on workstations, and Win 2k server. Old inbox files are probably corrupted and I don`t know why. This seemed to be the easiest way, because users don`t recognise any changes, as they would if I used IMAP or WebMail. Any ideas would be really appreciated!

André Jansen
December 8, 2004 2:28 AM

Hi,

I've suddenly found Your website while searching for Outlook Express Errors. I've also shared the dbx files at a network share for many years. No problem at all. (Windows NT Server, Windows XP till SP1). After installing XP SP2, Outlook Express became corrupt when emails are sended with attachments. The dbx files seems to be damaged. Also receiving mail with attachments returns in errors (while dirtectly connected to the ISP pop server). Now with a new mailserver it is downloading and sending corrrectly, but when this mail is forwarded to Outlook Express I receive the same errors. When the dbx files are on a local drive there are no problems. It is nothing around virusscanners or firewall settings (of course you have to allow pop and smtp traffic). This problem is caused by servicepack 2!!!

Microsoft, many thanks.

A frustated XP User in Holland.

sparweb
February 17, 2005 8:38 AM

Thanks guys, I just about made the same mistake myself...

Pi
February 28, 2005 4:27 AM

We were able to change OE "store root" key till jan/2005, but one of those security updates from microsoft has disabled it.
Does anyone knows a workaround ?

yesmaybe
April 12, 2005 12:41 AM

I am so glad I have found you.

I don't have SP2 installed and so have just changed the root thingy magig. I want to buy you a decent Belgian Beer, how much are they in Seatlle?

However, how does that work when 2 users access the same account and send and receive from the same online POP mailbox?

Surely we will keep downloading the same mails to the same offline folders?

At present, I use the system with Outlook User_2 keeping the mails on our online server. When Outlook_boss logs on to the server, emails are deleted from online, but of course we had been using our own folders. This mean, lots of 'have you answered that email yet, or shall I?!'

Thanks
yesmaybe

Sunil Pandya
August 23, 2005 1:57 AM

Is it possible that a MS-Server 2003 with Outlook Express can provide the same capabilities in respective clients too (without configuring outlook exp in client m/c.)?

Lee
September 6, 2005 9:42 AM

If your looking to share outlook folder why not try Workgroup Share. Its a program that lets you share them all. Its available at the url below.

http://www.softalk.ws/products/workgroupshare/

The only draw back is that its not free, although you are able to try before you buy :-)

xx Lee xx

Amitg
September 8, 2005 10:16 PM

Can any body help me to Share the Outlook Express folder on a network, with windows 2000 OS?

johnnyrico
October 17, 2005 2:11 AM

Well that explains alot. Being trying to work out this share thing for a while now and wondered why I couldn't use my fileserver share for my folder store. Planning on going to Thunderbird anyway, that way I should be able to access it on any computer in my network whether I'm in Winbloze or Linux.

Rahim Shaikh
January 25, 2006 1:49 AM

I am sharing outlook express on 2 computers with windows xp sp2.

but if i open outlook express on both computer, after some time my sent items get blank and the dbx file name get changed to sent items(1).dbx 2, 3, and so on.
this happens even with inbox.dbx

is there a way to resolve this problem

rgds

rahim

Leo
January 25, 2006 8:24 AM

No. As the article you just commented on states, there is no reliable way to have Outlook Express share it's folders on a network. It's likely that various problems, includig corruption, will ocurr.

Yacoob
March 14, 2006 12:57 AM


How can i share my outlook express on Windows 2000 Professional OS?

yesmaybe
April 19, 2006 2:11 AM

I use a public share folder setup from http://www.publicshareware.com/ and it is free, to a certain extent. It works a dream.

