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I'm using Outlook 2007 and would like to combine multiple email accounts (some are Exchange, some IMAP) into a single Inbox/.OST mail file. An example of the functionality I'm looking for is the Blackberry, where you can configure multiple email accounts and then access that mail either by the inbox for that specific account or via a single aggregated mailbox. In the single mailbox case, when you reply to a given piece of mail the Blackberry is smart enough to switch your "From" address to be that of the account where the email came in to. I'm essentially looking for this functionality in Outlook.

Are there native options and/or third party plug-ins which do this?

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3 Answers 3

Creating a rule in Outlook 2007 would make this posible. You could set that since you are using different accounts. Since pop3 is default to the PST file. Use a Rule to copy over receive items from your IMAP account to your inbox in PST file.

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Native outlook will support as many email addresses as you like - I have a dozen or so from three different ISP's. They are all within a single Outlook .pst file.

For POP3, you can set these up by email address.

Outlook does not support aggregating email across mail types (that is POP3, IMAP, and other web based mail [GMail, Yahoo etc]). You could route all the mail through an intermediate forwarding account but that is a bit of a Kludge. It requires some effort to set up and maintain and does not preserve the original sender's details well.


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I have done a little digging at Microsoft. Evidently all the POP3 email (which is downloaded to your PC) is kept in *.PST file (Personal Folders File). All IMAP email is kept in a *.OST file (Offline Folders File). Currently I use only POP email. Whenever I have used IMAP folders, i didn't use POP on the same machine.

I am not sure exactly how email is presented to an Outlook user who uses both IMAP and POP.

I do believe that RIM (Blackberry) acts a proxy to its users so it can present a single consolidated view to its users; that is, they retrieve email from all of a customers native accounts and consolidates on their machines. The consolidated email is then presented to the customer. You could perhaps go to the trouble of doing something similar if seeing all your email in just the *.OST or just *.PST is important to you.

You could forward all the POP email to an OST account or vice versa - but I do not know offhand if you can set this so that the forwarded email will appear to have come from the original sender or from the forwarding email account.

Sorry if this wasn't much help.


Response to comment ...

I think it might not be possible because you are using two different email server types (in your case IMAP and Exchange - sorry I used POP in my earlier answer since it does not apply to your question). Outlook manages email synchronisation of between your PC and your email server by account type at the folder level, so I think you cannot mix Exchange and IMAP within a single folder.


Response to comment ...

The only way I can think of to get what you are looking for is to run all your mail through an intermediate email client that supports "REDIRECT" so that it winds up in a single OST folder.

REDIRECT passes email to a recipient with out changing it whereas FORWARDed email is changed so that the recipient can plainly see that it has been forwarded. To the recipient REDIRECTed email appears to have come from the original sender and not from the redirector. This feature is not implemented in Outlook. There may be other email clients that implement a redirect function that I am not aware of.

There is a REDIRECT add-in for Outlook that has to be installed on both the redirecting machine and on the receiving machine, but it is not free. You would likely want to invoke this from a rule (to avoid having to resending all your mail manually), and I do not know if the add-in supports that.

See http://www.office-addins.com/-outlook-addins/redirect-for-outlook.html

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How do you set it up? I added a new account but it defaulted to a new PST file. I'd like to set up the new account(s) against my exist .OST file. Also I assume once this config is done, emails for both accounts will show up in the same inbox? –  Howiecamp Dec 11 '09 at 22:21
    
My accounts are a combination of IMAP and Exchange. Are you saying that what I'm trying to do may not be possible if I'm not using POP3 email? –  Howiecamp Dec 14 '09 at 0:32
    
In the email accounts screen, select the chosen account and look at the bottom - there should be a section telling you where those emails will get stored, and a button to change this, so you can point it at your OST (so make sure you know where that is stored). Once done, you will need to manually copy across any email previously delivered to the pst (and then close this file as there is a small performance hit when opening Outlook and it re-establishes the connection to every open file you have, eg archives etc). –  AdamV Dec 14 '09 at 12:40
    
Now your mail is all delivered to one place, and the 'from' for replies or forwards will automatically switch to be the account you received it through, although you can change this on any particular email if you need to. 2007 won't support more than one Exchange account, 2010 does. –  AdamV Dec 14 '09 at 12:41
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Kije, you said: "The only way I can think of to get what you are looking for is to...". I think you meant to finish? –  Matt Dec 15 '09 at 4:34

Using POP3 would tie your emails to one machine, where IMAP keeps them synchronised on all machines and the cloud. However, you cannot use one .pst file with multiple IMAP accounts.

I have three Hotmail accounts, six POP3 accounts (from website mailboxes) and two IMAP accounts all forwarding to one externally hosted Exchange account (BPOS) and it works perfectly.

Basically, just set up email forwarding from your other accounts and set your primary account to be able to send email using those account addresses, if needed.

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