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OsaSync Frequently Asked Questions

(This page is updated frequently so if you are viewing this page offline also check www.vaita.com/faq.asp for changes)

General questions

Synchronizing

For examples on how to sync the calendar see our Calendar scenario's syncing page.

Synchronizing between remote computers

Installation, configuration and uninstalling

Troubleshooting

For other problems and/or error messages please check out our technical support page

Didn't find your question? 
Mail us at techsupport@vaita.com and we try to answer you and update this FAQ list


What is OsaSync supposed to do and how is this done?

What is OsaSync supposed to do:
Basically this is simple: keeping the contents of Outlook folders the same on multiple computers (=synchronization).

How does this work:
OsaSync keeps track of all changes made in a synced folder and copies these changes to temporary data files. Each other computer checks on a regular basis to see if there are any temporary files created and imports the changes into outlook. When these temporary files are processed the contents of the Outlook folders is the same again (= they are in sync).
OsaSync permanently monitors your synchronized folders for changes and creates update files if there are. So your folders will stay in sync automatically; you do not have to run a synchronization process manually (except a one time only synchronization preparation process).


Does OsaSync run in Outlook 2013 on Windows 8

Yes, we have created an OsaSync version specific for Outlook 2013


What controls which folders get synced?

Nothing happens until you tell OsaSync explicitly to keep a folder synchronized by running the prepare folder for synchronization wizard and choosing the folder you want to sync.

The OsaSync Options page (in the PRO version) allows you to select or deselect the monitoring of Outlook items by OsaSync. You can deselect an Outlook item type for monitoring if you do not want to sync this item type at all. Deselecting an item type will gain performance because OsaSync creates wrapper objects for each outlook folder if it's folder type is monitored.


Does OsaSync require that Outlook is closed on all other computers during syncing?

No, it doesn't matter if other computers have Outlook running or not.



Does OsaSync sync within Outlook, or does it sync the file contents when Outlook is closed?

Syncing happens within Outlook, so Outlook has to be running. Syncing happens automatically every x minutes where x can be set by the user (defaults to 10 minutes). So this is quite different from most syncing software where you have to manually start the syncing process (Although you can have OsaSync sync only manually by setting the x minutes to 0 and choosing check for changes on other computer from the OsaSync menu).
The timer based automatic syncing enables a workgroup to work almost in real-time with the same synced data like a corporate customers folder or a common calendar.


How to disable/enable OsaSync from running inside Outlook

If you encounter problems running OsaSync within Outlook you can disable the OsaSync add-in from loading when Outlook starts. Please tell us about your problems so we can improve OsaSync! 

Disable OsaSync in Outlook versions prior to Outlook 2007:

  1. From the Outlook menu choose Tools - Options
  2. From tab Other choose Advanced Options...
  3. Click COM Add-Ins...
  4. In the list box Add-Ins available: remove the checkmark for OsaSync PRO (or 'Vaita shared contacts' for OsaSync Lite version) and click OK
  5. Close all windows and restart Outlook.

Disable OsaSync in Outlook 2007:

  1. From the Outlook menu choose Tools - Trust Center
  2. In the left pane click Add-Ins
  3. On the bottom of the right pane make sure the Manage: box lists COM Add-ins and click Go...
  4. On the COM Add-Ins window remove the checkmark for OsaSync PRO (or 'Vaita shared contacts' for OsaSync Lite) and click OK

If you receive error messages after doing this like 'the message interface has returned an unknown error' or after restarting Outlook you still see the OsaSync menu item in the main Outlook menu then:

  1. Close Outlook. click the Windows Start menu and choose Run
  2. Type regedit and click OK.
  3. The Windows Registry Editor will be started. Now navigate to the following key:
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\OsaSyncPro.Connect]
    (or \VaitaOutlookSharing.Connect for OsaSync Lite).
  4. Select this key in the left pane and press Del to delete this key. Confirm the question if you want to delete.
  5. Close the registry editor.

Do not forget to enable OsaSync again after the problem has been solved:

  1. Open the COM Add-Ins window (steps 1 to 3 Disable OsaSync)
  2. If OsaSync is still listed then click the checkmark again.
    If OsaSync is NOT listed anymore then:
  3. Click the button Add...
  4. Browse to the folder in which OsaSync has been installed and select the file OsaSyncPro.dll when you are running OsaSync PRO or Vaitaoutlooksharing.Dll when you are running the Lite version and click OK.
  5. Now you will see OsaSync listed in the available Add-Ins list box with a checkmark.
  6. Close this window by clicking OK. OsaSync is now started by Outlook.

How to change the time interval used for checking for changes on other computers

OsaSync periodically checks for changes on the other computers. The default time interval is 10 minutes, the minimum interval is 5 minutes in Peer to Peer mode and 1 minute in Client/Server mode. To change this interval:

  1. From the Outlook main menu select: OsaSync - Options
  2. Change the values in the edit box called check for changes every ... minutes with the number of minutes you want OsaSync to wait.
  3. Click OK to close the window. The change will take effect immediately.

If you want to check for changes on other computers immediately and don't want to wait until the time interval has elapsed click the OsaSync menu option check for changes on other computers.

If you do not want OsaSync to check for changes automatically fill out 0 minutes in the check for changes ... edit box.

If OsaSync is configured to exchange files only via FTP then the check for changes box is greyed out because this interval only applies to checking for changes on the local network or on peer computers in peer-to-peer mode. To specify the time interval for FTP syncing go to the FTP options window: OsaSync - Options; FTP Options and on the General Settings tab fill out the Transfer files with the FTP server option.

This check for changes every ... minutes box will also be greyed out if no other computer are configured yet with the OsaSync connection wizard.


Can I use different Outlook versions on different Windows versions together? I want to sync Outlook 2007 on Vista with Outlook 2013 on Win 8.1?

Yes, OsaSync can sync computers running different Outlook versions on different operating system versions together in one sync group so it doesn't matter which Outlook and Windows versions are used.


What does the menu item 'check for changes on other computers' do?

If you want to check for changes on other computers immediately and don't want to wait until the time interval (as set on the OsaSync Options page) has elapsed click the OsaSync menu option check for changes on other computers.
If you set the value check for changes every ... minutes on the options page to 0, OsaSync will stop the automatic checking for changes.

See also:


Contacts folder, Outlook address book, Windows address book; what's the difference?

So what's the difference between the Contacts folder, the Outlook address book, the Windows address book and if you have used Outlook with an Exchange server, the Personal Address book and the Global Address book?

The Outlook Address Book is a  property assigned to a source of contact information. The Contacts folder used in Outlook is automatically assigned as an OAB, you cannot change this. If you create another folder in Outlook containing contacts you can manually assign this folder to be an OAB:

  1. Right click on the folder containing the contacts
  2. Choose Properties
  3. On tab Outlook Address Book mark the box Show this folder as an email address book
  4. Click OK to close the dialog

So now you have two OAB's, the default contacts folder and your custom contacts folder.
Outlook Express also has a data store assigned as an OAB and Windows synchronizes all entries between the OE datastore and your Outlook contacts folder. If you create a new contact in OE it is also created (by Windows) in the Outlook contacts folder.

Now it gets a bit confusing:
When you click the address book icon in the Outlook standard toolbar or select Tools - Address book...  from the Outlook menu you get the Address book dialog window. This window is just another view on your folders assigned as an OAB. So it is not another datastore with contact info, it is just an interface to the same contacts you see in your contacts folders. 
The same applies to the Windows Address Book. This is also nothing else then another way to view you OAB content. The WAB is an interface you can run even outside Outlook; from the start menu select 'RUN' and type WAB and you will see the same dialog as you see when clicking the address book icon from within Outlook.