Thanks.

ankul
May 22, 2006 10:55 PM

I have a win2000 server and winxp clients in a network, nw i want to configer outlook express in such a way that winxp clients can access outlook express but outlook express data has to be stored in server.i.e-outlook express data should not be stored in client.plz give me some good solution,plz inform any s/ws required for the setup

wern
January 5, 2007 8:31 PM

This can be done by setting one machine on the network to use the other machines storage folder. The change is in the registry ... REGEDIT to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{CLSID}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0. Double-click the item labeled "Store Root" in the right pane and in the dialog box that opens, type the full path to your network mail folder location

Les Harris
September 17, 2007 6:26 PM

I have an OE question similar to this but about having OE on a different drive as opposed to a server. You or the respondents to the server question will probably have knowledge of the different drive question. Because of my work, I use several different computers (PC and laptop) in several locations and want to know if I can park OE on an external drive so that I can use OE on either of them in any place where I can log on. If I can move the OE folder to a drive other than C, can I move it to an external drive? I have been searching the Internet and this is one of only two threads that come anywhere near it. I am using XP Pro SP2 on both computers. This thread is now old, so I might not get an answer but it's worth a try.
Thanks
Les Harris

Leo A. Notenboom
September 17, 2007 6:59 PM

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I believe you can. Best bet: give it a try. :-)

Leo


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Les Harris
September 20, 2007 5:16 PM

Leo,

I bit the bullet and tried it. There some work-arounds, but it seems to have worked, using a 5 GB Seagate Pocket drive, which is S drive on this computer. (I am running XP Pro.)

I opened OE, Options, Maintenance, Store Folder, Store Location, Browse for Folder. The Browse for Folder window lists all locations on the computer and has buttons for OK and Cancel at the bottom.

When I selected the Seagate drive, the OK button grayed out – not available. After some head scratching, I found that I could make the Seagate drive available in the Shared Documents folder.

It then appears as C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Removable Disc (S)\Outlook Express

Somewhat to my astonishment, it works!!

Thanks for your encouragement because I doubt that I would have tried it otherwise.

Les Harris

Rudy T.
November 9, 2007 10:57 PM

Dear Leo,

I would like to ask, it's possible we mapping the data identity mail outlook express or profile microsoft outlook in to another pc/server via network ? If using hdd external it's possible. Thanks.

Rgds,

Rudy Tambunan

Jana
December 2, 2007 5:39 AM

I have a home network. One computer is running Winbdows XP proffessional and the other is runnung xp Home . The main comp is the home one. How do I get the address book from the Home comp to the Proff comp? HELP

Phil
November 7, 2008 8:07 AM

Hi Leo

In a post dated 20-09-07 Less Harris Wrote:

"I bit the bullet and tried it. There some work-arounds, but it seems to have worked, using a 5 GB Seagate Pocket drive, which is S drive on this computer. (I am running XP Pro.)

I opened OE, Options, Maintenance, Store Folder, Store Location, Browse for Folder. The Browse for Folder window lists all locations on the computer and has buttons for OK and Cancel at the bottom.

When I selected the Seagate drive, the OK button grayed out – not available. After some head scratching, I found that I could make the Seagate drive available in the Shared Documents folder.

It then appears as C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Removable Disc (S)\Outlook Express

Somewhat to my astonishment, it works!!

Thanks for your encouragement because I doubt that I would have tried it otherwise."

Can you advise how how to make an external drive available in the Shared Documents folder.

I am trying to do exactly the ame as what Les did.

Cheers Phil

lil
February 26, 2009 4:25 AM

tried to share the addressbook only.
tried in a ADS setting.
it works indeed for the first couple of hours, but it seems concurrent write access corrupts the database.
as a result outlook express wont work in the whole domain....
great

JohnFP
May 22, 2011 1:46 PM

I'm running 2 networked computers with XP. I used the registry change to set the same EMAIL folder for both, and got the dreaded folder corruption within minutes.

The folders seen in Outlook Express are actually single .dbx files in the EMAIL folder. It seems the problem arises when one machine has a file open and the other tries to write to the same file. The file is locked by the first, so the second creates a new blank .dbx file with a (1) suffix. Then they both use it as the named folder.

Recovery: look in your EMAIL folder and delete the (1) file. The computers will then revert to the original file. Make sure you get the right file, if you have any sub-folders with duplicate names they will have () suffixes.

Workaround: don't use Outlook Express on more than one machine at the same time - even if it means you have to talk to your wife to check what she's doing!

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