How to Sync Outlook on 2 Different Computers

by Bill Mann

Synchronizing Outlook on 2 different computers can be difficult. Outlook itself does not include any synchronization capabilities, as it is primarily designed to work as a client of an Exchange server. The Exchange server handles the synchronization when one user account is used on 2 different computers. A few options exist for providing varying levels of Outlook synchronization between different computers.

1

Use an IMAP capable email service to synchronize messages. IMAP capable email services such as Gmail, or GMX Mail, allow you to set up a synchronized connection to Outlook. Setting up a synchronized connection between each computer and the same IMAP account, synchronizes all messages in the Gmail account between the two computers. Configure the IMAP account to receive all messages sent to your original email account. This can be done so that messages sent to your original account appear in Outlook with the address of the original account, and Outlook can send messages using the address of the original account, eliminating the need to change email addresses on the original account to gain synchronization.

2

Use a PDA as a sync service. Many PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) and cellphones have the ability to synchronize with Outlook, either directly, or through an associated program installed on the computer. If you sync Outlook on the first computer to the PDA or cellphone, then sync Outlook on the second computer to the same device. This performs half of the synchronization between the 2 different computers. It ensures that changes in Outlook on the first computer make it to Outlook on the second computer. If you then sync the device with Outlook on the first computer, you ensure that changes made to Outlook on the second computer make it to the first.

3

A hosted Exchange service allows you to use the Internet to synchronize to a remote Exchange server. By configuring both copies of Outlook to synchronize to the same account on the hosted Exchange service, you can ensure synchronization as long as both computers have access to the Internet.

Tip

  • check For the best results, you should configure the hosted Exchange server to receive all messages sent to your original email account, rather than allowing Outlook to directly receive the messages. This ensures that messages get synched to any copy of Outlook that is synching with Exchange, rather than being held up because the copy of Outlook that was directly receiving them was offline.

Warnings

  • close Using an IMAP capable account to sync Outlook will synchronize email, but not Outlook Calendar, Tasks, and other items.
  • close Synchronizing using a PDA or cellphone works well, but does not guarantee 100% synchronization, since only changes made to Outlook on the first computer before the device sync make it to the second computer.

About the Author

Based in Morris County, N.J., Bill Mann has written more than 12 technical books since 1993. His titles include "I Want My MP3" and "How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007." Mann holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester.

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