If you run Outlook as a client to Microsoft Exchange server (= Outlook 2000 in Corporate Workgroup mode) you also have to deal with:

  • The Global Address list (GAL):
    a list of all the recipients in an Exchange organization
  • The Offline Address Book (OAB):
    a subset of the GAL stored in a local file which can be used when the connection to Exchange is not available
  • The Personal Address Book (PAB):
    a local contacts folder where entries from the GAL as well as private contacts can be stored

Does OsaSync support a direct cable connection instead of a real network?

Yes. As long as Windows can recognize your computers via your network neighborhood (or 'my network places') OsaSync can also.


Can OsaSync sync over the internet?

Yes it can. There are a few possibilities:

  1. The most easy solution: use a (free) Dropbox or Google Drive account and configure OsaSync in Cloud mode. Tell me more...
  2. Use the FTP access of your account with your Internet Service Provider or with your website hosting company and configure OsaSync in Client-server mode with FTP. Tell me more....
  3. use OsaSync on a VPN if you are connecting to your computer at work via a Virtual Private Network. Tell me more...

If you want to sync between remote computers and you travel between those computers you have 2 more possibilities:

  1. Use your laptop as the 'server' in Client-Server mode and travel between multiple locations. Tell me more....
  2. Use an USB stick as the 'server' in Client-Server mode. Tell me more....

Since the emergence of cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive we highly recommend this syncing option. It's the most easy, fast and secure syncing mode.

All syncing modes require OsaSync configured in Cloud mode or Client-Server mode so don't configure in peer-to-peer mode if you intend to sync remote computers.

See also:


Can OsaSync be used on a VPN or with dialup networking?

OsaSync functions by exchanging data files via the Windows file system. OsaSync depends on the availability of files accessible through UNC file paths. UNC means Universal Naming Conventions and stands for file paths specified like:
\\servername\sharename\directory\filename.
As long as you are able to access files on the remote computer via UNC paths, OsaSync can be used. So if you create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or use dial-up networking to connect to the remote computer this should be possible. You can check this by using My Network Places to access the remote computer. The UNC path to a file on the remote computer will be visible in the address bar of the my network places explorer.

When your VPN or dialup connection is not a broadband connection it probably is not a very fast connection. On slow connections importing the synchronization data can take a long time. The prepare folders for synchronization process is a one time only process so you could try to run this process when the computers are connected in a LAN if possible. When this process has run OsaSync keeps the folder in sync by exchanging only the changes so this is usually workable on a slow connection.


Can OsaSync sync files via a FTP server on the internet?

Yes at least if you use OsaSync PRO in Client/Server mode. Please note: we recommend Cloud mode instead of FTP mode.

What do I need?
What you need is access to a FTP server on the internet. If you have a website you will probably also have access to your website with an ftp utility (e.g. WS_FTP). In this case you can use your website as the FTP server. Do not use a public server but use a server accessible by logon name and password only!

You also need to use OsaSync PRO configured in Client/Server mode. If you installed in Peer-to-Peer mode you can switch to CS mode. Click here to see how.

How does it work?
After you have configured your computers to sync via the FTP server (See How to configure OsaSync for syncing via the FTP server? for details on how to do this), OsaSync will keep your folders in sync by fully automatically exchange data with the FTP server and process all incoming data from the remote computers.

All changes made in synced folders will be saved first locally on your computer. When OsaSync connects to the FTP server, it first downloads all data files generated by other computers; then uploads all update files from your computer. OsaSync disconnects from the server when up-and downloading is ready and will then start to process all download files.

If you travel with a laptop you can stay synced by making a dial-up internet connection. OsaSync will see that you are no longer connected to the LAN and will start syncing via the FTP server.

See also :


What are the FTP firewall connection settings?

Firewall Host name:
This property is used when a connection is to be established through any supported firewall.
All firewalls work on a 'gateway' principle. The client connects to the firewall and sends a request to open a connection to any remote FTP server. Therefore, this property is not the same as the name of the FTP server specified when running the OsaSync connection wizard.
Please note the properties that need to be set when using firewalls: Firewall Hostname as the remote firewall server, Firewall Port as the server's port, and the Type of firewall.

Firewall Login name:
Specifies the name to use for identification when connecting to a remote firewall server.
USER, Socks 4 and Socks 5 are the only types of firewalls that support authorization. When a connection to this type of firewall is established, and if authorization is required, then this text is sent to the firewall server.
If you need to get through a firewall using "USER no logon", set this property and the Firewall Password property to blank strings.
Please note that this property is not the same as the Logon Name for the FTP server specified when running the OsaSync connection wizard.

Firewall Password:
Specifies the password required for identification by a remote firewall server.

Firewall Port:
Specifies the port of a remote firewall server.
Different firewall types usually 'listen' on different port values. A standard FTP proxy usually listens on port 21 (the same as FTP servers), and Socks 4 and Socks 5 firewalls listen on port 1080. Other port numbers may be valid. Check with the server administrator. Set this property prior to connecting to a remote firewall server.
This value can be different from the FTP server Port property.
NOTE: Only Socks 4 and Socks 5 firewalls allow connections to FTP servers with non-standard ports (i.e., ports other than 21).

Firewall Type:
Determines the type of firewall in use:

  • No firewall
  • Use Socks4 firewall
  • Use Socks5 firewall
  • Use Proxy USER command
  • Use Proxy SITE command
  • Use Proxy PROXY command
  • Use Proxy OPEN command
  • Use simple Pipe


How does OsaSync operate a laptop, that syncs via the LAN and sometimes via FTP?

When you configure a Laptop and a Desktop as both LAN and FTP because you travel with the Laptop, OsaSync will do as follows:
When you disconnect the Laptop from the LAN and connect again somewhere else (so Outlook has been stopped and started again and the LAN is not available there), OsaSync will ask to start synchronizing via FTP. If you say Yes to that, there will be asked if you want to notify the Desktop.
When you say Yes to that, the Desktop will send his changes from then on via FTP, (but also the changes that were waiting already to be transferred via the LAN).
This will go on until the LAN will be available again for the Laptop (and Outlook has been stopped and started again). Then the Laptop will send a message to the Desktop that changes can be sent via the LAN again.

Please note: The most easy solution: instead of configuring in LAN and FTP mode use a (free) Dropbox or Google Drive account and configure OsaSync in Cloud mode. Tell me more...


How many space does OsaSync require on the FTP server?

Only during the initial 'prepare folders for syncing' procedure all folder items are transferred to your other computer. When folders are in sync only the CHANGES will be transferred. So only the initial syncing procedure takes considerable amount of space on the ftp server but how many depends completely on the number of folders you are going to sync at once and how many items there are in these folders. If your other computer is configured to transfer files with the ftp server often, let's say every 15 minutes, then files uploaded by the source pc are downloaded again so also this reduces the amount of ftp space necessary. You can also have OsaSync use zipping and encryption of all data transferred by ftp and that reduces the size dramatically. If you have large folders and initially sync the folders one by one there will surely be enough space (most providers allow at least 25 Mb)

If you can initially copy the .pst file to your other computer you should consider syncing in advanced mode. In this way the initial syncing is very fast and uses very little space. This has to be done only once, thereafter OsaSync will keep the folders in sync and transfer data via the ftp server. Click here for details on advanced mode syncing.
 


How to sync my 3 office computers with my home computer through FTP?

I am already syncing 3 computers in my office in peer-to-peer mode and now also want to sync some folders with my computer at home. How do I set this up?

FTP syncing is only possible in Client-Server mode so switch the computers at work to client-server mode and configure them for LAN and FTP access. Configure OsaSync on the computer at home in client-server mode for FTP access (the 'server' is this same home computer so it's the client and the server at the same time).

It's important to understand that if a folder is synced between several computers then those computers all have to be able to see each other. So all computers at work have to be configured for FTP (and LAN) access  if at least one folder is going to be synced between all computers.

