One of the highlights of Microsoft’s new mail – Outlook.com is its ability to work in ‘Offline’ mode. Yes, even if there is no connectivity you can now launch Outlook in the browser and start working, provided your browser offers HTML5 offline capabilities. The work you do while being disconnected is synchronized automatically the time connectivity is restored.
Although you do not get complete offline support of Outlook that you possibly receive on the Windows or Mac desktop, it exceeds the offline capabilities offered by most Exchange ActiveSync phone clients. For instance, you can send email and calendar invites, delete email, accept or decline meetings, get reminders, flag and categorize messages and do a lot more.
Using Outlook Web App offline
- Launch your Office 365 Preview application and from it choose Outlook to open the Outlook web application.
- Next, click on the settings icon, just adjacent to your name to and from the options displayed, select ‘ Use mail offline’.
- Instantly, the web application will inform you that the data you are about to cache would be available to all users who log in with the same account information as you do on your PC. If you feel it’s safe, proceed further and click ‘Yes’.
- Your email will be stored on the computer so you can access it even when there is no internet connection.
- The application will then request you to add it to your favorites.
- Add the application as your favorite and give it a suitable name.
That’s it! You are now set to work in an offline mode. Even if there is no internet connection you can compose a mail, attach files, send replies to the person you intend to.
When connectivity is restored, you can find the mail you sent earlier in the offline mode is there for you to read.
Please note that there are some requirements for Outlook Web Application to work in an offline mode. First of all, it requires a compatible browser (Internet Explorer 10, Chrome 18, or Safari 5.1). Secondly, you must enable OWA offline functionality on every computer where you want to be able to use OWA without network connectivity.
Some of the features and limitations are:
- Supported folders include Inbox, Drafts and any folder viewed within the last three days, up to 15 folders. Offline access does not include archived folders, team folders or tasks
- The previous month and future year of your Calendar
- A limited set of upcoming Calendar reminders up to 2 months only
- All of the items in your Contacts folder, plus any people that you email often and any that you have emailed recently
- Full-text indexed search is not yet possible.