Configuring Outlook 2010 send/receive groups

Outlook tasks can overwhelm mailbox servers. Send/receive groups can remove some of that strain if you set them up correctly.

Outlook 2010 clients do more than send and receive messages, they also download copies of the offline address book (OAB), synchronize forms, interact with SharePoint and more. All this activity can overwhelm Exchange 2010 mailbox servers.

If Outlook clients are bogging down Exchange servers, setting up send/receive groups lets you synchronize less critical data less often. To configure send/receive groups in Outlook 2010, navigate to the Send Receive tab and select Define Send/Receive Groups from the menu. Once the dialog box opens, click New (Figure 1).

Use the Send/Receive Groups dialog box to create and edit groups.
Figure 1. Use the Send/Receive Groups dialog box to create, edit and delete a new group.

Outlook will prompt you to name the new send/receive group. After you name it something descriptive, click OK to open the dialog box for this group (Figure 2).

Configure options through the Send/Receive Settings box.
Figure 2. You can configure send/receive options through the Send/Receive Settings dialog box.

The first option in the dialog box includes the selected account in the send/receive group. This option is disabled in the screenshot shown in Figure 2, because the default send/receive group (All Accounts) already processes the current mailbox. If you plan to use different send/receive settings for different folders, you’ll need to enable the send/receive group for those mailboxes.

This screenshot also shows mailbox, SharePoint and RSS buttons. You can set the default send/receive group to handle email and create a second send/receive group for SharePoint data. You can also set up RSS feed parameters in a third send/receive group and then bundle RSS settings into one of your other send/receive groups.

In the email account portion of the Send/Receive dialog box, you can check boxes corresponding to the folders that you want to include in your send/receive operations. For example, you can choose to only download message headers or full messages and associated attachments. You can also choose to only download headers if a message exceeds a specified size. Other boxes notify you if home pages are available offline, forms have been synchronized and if Outlook has downloaded the offline address book.

After viewing available options, click Cancel to return to the Send/Receive Groups dialog box, which displays the default group and the new send/receive group (Figure 3).

The PowerPRO GUI -- MobileShell interface
Figure 3. You can control the behavior separately for each Outlook 2010 send/receive group.

You can use the checkboxes beneath the group to control several options. For example, if you want to give your users the option to automatically process send/receive groups, you can check the box that processes them when a user presses F9. You can also control how often you want to perform an automatic send/receive for each group. Additionally, you can force or disable an automatic send/receive when a user closes Outlook.

Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP with two decades of IT experience. Before becoming a freelance technical writer, Brien worked as a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and healthcare facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the nation’s largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox.

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