The most easy solution:  Instead of using an FTP server use a (free) Dropbox or Google Drive account and configure OsaSync in Cloud mode.


What's the difference between the Force communicating section on the FTP options window?

The 'force communicating' part of the FTP options window can be a bit confusing. Three major things to keep in mind are:

  • These sections apply only to computers configured for both LAN and FTP.
  • All LAN and FTP configured computers periodically have to transfer files with the ftp server (according to the setting on the FTP options windows). When a laptop goes offline it sends a message to the FTP server with instructions for the other computers to switch their communication mode with the laptop from LAN to FTP. This message will never reach
  • During normal OsaSync operation it's not necessary to use these buttons. OsaSync automatically switches from LAN to FTP communication mode and back whenever necessary. However, if something goes wrong and OsaSync hasn't automatically switched communication mode it's possible to do so manually with this section.
  • the computers in the LAN if they don't periodically check the ftp server for messages.

The two different sections relate to the perspective. The left section applies to a laptop that has gone offline and needs to be forced to communicate with ALL other computers through FTP. The right section is relevant for a computer in the LAN that still syncs with other computers through the LAN but only needs to communicate with one traveling laptop through FTP. The drop down box lists all computers that are configured for both LAN and FTP and enables the selection of the traveling laptop.

So, during normal operation there is no need to use these buttons to manually switch communication mode .

The most easy solution:  Instead of using an FTP server use a (free) Dropbox or Google Drive account and configure OsaSync in Cloud mode.


Can I also sync other Outlook items like email and appointments?

OsaSync Lite version only supports synchronizing of Outlook contacts but OsaSync PRO supports synchronizing of all Outlook item types.


What happens when I change the same contact on two disconnected computers?

As long as different contact properties are changed all changes will be processed when the computers are connected to the network again. So lets say you changed a contacts business address on your desktop computer and later while working remotely on your laptop you change the same contacts email address both changes are reflected on the other computer after connecting your laptop to the network.

If the same property is changed on different disconnected computers (which is very rare...) one of those changes will be lost after connecting the computers to the network (with the exception of the contact notes field). If your computers are connected this can only happen when the same property is changed on two computers in between two check for changes on other computers intervals. The shorter this interval the smaller the chances of this happening. This interval is set on the OsaSync Options page in the box check for changes on other computers each ... minutes. If your contacts are updated frequently by several people then configure OsaSync in client-server mode and set this check interval to 1 minute (the smallest interval time allowed).

If the same contact notes field has been changed on 2 disconnected computers then OsaSync will prompt you for a choice. You can accept the changes from the other computer or you can have OsaSync merge the notes from both computers.

See also:


Contact notes have been updated on two computers at the same time, what happens?

Before OsaSync imports contact notes it checks if the notes have not been changed later then on the computer that created the update. If the notes have been changed at a later time and the time difference is more than 30 seconds then OsaSync will present a window asking you how you want to resolve this conflict:

  • discard the last changes made by you and continue importing the notes from the other computer
  • discard the import.
  • append the notes from the other computer to the existing notes.

If you discard the import then OsaSync will copy your current notes to all other synced computers in order to get all notes in sync again. When you choose 'append' you will be able to manually merge the notes from both computers. After this manual merge the notes are changed again and will be synced to all other computers.

If the time difference is more than 30 seconds then the notes will be imported without a conflict resolution message. This period of 30 seconds is to compensate a small differences in computer time settings.

If the notes conflict resolution window is presented too often:
The time setting of your computer is probably ahead of the other computer. Check to make sure that both computers have the same time setting. Best is to automatically sync your computer time with an internet time server.

If the notes conflict resolution window is NOT shown enough because the slack period of 30 seconds is too long:
You can force OsaSync to use another slack period (with a minimum of 1 second) by specifying another value in the Windows registry:

  • Start Regedit from the Windows start menu: click run and type regedit.
  • Navigate to the registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\OsaSync.
  • Double click the key BodyDiffSec and fill out another value

Note:
This same applies to notes of appointments and tasks.


My wife also works on my computer, can we both use OsaSync?
How to install more than one users on one PC?

If you are running OsaSync PRO in Client-Server mode it is possible to use OsaSync with multiple users on the SAME computer. OsaSync depends on a unique computer name for each user and it is now possible to specify an alternative computer name when you configure OsaSync for another user on the same computer. The actual Windows computer name stays the same but OsaSync can use an alternative name and will behave like it is running on another computer.

To specify the alternative name run the OsaSync connection wizard in Client-Server mode.

Example:
Ron and Sue use the same computer named DESKTOP. Ron configures OsaSync without an alternative name and Sue configures OsaSync and specifies the alternative name DEKSTOPSUE. The connection wizard creates two folders on the server:
\\server\share\OsaSync\desktop
\\server\share\OsaSync\desktopsue
All other computers now 'see' two new OsaSynced computers in the network.

Sometimes when installing more users on one PC the OsaSync menu will not appear for some users.
In that case you should register the OsaSync.dll's.
You can do that by installing OsaSync also for this user on the same location as it already was (perhaps you have to make that user an ADMIN for a moment). That process registers the dll's.
For other possibilities look at: The OsaSync menu item is not visible in the Outlook menu

Note: In this scenario you need two licences for one actual computer!

Also see:


Does OsaSync run on Microsoft Terminal Server?

Yes, OsaSync PRO version 4.0 or higher can be used with Terminal Server. OsaSync depends on the computer network name of each computer to sync with and in version 4.0 or higher it is possible to configure an alternative computer name for each user.

After installing you should export the registry key:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\OsaSyncPro.Connect]
from the server and import them for every user.

For more info on alternative names see:  My wife also works on my computer, can we both use OsaSync?


Does OsaSync run in a 64 bit Outlook version?

OsaSync does NOT run in a 64 bit Outlook versions. If you are running a 64 bit Windows version then install a 32 bit Office version in order to be able to use OsaSync.


Does OsaSync synchronize distribution lists?

Yes, distribution lists can be synchronized in OsaSync PRO version 5.0 and higher.

OsaSync Lite does NOT support distribution lists.


Does OsaSync support custom forms?

Yes, if you create contacts using a custom form OsaSync can also synchronize these contacts. All changes you make in custom fields will be synchronized just like the standard contact fields.

Your custom form has to exist also on all other computers being synced with so you have to copy the custom form to the other computers:

  1. Open the custom form via Tools - Forms - Choose form.
  2. Save the form as an Outlook template on a network share: File - Save As, type: Outlook Template (.oft).
  3. Copy this .oft file to the other computer
  4. Go to your other computer and open this template: Tools - Forms - Choose form
  5. From the Look in box select User templates in file system and click Browse
  6. Browse to the folder that contains the .oft file and click OK.
  7. Select the name of the custom form and click Open
  8. Now publish the form to your personal forms library.
    Outlook 2000, 2002, and 2003: Click Tools - Forms - Publish form.
    Outlook 2007: On the Developer tab click Publish - Publish Form. If the Developer tab is not available, click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, and then click Editor Options. Click Popular, and then select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box.

    Make sure to give this form the exact same name as on the other computer!

One-off items:
In some situations Outlook will create one-off items when you synchronize the folder. A one-off item is an item that has it's custom form definition (that created the item) stored inside the item itself. In this case the link to the actual custom form (stored in for instance the
personal forms library) is broken. This means that when the custom form is changed (e.g. a new user-defined field is added) the one-off item cannot use the changes. 
You can see that one-off items are created by:
-  the contact icon is the same as the default contact icon. If a contact created by a custom form is not a one-off contact then it's icon is a form with a pin.
-  the contact's size has increased dramatically (one-off contacts can have a size of more than 20 Kbytes).

