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A simple issue. I have several GMail accounts which I want to use in Outlook 2007. Two of them are personal accounts and the others are for business relations. Normally, I'd just use the web interface but my new computer came with Outlook 2007 so I decided to use it. However, I just don't like to walk through the same dialog screens over and over again. I'm a software engineer, laziness is a requirement for that job! (Believe me, it is a requirement! Do exactly what needs to be done, nothing more!)

So, is there a simple way to use e.g. a commandline script that could do this for me without having to go through several screens? Ike, simply use these commands, create this object in VBScript, call that method with these values as parameters and you're done? :-)

(That way, if I have to clean this system again, I have a simple method to add those accounts again.)

Be aware that I want to set them up as IMAP folders, not POP3!


To clear up after reading a few comments: 1) I don't want a faster solution for a one-time use, but I need one that could be repeated over and over again. That way, I could just save the script file for when I re-install Windows or Office again. (Or when I also want to install Office inside a virtual machine.) 2) At this moment, I have about 11 accounts. Two for personal usage and 9 related to companies where I've registered to whom I've subscribed for newsletters. (And whom I suspect of being related to spammers.) For example, I happen to use one account for my HP printer registration. Those nine accounts are barely used, although they do seem to collect a fair amount of spam for whatever dark reasons. (I suspect that certain companies are a bit careless with personal information of their users.) 3) The "Add account" wizard of Outlook is really annoying since it tries to auto-detect the account type and it selects POP3 as account type. I want IMAP, not POP3. So I need to manually provide the information for every new account. This is just a repetitive job and as software engineer I just happen to hate it when I have to repeat something. It's less efficient in my opinion.

I'm not looking for a faster solution but for something more efficient. Something which I could use in the future, again and again and again... Doesn't have to be GMail-specific either. Something that would allow me to set up the 50-+ email accounts from my own webhost would be nice too, although that one only supports POP3. IMAP is more complex, therefore, the GMail account as basis...

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What do you mean by "walk through the same dialog screens over and over again", exactly ? –  Gnoupi Aug 10 '09 at 7:54
    
I'm not really sure, but it seems you are asking for something that automates account creation in outlook because you are too lazy to configure those 4 accounts? –  innaM Aug 10 '09 at 9:36
1  
@Manni : that's the point of my previous question, because if it was something to do on a daily basis, I see the point of a script. But if it's only for the creation, then I don't think I understand, unless it's a case of "extreme developer laziness" (the kind that makes developers spend 2 hours writing a program to do a unique task taking half an hour "by hand"). So it would be nice to have more details, Alex –  Gnoupi Aug 10 '09 at 12:53
    
Yep. I also fail to see how configuring that magic little script would be faster than configuring outlook itself. –  innaM Aug 10 '09 at 15:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think that rather than a full script a .prf file might work for you? This is the file generally created and distributed by ISPs to automatically configure their users Outlook/OLExpress profiles.

The easiest way to create these files is using the Office Custom Install Wizard (part of the Office Resource Kit download from Microsoft). You can then import these settings using a command line like this whenever you need to:

outlook.exe /importprf \\server1\share\outlook.prf

See here for the docs http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179062.aspx

I don't know GMail's specific settings, but the CIW is a pretty straightforward wizard to go through for creating these things, so you should be able to plug your settings in pretty easily and then have a file you can just import again in the future.

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After seeing the edit, a quick advice about the multiple email accounts.

Note that you could use the "+" method from GMail, for future "potentially spamming" companies. It won't work for every one, but as often as you can, use something like "user+spammingcompany@gmail.com". You will receive mails on user@gmail.com, but you will be able to apply a filter to these mails, on the base of which mail address they sent to.

It doesn't solve your problem (I lack knowledge in this field), but it could help you in the future to limit the number of accounts (and have for example one label per such company).

Other suggestion, eventually ask this question on ServerFault.com. It's not especially a sysadmin-only topic, but they are more likely to have a solution for your problem. (edit from comment : "More likely" to have, since they are most likely to have had such issue to solve in the past. This has nothing to do with "more simple" or not, it's only a different field of activity between the two sites)


Edit : Note that you could eventually make the other existing mail accounts to forward all their mails to such an address in GMail, for the ones authorizing it.

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Well, I've been using some of those anti-spam accounts before I had a GMail account, so the + method is only useful for new mailing lists. And yes, I've considered asking this on either ServerFault or StackOverflow because at both sites there could be people who had to auto-create accounts for outlook in a similar way but decided to start here, just in case of a simple answer. –  Wim ten Brink Aug 11 '09 at 11:39

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