Pin Me

Outlook 2007 Data Files and Outlook Mobile Service

written by: Meryl K Evans•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/31/2008

Understand how Outlook 2007 manages your data and learn about Outlook Mobile Service.

  • slide 1 of 2

    Outlook 2007 Data Files

    Outlook saves data in a personal folder file, which uses the .pst extension. A typical PST file contains data from Calendar, Mail, Contacts, Tasks and your personal folders. If you're on an Exchange Server, the data is in an Exchange Server mailbox that lives on a server instead of the local computer. The only way to access this data store is by connecting to the server.

    Outlook also creates the Offline Folder File with an .ost extension. This stores your data for working when your computer isn't connected to the Internet or network. The server could be down or you might be away from the office and its network. The Exchange Server data file will continue receiving messages and managing files as it always does. You can create e-mail messages, new folders and file e-mail messages into folders while offline. Any work done offline goes into the OST file, which synchronizes with the Exchange Server the next time it connects.

    Outlook 2007 relies on Cached Exchange Mode, which provides a copy of your mailbox on your computer and synchronizes with the Exchange Server. Cached Exchange Mode always uses an OST file whether a connection is active or not. The nice thing about this feature is that you could lose a connection to the server and continue working in Outlook as if nothing happened.

    It's possible to have a PST file even with an Exchange Server account. However, any changes to the PST file aren't synchronized with Exchange.

    Working with at least two computers is common today. If you want the second computer to have the Outlook folders and data on the first computer, just copy the PST file to the second computer in Outlook using the following steps:

    1. Open Account Settings from the Tool menu.
    2. Select the Data Files tab.
    3. Click Add.
    4. Leave the Types of storage selection as is.
    5. Click OK to locate the PST file.
    6. Select the file.
    7. Click OK.
    8. Give it a name in the Create Microsoft Personal Folders window.
    9. Click OK.
    10. Close Account Settings and the new personal folders file appears in the Navigation Pane.

    You can also import a PST file using Import and Export from the File menu.

  • slide 2 of 2

    Introduction to Outlook Mobile Service

    Outlook Mobile Service is a new Outlook 2007 feature for creating and sending text and multimedia messages to a mobile device from Outlook using similar steps as sending an e-mail message. Outlook aims to simplify managing communications using Outlook and a mobile device.

    Mobile users who also rely on a computer for communicating typically deal with two of everything: Address books, messages and appointments. Outlook Mobile Service integrates the two communications methods so you don't have to re-enter information and find messages that may have gone out from either the computer or the mobile device.

    Outlook Mobile Service doesn't work with all wireless mobile providers. However, Microsoft says it continues to add more providers and countries to its list of available providers. Learn more from Microsoft's SMS Link for Outlook 2007 Web page at

    Outlook Mobile Service works with your wireless service provider's service. To use the service, your provider must support Office Outlook 2007 Mobile Service. Go to to select your wireless service provider's country/region and the name of the provider.

    If your wireless service provider supports Outlook Mobile Service, follow the instructions from the Microsoft Hosting Providers check page to sign up for the service. Since you have Outlook 2007, you don't need additional software. The only service charge that might apply comes from your wireless service provider.