OsaSync supports a function to restore the connection from one-off items to the original custom form. If the custom form that has created the one-off items has been changed you can run this function: 
- from the
OsaSync Options page choose Advanced Options...
- click the button
Restore One-Off items
- fill out the name of the custom form you want to restore (do not use 'IPM.Contact.' before the form name)
- click
Restore
OsaSync now re-creates the link to the custom form. You can now update your items using the updated form. After updating your items you have to re-run the folder synchronization process again! 

Note:
If you have stored your custom form in the Personal forms library then you can assign your custom form to a contacts folder. In this way all new contacts created in this folder will be created by default with your custom form. When this contacts folder has been selected and you click the new button then your custom form is displayed. Assign your custom form the a contacts folder by right-clicking the folder, choose properties and on the general tab click the box When posting to this folder use:  and select your custom form.


How to start synchronizing a folder

You can read a detailed step-by-step description of the synchronization process on the Getting started page.


How to synchronize multiple folders at once?

By default the synchronization wizard allows you to sync one folder at a time. After synchronization data for the selected folder has been created the wizard will ask if you want to sync another folder and repeat the necessary steps.

For experienced users it is however also possible to select multiple folders in the select folder wizard step. Multiple folder selection has to be enabled by checking the box Enable selection of multiple folders in the sync wizard on the OsaSync Advanced Options page.


How to stop the synchronization of a folder?

Go to the computer on which you want a folder not to be synced anymore and:

  1. Select the folder in the Outlook folder list
  2. In the Outlook OsaSync menu choose Synced folder
  3. Click Stop synchronization

If the folder is synced with more than one computer then OsaSync will popup a question asking if you want to:

  • Stop the folder synchronization between ALL computers
  • Only remove the current computer from the synchronization process.

    If you answer to only exclude the current computer for syncing this is what happens:

    OsaSync will now stop the synchronization of this folder on this computer and send messages to all other computers notifying them to stop the synchronization of this folder with this machine.
    Let's say you have a folder synced between 4 computers: A, B, C and D. You don't want this folder to be synced anymore on computer A and you click
    stop synchronization on computer A. When the computers B, C and D have processed the message received from A to stop syncing with A, those computers still sync this folder between each other so B still syncs the folder with C and D, C with B and D and D with B and C.


How to synchronize 3 or more computers?

OsaSync Pro in Cloud mode

The most easy solution: Use a (free) Dropbox, Google Drive or Skydrive account and configure OsaSync in Cloud mode.

OsaSync PRO in C/S configuration mode:

Run the OsaSync configuration wizard on each machine and configure the connection to the server.

OsaSync Lite or OsaSync PRO in peer-to-peer configuration mode:

If you want to synchronize one or more folders between 3 or more computers it is important to configure each machine for synchronization with each other computer.

So let's say you have 3 computers: A, B and C.

Run the OsaSync configuration wizard and configure as follows:
Computer A with computer B and C
Computer B with computer A and C
Computer C with computer A and B

After you have configured the computers you have to prepare the folder items for synchronization. This has to be done on one of the configured computers. So in the example above you can run the folder synchronization process on computer A. So do NOT run this same process again on computers B and C!

In this way all changes to your contacts will be kept in sync between all computers.

You can read a detailed step-by-step description of the synchronization process on the Getting started page.


How to sync with computers that will never see each other?

I am syncing folders on my home network with my laptop and want to take the laptop to work and sync some folders on the company network however computer A at home will never be able to connect to computer C at work. Computer B connects to both of them at different times.

The most easy solution: Configure your computers in Cloud mode. Your computers never have to see each other.

If you don't want to use Cloud mode than it is also possible if you run OsaSync PRO in C/S configuration mode:

  1. Configure your laptop as the server and as a client.
  2. Run the connection wizard on computer A, choose Client-Server mode and connect to the server laptop.
  3. Do the same on computer C

When you are working on computer A or C while your laptop is not connected (so the server is not available) then  OsaSync PRO configured in C/S mode will work in local mode. In this case OsaSync will save all changes locally  and move them to the server when the connection to the server has been reestablished.  

See also:


Can I use OsaSync with a flash drive (USB stick) to synchronize two computer that are not connected otherwise?

Yes, this in possible with OsaSync PRO configured in Client-Server mode. However a more easy solution is to configure OsaSync PRO in cloud mode.

If you do not want to use Cloud mode you can use a  flash drive. The flash drive can act as a 'server' for OsaSync:

  • Run the OsaSync connection wizard
  • Choose Client-server mode
  • On the Server connection step choose server on the LAN
  • On the next step Connecting click the button Advanced >>>
  • OsaSync now shows a dialog in which you can specify a mapped drive. Click Use Mapped Drive and type a path to a folder on your flash drive.
  • Continue the wizard and click Finish
  • Repeat these steps on your other computer(s) and point to the same folder on the flash drive.

If outlook and OsaSync run on a computer in which the flash drive is not present then OsaSync will run in Local Mode and save all changes on the local hard disk. When the flash drive is inserted osasync will see the 'server' again and move all locally saved files to the flash drive and it process all changes from the other computer(s).

See also:

 


Can I sync using the (free) Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive or another cloud service?

Yes, this in possible with OsaSync PRO configured in Cloud mode. The Dropbox, Google Drive or Skydrive folder can act as a 'server' for OsaSync. Here are the steps when your use Dropbox. The steps for Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive or any other cloud service are the same.

  1. If you have no (free) dropbox account get go to www.dropbox.com and sign up for a (free) account. Download and install the dropbox app on all your computers. Create a folder and share it with the computers you want to synchronize Outlook with.
  2. Run the OsaSync connection wizard
  3. Choose Cloud Mode
  4. Click Next in the step Alternative computer name
  5. In the select folder step navigate to your Dropbox shared folder. Click Create OsaServer folder. Dropbox will sync this folder to your other computers.
  6. Finish the connection wizard
  • Wait until Dropbox has synced the folder and files that has been created by the wizard on the first computer. Than run the OsaSync connection wizard on the second computers. Repeat the above steps 3 to 6.
  • In the OsaServer folder step select the OsaServer folder that has already been created by dropbox.

Now the OsaServer folder in the Dropbox folder will behave as a folder in your local network.

The getting started page describes the steps above in more detail.

The OsaServer folder consumes very little disk space so you don't have to worry that using OsaSync on your Dropbox account will run you out of free disk space. The OsaServer folder is used for exchanging small temporary files. Once remote computers have checked for changes (this can happen every minute in Client-server mode) the temporary files are deleted again.

See also:

 


How to synchronize using advanced mode?

In normal syncing mode OsaSync creates a file for each item in each folder being synced. This file is imported on the target computers. If you have large folders (more than 2000 items per folder) it can take a long time for this process to finish (several hours is no exception). Advanced syncing mode is much faster because OsaSync does not create a file for each item but only assigns a unique OsaSync ID to each item. Each outlook item in a synchronized folder needs to have a unique OsaSync ID that is the same on all computers. For this reason the .pst file with the synced folders has to be copied manually to all target computers after the syncing wizard has finished.

