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Is there a way to prevent Outlook 2010 checking for new mail on Exchange?

The problem is, we no longer know the password for the account, but we need to able to keep the historical mail in the account. However because we have an expired password Outlook prompts for the password every 5 minutes and we have to click cancel.

It's very annoying. What options do we have for retaining all the email, without getting the password prompt? Unlike POP3/IMAP, there seems to be no way to turn off checking for new email as it's server-push by design. There are two accounts on this computer and we only need to solve this problem for one of them.

If I delete the account, I'm worried it might delete the associated PSTs or other data.

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Setting Outlook to "Work Offline" should do the trick:

For 2010, navigate to Send/Receive tab and under preferences group, click "Work Offline"

  • But that will stop it checking all accounts won't it? Not just the one we have a problem with. – NickG Dec 3 '15 at 17:39
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    So move the email to a .PST and make Outlook forget about the account you no longer have access to. The file currently could be lost or delete, so not removing the account, doesn't prevent that. – Ramhound Dec 3 '15 at 17:41
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    If you no longer have the credentials then outlook is probably using an .ost file. Which is a volatile configuration. You can not simply move that to another computeer. So While you have the change do backup that to an .pst. And that also allows you to delete the account information in outlook. – Hennes Dec 3 '15 at 17:46
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    Or create a new profile with you e-mail account you work with and leave the "old" one on a different profile. – Ivan Viktorovic Dec 3 '15 at 20:46
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Is there a way to prevent Outlook 2010 checking for new mail on Exchange?

Yes, as Jim already answered. Off-line mode.

The problem is, we no longer know the password for the account, but we need to able to keep the historical mail in the account.

Can't you reset the password? Outlook is mostly used in combination with corporations and those have an IT department. That would be the cleanest solution.

However because we have an expired password Outlook prompts for the password every 5 minutes and we have to click cancel.

Is the old account on an exchange server?

  • If it is than apparently you can not change that. Source.
  • If it is on an pop3 account then you can set how often outlook checks for new mail. An ugle hack would be to set that time to a large value.

It's very annoying. What options do we have for retaining all the email, without getting the password prompt?

The information you see right now is probably in a cached file (.ost). These are caches. Main information is on exchange (and requires the password!).

If the information is important then export it as soon as possible. Either by remailing it. Or try to archieve it to a .pst file.

If I delete the account, I'm worried it might delete the associated PSTs or other data

It will not by default delete asociate pst. It will simply no longer reference them. And you can always simply shut down outlook and make a backup of those pst's.

(Backups are ALWAYS a good idea).

Worst case:

  1. Create a new PST.
  2. Drag mail from the 'broken' account to it.
  3. Close outlook and copy the PST.
  4. Verify that it works on another computer.
  • I don't think you can work offline for only one account, and the other account in Outlook is fully active. We can't fix the password as we no longer have a subscription with that provider (besides, the account will never get any new email anyway as it's shut down). – NickG Dec 3 '15 at 18:06
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I state the following with the presumption that you are authorized to be reading that mail, and using that computer system. Reading mail that is from an account you're not authorized to access can be a violation of corporate acceptable use (information security) policies.

So.... Edit your send/receive groups,[1] create a new group that is checked "manually only," and put that Exchange account into it. Then Outlook will not check that account until you intentionally initiate that.

Previous answers about backing up the cached mail to an offline .PST file are quite apropos.

[1] Send / Receive tab, Send & Receive group, Send/Receive Groups drop-list, Define Send/Recieve Groups....

  • Send and Receive doesn't seem to affect Exchange accounts, which are server-push. – NickG Jan 4 '16 at 16:45
  • Working offline, as Jim suggested. Then add other accounts to a group that will send/receive (F9) when working offline. Leave the account in question out of that send/receive group. It's a really clunky way to work, and frankly, I think the suggestion to offload the mail to a .PST and remove the Exchange account is the best solution. – Chromejob Jan 6 '16 at 22:56
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Archive everything from that account. Double check that you have the PST, and that you can remove/attach it. Then remove the account.

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