Here are the steps to sync folders in advanced mode:

  1. If you do not want to copy your default .pst file to the target computers you can create a new .pst file and move the folders to be synchronized to this new .pst file before you start the syncing wizard.
    To create a new .pst file:
    Click File - Data file management. Click the Add button and accept the default .pst type choice by clicking Ok. In the Create or Open Outlook Data file window type a name for the new .pst file and click Ok. You will now see a new top level folder in your Outlook folders list with the default name Personal Folders . If you want you can change that name in something else. Click here to see how.
    You can now simply move the folders to be synchronized to this new folder by drag and drop (or cut and paste). The default Contacts and Calendar folder cannot be moved so you have to copy them.
  2. If you are going to copy your pst file with the top level folder name Personal Folders then rename this top level folder name to make sure that other computers won't have TWO top level folders with the same name (most likely another computer already has a top level folder Personal Folders because this is Outlook's default top level folder name).
  3. Choose the source computer to run the advanced syncing wizard on. This is the computer that has the (new) pst file which will be copied after the wizard has finished.
  4. On each other (target) computer click OsaSync - Options...
  5. If necessary deselect the Check when Outlook starts box. Set the Check for changes on other computers every minutes box to 0. This will stop OsaSync from automatically processing changes from other computers so you will have time to add the copied pst file to the outlook folders list once the wizard has been run. If your computers connect through FTP then set OsaSync to manually transfer ftp files on the OsaSync FTP options window.
  6. On the source computer click OsaSync - Prepare folders for syncing...
  7. Click Next to get to the Synchronization mode step. Select Advanced mode and click Next
  8. In the Choose folder step you can now select multiple folders by holding down the Control or Shift key while you click on the folders to be synced.
  9. Select the computers to sync with in the next step and click Next.
  10. OsaSync will now create OsaSync ID's for all items in each folder (unless a folder has been synced before and the items already have an OsaSync ID). OsaSync will also create a small synchronization message file for each target computer.
  11. In the Ready step click Finish.
  12. If your computers connect through FTP then click tranfer files to / from FTP server
  13. Now manually copy the .pst file to all target computers. You can copy the .pst file on a target computer in any folder you like.
  14. Add the new .pst file to the Outlook top level folders list on each target computer. Click File - Open - Outlook Data File and browse to the location where you have copied the .pst file to. Select the .pst file and click Ok. You will now see the new top level folder in your folder list.
  15. Click OsaSync - Check for changes on other computers. OsaSync will now read the synchronization message files from the source computer and mark the folders as being synced with the source computer. When connecting through  FTP reset the FTP connection option on the FTP options window to have OsaSync transfer FTP files again.
  16. Set the number of minutes again used by OsaSync to check for changes on other computers on the OsaSync options page.


How to change the Outlook top level folder name?

Outlook stores all it's content in one big file: a .pst file (or .ost file if you are connected to an Exchange server). OsaSync supports working with more than one .pst file. In case you work with more than one .pst file you have also more than one top level folder. The default name of the .pst file is Outlook.pst. Within Outlook the name of this file is displayed as the top level folder name. Here's an example of Outlook with 3 top level folders (corresponding to three .pst files):



If you use more than one .pst file you will have more top level folders and in this case OsaSync requires the names of the top level folders to be the same, at least if you want to sync folders within that top level folder (there is an exception).

If you have only ONE top level folder the name does NOT have to be the same as on the other computers.

In the example above we want to sync the Contact and Calendar folders in the default pst file Personal folders Hella. We want to share our contacts and calendar with Ron who's top level folder name is Personal folders. So we have to change the name Personal folders Hella in Personal folders also. Here's how:

  1. Right-click on Personal folders Hella and choose Data file properties:

  2. Click the button Advanced:

  3. Click in the Name field and change the name to Personal folders:

  4. Close the windows by clicking OK.

Note: 
The filename of the .pst file does not have to be the same as the name of the top level folder in Outlook. So you can rename the top level folder without renaming the .pst file on disk


Can I sync the Deleted items folder, it's not in the list?

The deleted items folder cannot be synced like other folders. However, the deleted items folder is synced indirectly if an item on the synced computer is deleted by OsaSync because it has received a delete message. Second is that we don't encourage keeping items in the deleted items folder, we have seen that if there are many items in the deleted items folder this can become a source of (mysterious) problems. That's why we recommend setting Outlook to empty the deleted items folder upon closing. So if you don't want to permanently delete items it's better to store them in another folder.


How to synchronize only a specific category?

This is NOT possible. Syncing means every item is kept in sync with the other machine regardless of the category. 

An option is to create a new folder and move all items with a specific category to this new folder and then synchronize this folder.

A note on category syncing:
OsaSync syncs the category if you apply a category to an Outlook item. However, the applied category should not be a one-character category like category 'A'. A category name should have a length of at least 2 characters


How to make a backup copy of my .pst files?

Outlook stores all contacts, email, appointments, tasks and journal items in one file: the personalfolders.pst file (default name: Outlook.pst).

It is a good idea to backup this file before you start syncing folders.

Backup the .pst file(s):

  1. Make sure to close Outlook.
  2. Locate the folder with the .pst file(s).
    In Windows 7:
    1. Click the the Windows start button
    2. in the search box just above the Windows button, type *.pst and click search icon. (in older Windows versions: use Search - For files or folders)
    3. Right-click on the resulting .pst file in the results window and click Open file location in the context menu.
    In Windows 8:
    1. Click windows button + f to start the search box in the charms bar.
    2. type *.pst and click the search button
    3. Right-click on the resulting .pst file in the File results window and click Open file location in the bar on the button.
  3. Select the .pst file and copy the file (control-c; control-v; accept the name 'copy of xxxx.pst'.
  4. Repeat these steps on the other computer(s).


If I have two computers that have identical contact lists and sync the first time, will this cause my contacts to be duplicated?

No, OsaSync will merge your contacts from both contact folders and in doing so it will skip identical contacts. OsaSync matches a contact as the same contact as on the source computer if the following contact properties are the same: first name, last name, company and  email address.

See also


I have more than one contacts folder. Can I synchronize all of them?

Yes, you can synchronize all contacts folders you want.


Is a deleted contact also deleted on the computer I synchronize with?

Yes, OsaSync also keeps deletions in sync.


How to install and configure OsaSync

For a detailed description on installing OsaSync see the Getting started page.

  1. Start the installation process by double-clicking the downloaded file setup file.
    The OsaSync setup process will start and guide you through the installation. This installation process is similar to most other software installations.

  2. Start configuring OsaSync by running the OsaSync connection wizard. Click the OsaSync connection wizard icon on your desktop or choose from the windows Start menu: Programs - OsaSync PRO - OsaSync connection wizard.
    The OsaSync connection wizard will guide you through the process of configuring OsaSync with other computers in your network.

    For a detailed description on using the connection wizard see the Getting started page.

  3. Install and configure OsaSync on the other computers in your network (repeat step 1 and 2).

  4. You are done and can start synchronizing Outlook items with other computers in your network by starting Microsoft Outlook.


How to upgrade OsaSync?

  • Download the latest upgrade version. In most cases it is not necessary to completely re-install OsaSync. Applying the upgrade will do. The latest version is  8.2 for OsaSync Lite and 9.1 for OsaSync PRO

  • On either computer, BEFORE you install the upgrade, on the OsaSync menu,  click Check for changes on other computers. This ensures that all computers are up-to-date.


What is Client-Server mode (PRO only)?

OsaSync PRO can be installed in two modes, a Peer-to-Peer mode and a Client-Server mode. Client-Server mode means that each computer running Outlook (= the Client computer) is configured to 'see' the central server. All data used by OsaSync to exchange new and changed Outlook items between synchronized computers will be stored on the server.

Advantages of Client-Server mode as opposed to Peer-to-Peer mode are:

  • It is less work to configure your computers. Each computer running OsaSync in C/S mode only has to be configured to 'see' the server whereas each computer running in P2P mode has to be configured to see all other computers on the network. If you have 3 or 4 computers this is not a big deal but with 10 or more computers this really makes a difference.
  • Client computers running Outlook do not have to expose a shared folder or disk. OsaSync running in P2P mode does require a shared folder on the other computer(s) but OsaSync in C/S mode only communicates with the server and not with the other computers. Exposing a share on a client computer can contradict with security policy.
  • Better performance especially with a larger number of computers.

Client-Server mode only impacts the way OsaSync deals with temporary data files used to exchange changes between computers. It does not change anything with regard to the Outlook items: they still reside on the Client computers, so there is no central storage for Outlook items. If you start the folder synchronization process you still have to select the computers you want to sync the folder with so there is no difference in the syncing process between OsaSync in P2P mode or in C/S mode. In other words: you do not sync the folder with the server but with one or more other client computers.

When you run the OsaSync connection wizard and choose to configure in C/S mode you will have to point the wizard to the server and select a folder into which OsaSync can create subfolders. OsaSync will create a subfolder with the name of the Client computer and create a subfolder with the same name in all other computer name folders. This folder structure is used by OsaSync to save all data files used in the exchange of new and changed items between all computers (click here to see an example of this folder structure).
You will also have to specify a folder on the Client computer where OsaSync can store the data files in case the server is not available. If your computer is offline (e.g. when you travel with your laptop) OsaSync will function in local mode and save all data files locally and move them to the server after you reconnect your computer to the network again.

Configure OsaSync in C/S mode if you do have a server that is always running when one or more of the client computers are running.

The most easy solution: Instead of Client-Server mode, use a (free) Dropbox or Google Drive account and configure OsaSync in Cloud mode. Tell me more...

See also:


Can I use the server also as a client computer running Outlook and OsaSync in C/S mode?

Yes, the server computer can also be used as a client running Outlook and OsaSync. In this case this computer acts with both the client and the server 'role'. Simply run the connection wizard on the server and choose the server to connect to (= the server connects to itself).


Do I have to install OsaSync on the server in C/S mode?

No. The server only functions as a central file server for all temporary OsaSync files. The folder structure on the server is created by the connection wizard running on the client when connecting to the server. So you do not have to do anything on the server except making sure it exposes a network share accessible to your client computers.

Here is how the folder structure looks like on the server after you have configured 3 client computers A, B and C:

\\servername\sharename\..\osaserver\A\B
\\servername\sharename\..\osaserver\A\C
\\servername\sharename\..\osaserver\B\A
\\servername\sharename\..\osaserver\B\C
\\servername\sharename\..\osaserver\C\A
\\servername\sharename\..\osaserver\C\B

note: \..\ can be any folder structure.

Each folder on the lowest level will also have a 'Compare' subfolder.

OsaSync also creates a file called CnfComputers.txt in the \OsaServer folder in which all computers are listed.


Can I change from peer-to-peer mode to Client-Server mode?

Yes. Simply rerun the connection wizard on every client computer and select C/S mode. After you have chosen Client-Server mode, the wizard wants you to select an OsaSync folder on the server. Do NOT select the folder into which OsaSync has been installed (previously in peer-to-peer mode) but select another folder and click Create OsaServer folder if the OsaServer folder does not yet exist. See Do I have to install OsaSync on the server in C/S mode? for an example of the folder structure that is created by the connection wizard on the server.

Before you do this make sure all changes are processed by choosing check for changes from the OsaSync menu and make sure no changes are made on other computers before you have finished the wizard.


How to configure OsaSync for syncing via the FTP server?

First Make sure you have installed OsaSync PRO in Client/Server mode. If you installed in Peer-to-Peer mode you can switch to CS mode. Click here to see how. Then:

  • Run the OsaSync configuration wizard and select FTP server or LAN server and FTP server in the step where you choose the server type.
  • In the wizard step FTP server you fill out the name of the server and your username and password. OsaSync will connect to the FTP server.
  • The next two steps are similar to configuring OsaSync on the LAN server. First you have to select the OsaServer folder on the FTP server and if the OsaServer folder does not exist yet you can create the folder by clicking Create OsaServer folder.
    After you have selected (or created) the OsaServer folder OsaSync will create several subfolders in the OsaServer folder. The folder structure created is exactly the same as the structure created on a LAN server. Click here to see an example (without the '\\servername\sharename' on the FTP server) .
  • In the Local OsaSync folder step you specify a folder on your computer where OsaSync can store it's temporary files after downloading them from the FTP server.  The default folder is C:\OsaSync_local (If you already configured a LAN server then the local OsaSync folder has been specified already so you won't see this step now).
  • Click finish to save the configuration info and restart Outlook.

You can find a visual explanation of these steps on the Getting Started page.

Run the configuration wizard also on all other computers that will use the FTP server. 

Take a look at the following scenario:
Lets say you have 3 computers (A, B and C) in your main office and 2 computers (X and Y) in your branch office.
You want to sync the Contacts and the Inbox folders between computers B, C, X and Y and the Calendar between A, B and C.

Run the connection wizard and configure as follows:
- A: sync via the LAN server only
- B and C: sync via the LAN server and via the FTP server
- X and Y: sync via the LAN server and via the FTP server (X and Y are also connected with each other in a LAN).

Sync the Contacts folder by picking one computer, let's say B and run the prepare folders for synchronization wizard. In the computers step select computers C, X and Y. OsaSync will now create sync data for all three computers and will store the data for C on the LAN while the data for X and Y will be uploaded to the FTP server. Because B and C are connected on the same LAN OsaSync will use the LAN to store it's temporary data files and not the FTP server. Run the wizard again and select the Inbox folder for syncing.

Sync the Calendar by running the prepare folders for syncing wizard on (let's say) A and select computers B and C in the computers step. All data will be exchanged via the LAN.

Travel with your laptop:
We'll take this scenario one step further and assume computer B in the main office is a laptop and you occasionally travel with this laptop on your business trip. While you are traveling you want to keep your data in sync with both offices. You want to see new email and you want to see new or changed Customers (=Contacts).
This is possible with OsaSync. Connect your laptop to the internet and start Outlook. OsaSync will see that you are no longer connected to the LAN and ask if you want to start syncing via the FTP server. By answering
yes OsaSync will send a message to computer B with instructions to store it's temporary data on the FTP server and not on the LAN server anymore. Computers X and Y are already syncing via the FTP server. Your Contacts folder and Inbox will now stay in sync in the same way as when your laptop was still connected to the LAN in the office. When your return to the office and reconnect to the LAN this will be detected by OsaSync and OsaSync will start exchanging  data files with computer B again via the LAN server and instruct B to do the same.

Note: when you are running the connection wizard on a laptop and want to configure OsaSync for connecting BOTH to the LAN and to an FTP server then do not assign your laptop also as the LAN server. Your LAN server should then be a computer that remains connected to the LAN.

FTP Options
After you have configured OsaSync to use the FTP server you can now tell OsaSync when it has to exchange files with the FTP server. Go to the
OsaSync options page, click the button FTP Options.... By default OsaSync will up-and download data to/from the FTP server whenever OsaSync checks for changes on other computers. These are the options:

  • Exchange data with the FTP server when checking for changes on other computers (default). OsaSync uses the value set on the OsaSync options page to retrieve and process changes generated on other computers. Before processing any changes OsaSync will first up- and download data to or from the FTP server.
  • Use a timer interval to exchange data with the FTP server. You might want to use this option when you have a slow internet connection (dial-up modem connection) and you want to exchange files only a few times each day.
  • Exchange data only when you say so by clicking Transfer files to / from FTP server in the OsaSync menu.
  • Never. Set this only when you experience technical problems while connecting. If you want to stop connecting to the FTP server permanently then rerun the connection wizard and only select the server type LAN to connect to.

When you are done configuring OsaSync for FTP then (re) synchronize your Outlook folders by running the prepare folders for synchronization wizard.

Important note:
If you use a firewall (which you should!) then make sure to add the FTP server name or IP address to the list of trusted computers (called 'trusted zone' or 'local zone' or 'local network' depending on the type of firewall software).

See also:


The OsaSync menu shows 'OsaSync-LM', what does this mean?

The OsaSync menu item in the Outlook menu bar changes from OsaSync to OsaSync-LM when OsaSync has been installed in Client-Server mode and when the server is not available. LM means Local Mode: OsaSync will save all changes locally. When the connection to the server has been restored all data files saved by OsaSync on the client computer will be moved to the server and made available for other computers to process.

In Local Mode it is not possible to synchronize folders so the prepare folders for synchronization menu item is grayed out.

OsaSync tries to connect to the server when Outlook is started. If you are sure the server is available then click check for changes on other computers to have OsaSync reconnect to the server and return to normal mode.

If your server is running and OsaSync is nevertheless started in Local Mode then it the network connection to the server was not available. Check using my network places if you can connect to the server. If not then restarting your computer (and sometimes restarting the server) will restore the connection. Tip: if this happens frequently then using a router in your local network will greatly improve the network stability.


How to run the OsaSync connection wizard

There are two ways to run the OsaSync connection wizard:

  1. From Outlook
  2. Outside Outlook as a stand-alone application

From Outlook:

  1. From the Outlook main menu select: OsaSync - Options
  2. Click the button Run connection wizard....
  3. Make changes using the wizard.
  4. After you are done using the wizard, close the Options window, close Outlook and restart Outlook again. All changes you made while using the wizard will now take effect.

Outside Outlook as a stand-alone application:

  • Click on the icon OsaSync connection wizard (=the pussycat) on your desktop.
  • Choose from the windows start menu: Programs - Outlook Sharing - OsaSync connection wizard

For a detailed description on using the connection wizard see the Getting started page.


How to create a shared folder in Windows

Create a shared folder or disk in Windows NT, 2000 or XP:

To share folders and drives, you must be logged on as a member of the Administrators, Server Operators, or Power Users group!

  1. Open Windows Explorer, and then locate the folder or drive you want to share (click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Windows Explorer).
  2. Right-click the folder or drive, and then click properties.
  3. On the Sharing tab, click Share this folder
  4. To change the name of the shared folder or drive, type a new name in Share name. The new name is what users will see when they connect to this shared folder or drive. The actual name of the folder or drive does not change.
    If the folder is already shared, click
    New Share and then type the new share name.
  5. To set shared folder permissions on the shared folder or drive, click Permissions.
    Give at least '
    create',- 'read'  and 'write' permissions to the usernames of the users on the other computers you want to share Outlook items with.

For more information on how to create a share consult your windows help documentation. Look for: 'Share a folder or drive with other people'


For security reasons I want to install OsaSync on a hidden share, is this possible?

If you do not want to expose shares in your network it is possible to install OsaSync on a hidden share like '\\computer\OsaSync$'.  This improves security, as it is not visible in the network neighborhood yet fully accessible.

Create a hidden share by appending the $ sign at the end of the share name. If you do this after OsaSync has been installed then open the Windows registry (using RegEdit), navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\OsaSync and edit all file paths in the registry directly in this key and its sub keys for each configured computer. Append the $ sign to the share name.


Can the server in CS mode be a Linux server running Samba?

Yes, at least two customers reported this running on RH8.0 stock install. Earlier versions can produce errors.


How to remove a computer from the synced computers group

Remove a computer from the list of synced computers for a selected folder:

  • On the computer you want to remove right-click the folder
  • Choose Properties... and select the OsaSync tab
  • Click Stop synchronization. Answer Yes to the question if you really want to stop the synchronization.
  • If the folder was synced with 3 or more computers OsaSync will ask if you want to stop the synchronization of this folder between ALL computers or only with the selected computer. Answer Stop synchronization with THIS computer only

Remove a computer completely:

To remove a computer completely from all synced folders the computer has to be deleted from the list of configured computers. This list is displayed on the OsaSync Options window. The computer will be removed from this list if you delete the configuration information for this computer. See the next FAQ how to do this.

You do NOT have to click the Stop synchronization button on each folders property window. If a computer is removed from the list of configured computers then this computer is automatically removed from each folders computer-sync list. 

See also:


How to delete the configuration information for a computer

If you have removed a computer you have to delete the configuration information OsaSync uses for connecting to that computer. 

If you are running OsaSync in peer-to-peer mode then on EACH computer:

  1. From the Outlook menu select: OsaSync - Options
  2. Click on the name of the computer you want to delete in the list box. The button Delete config info next to the list box will become enabled.
  3. Click the button Delete config info. OsaSync will delete the configuration info for this computer.
  4. Close this window and close Outlook.
  5. Manually delete the folder with the removed computer name in the \OsaSync_data folder.
  6. Restart Outlook.

If you are running OsaSync in Client-Server mode. On one of your computers:

  1. From the Outlook menu select: OsaSync - Options
  2. Click on the name of the computer you want to delete in the list box. The button Delete config info next to the list box will become enabled.
  3. Click the button Delete config info. OsaSync will delete the configuration info for this computer in the CnfComputers.txt file on the LAN server and/or also on the FTP server.
  4. Restart Outlook. All folders corresponding with the deleted computer are now deleted both on the server (LAN and/or FTP) and in the OsaSync_local folder.


I have renamed a computer. What to do now.

There are 2 thing to do when you have renamed your computer:

  1. Change your computer name in the CnfComputers.txt file
  2. Get a new license key (for 2; 3; 5 or 7 computer licenses)

Change the name of a computer in OsaSync

In peer-to-peer mode:

    On EACH synced computer (except the one who's name has changed):

  • Open the CnfComputers.txt file in the \OsaSync\Data folder. Find the line that corresponds to the changed computer and change 'P00x=computer oldname' to 'P00x=computer newname'. Make sure not to change the section 'OldName=computer oldname'.
  • Manually rename the subfolder with the old computer name in \OsaSync_data to the new computer name.

In Client-Server mode:

  • Open the CnfComputers.txt file in the \OsaServer folder on the server. Find the line that corresponds to the changed computer and change 'L00x=computer oldname' to 'L00x=computer newname'. Make sure not to change the section 'OldName=computer oldname'.
  • Restart Outlook on a different computer then the one which name has been changed. OsaSync will now see that a computer name has changed and will rename all relevant folder names on the server. When OsaSync has renamed all relevant folders it will change the 'OldName=computer oldname' section in the CnfComputer.txt file to the new name.

If the renamed computer (also) syncs via FTP then also change the computer name in the CnfComputers.txt file in the /OsaServer folder on the FTP server (the computer IDs on the FTP server look like '1R00x' instead of 'L00x').

Get new license key

If you have a 2; 3; 5 or 7 computer license then your existing license key won't work anymore if you have changed your computer name because OsaSync checks if the computer name matches the computer names encrypted into the license key. So you need a new license key. You can change the computer name for the license key yourself and get a new license key automatically when you login at: http://www.vaita.com/CustomerLogin.asp. You will need your email address (the one given when purchasing) and the password you did get together with your licence code .


How to add another computer after all other computers have been configured?

When you add another computer to the network after you have already configured other computer you will have to:

  1. Install OsaSync and add a license key.
    If you have a 7 computer license or smaller then the license key will have to reflect the computer name of the added computer. You can change computer names on our site by logging in and receive a new key automatically after you finish the change computer name procedure. Use the dummy computer name pc5 (or pc7 if it's the 7th computer) as the existing name to change.
  2. Configure OsaSync on the new computer by running the OsaSync connection wizard.
  3. Synchronize folders with the new computer

2. Configure OsaSync on the new computer

If you are running OsaSync in peer-to-peer mode:

  1. Install OsaSync on the new computer and run the connection wizard on this computer and configure ALL OTHER computers.
  2. Run the connection wizard again on EACH computer and configure the new computer. The configuration info for the computers configured previously is preserved so you do not need to configure them again. When you run the connection wizard on the new computer and point to an existing computer make sure to select the OsaSync_Data folder (or the \OsaSync\Data folder as set by older OsaSync versions) that has been specified on that computer to save it's OsaSync data. For details about creation or selection of the OsaSync_Data folder click here.

If you are running OsaSync in Client-Server mode:

  1. Install OsaSync on the new computer and run the connection wizard on this computer and point to the server.
  2. That's it. When Outlook on the other computers is restarted then the new computer will be recognized.

3. Synchronize folders with the new computer

If you are syncing a folder and want to sync this folder also with the new computer:

  1. On one of the existing synced computers select the synced folder in the Outlook Folder List and click OsaSync - Synced folder - Add computer....
  2. In the select computers step select the new computer. Deselect the other computers and click Next. The wizard will now create synchronization data ONLY for the new computer and it will inform the other computers that a new computer has been added to the list of computers the folder is synced with.

As an alternative to these steps you you can also add one or more computers by using the Advanced mode in the synchronization wizard if you are able to copy the .pst file manually:

  • Close outlook on the new computers
  • On the OsaSync advanced option page select Enable selection of multiple folders in the sync wizard
  • Start the prepare folders for synchronization wizard and choose advanced syncing mode.
  • Select the folders you want to sync with the new computers
  • In the computers step, deselect the computers already synced and select the new computers
  • Finish the wizard
  • Copy the .pst file to the new computers
  • Start outlook and open the copied pst file in Outlook. Click File - Open - Outlook Data File...
  • Click Check for changes on other computers. OsaSync will now process the message created by the source computer and mark the folder as being synced with all other computers.
  • That's it. The speed is limited by the necessary time for copying the .pst file and opening outlook; no matter how big your folders are.


How to create a new user after all other computers have been configured?

When you create a new user, you have to do the same as when you add a new computer. 
So install OsaSync, run the configuration wizard, and synchronize from one of the other computers.

See also:


How to completely uninstall OsaSync

A function is added to OsaSync to delete all ID's that have been added by OsaSync to items and folders. Run this function before uninstalling OsaSync to be sure all traces in Outlook are removed.

To run this function choose:

  1. From the Outlook main menu select: OsaSync - Options
  2. Click Advanced options...
  3. Click the Exceptional Procedures tab
  4. Choose Remove ID's button
  5. On the Remove OsaSync ID's window select Remove ID's from all folders and click the button Remove OsaSync ID's.

OsaSync will now search all folders for ID's previously assigned by OsaSync and remove them.

Now make sure to completely uninstall OsaSync from the Windows start menu:
From the Windows start menu choose Programs - OsaSync PRO - Uninstall OsaSync PRO. OsaSync will be completely removed from your system. 
Check to make sure the OsaSync folder has been deleted. If not do it manually.

If you are using a FTP-server, you also have to remove the OsaSync folder (and sub-folders) on the FTP-server manually.

OsaSync can be reinstalled by using the full installation version, do not use the upgrade version.

See also:


How to completely reinstall OsaSync without needing to configure and sync folders again?

When it is necessary to reinstall OsaSync it is possible to first save OsaSync's configuration information stored in the Windows registry. When after reinstallation the configuration info is restored it is not necessary to rerun the OsaSync connection wizard or to resync folders again. To save the configuration info:

  • Start Regedit: From the Windows start menu, click run and type regedit.
  • Navigate to the registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\OsaSync. Select this key and click File - Export.
  • Give the file a name (eg. 'OsaSyncInfo.reg') and click ok. Close regedit.

After the configuration info has been saved uninstall OsaSync. From the windows start menu choose Programs - OsaSync PRO - Uninstall OsaSync PRO.

Now download OsaSync again from www.vaita.com/download.asp and run the installation program.

When the installation program is finished restore the configuration info by double clicking the saved .reg file.


Replacing a computer; reformating a computer; reinstalling OsaSync; transferring OsaSync to a new computer: what do I have to redo?

If you start using a new computer and you want to transfer OsaSync to this new computer then you will have to move your .pst file from your old computer to your new computer.

Then you will have to:

  1. Install and configure OsaSync by running the OsaSync connection wizard.
  2. Resynchronize folders with this computer again from one of the other computers. Because you do have to copy .pst files it's best to resync your folders in advanced mode. See How to synchronize using advanced mode? for details.

These two steps are the same when you add a new computer, so for details see:  How to add another computer?

If the new or reformatted computer has a different name then you also have to:

  1. Get a new license key with reflects this new name (unless your license type is a 10 computer license or higher).
  2. Change the computer name in the CnfComputers.txt file with the new name. See I have renamed a computer. What to do now? for details.

Alternative to the first 2 steps

With a little manual configuration work you save the effort of having to rerun the OsaSync connection wizard and having to resynchronize your folders. Before you reformat your computer or uninstall OsaSync you can save the OsaSync configuration information stored in the Windows registry:

  • Start Regedit. From the Windows start menu, click run and type regedit.
  • Navigate to the registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\OsaSync. Select this key and click File - Export.
  • Point to an USB stick or network share and specify a file name (eg. 'OsaSyncInfo.reg') and save the file.

If you are running OsaSync in peer-to-peer mode:
Also save the
C:\folder\OsaSync_Data folder and subfolders on an external device or network share (C:\folder is the the folder in which the OsaSync connection wizard has created the OsaSync_Data folder)

Then reformat your computer; reinstall OsaSync or install OsaSync on the new computer and:

  1. Import the saved registry information by double clicking the registry file..
  2. In peer-to-peer mode: restore the C:\folder\OsaSync_data folders

See also:


The password for connecting to my network computer has been changed. What to do?

  1. Run the OsaSync connection wizard
  2. Select the computer your password has been changed for from the list of network computers and continue the wizard steps.
  3. Choose No on the question if you want to configure other computers and finish the wizard. All configuration information for your other computers will remain unchanged, OsaSync only updates the configuration information for the computer you just configured.


Why is the subscription expiration date different on at least two of my computers?

If a subscription expiration date has not been set explicitly then OsaSync uses the installation date to see when the subscription period ends by adding one year and one month to the installation date. If you installed or reinstalled OsaSync on another computer at another date then you will see another subscription expiration date


How to configure OsaSync for roaming users?.

If you collaborate with (lets say) 4 others and each user has to be able to work on each computer then those users will (need to) have a roaming windows profile. The Outlook pst files will have to accessible on a central server. Here's how to configure OsaSync in such a way that you can use OsaSync with a 5 computers license:

OsaSync needs a unique computer name for each user so you can't use the actual computer names. For each user on a computer run the OsaSync connection wizard and in client-server mode specify an alternative computer name. Do this again on all other computers and use the same alternative computer name for each user. When all users are configured on all computers there are only 5 alternative computer names so OsaSync only 'sees' 4 other computers.

Also see:


How to get a new license key?

If a computer name has changed and you have an osasync license type other then a 10 computer license or higher then you need a new license key that reflects this new name.

You can change computer names yourself and get a new licence key immediately when you login at www.vaita.com/customerlogin.asp and follow the directions for changing a computer name. An email with the new license key will be send to your email address.

If you don't succeed then send us (techsupport@vaita.com) the old and new name and we will do it for you .


How to give a Read/Only folder full access again?

To turn off Read/Only access:

  • Go to a computer on which the folder has full access
  • Select the folder in Outlook's folder list and click OsaSync - Synced folder - Properties... in the Outlook menu.
  • In the list with computer names select the computer to be marked for Read/Write access and click Undo Read-Only
  • When the other computer has checked other computer for changes the folder will be fully accessible again.

If from some reason the Undo Read-Only button is not visible on at least one computer then please follow these steps on our technical support page.


How to restore the previous OsaSync version?

If for some reason you are not satisfied with a new OsaSync version it is possible to restore the version you previously used. We do not recommend this because we only support the latest OsaSync version so if you run into trouble we will ask to install the latest OsaSync version first.

To restore the previous version:

  • Locate the OsaSync installation folder (by default: \Program files\OsaSync).
  • Copy the files in the \Backup subfolder to the OsaSync folder. Answer yes to the question if the existing files should be overwritten.
  • Manually register the files in Windows by typing from the command line (Start a command window by typing cmd from the run menu):
    regsvr32.exe "c:\program files\osasync\VaMoreUtils.dll"
    regsvr32.exe "c:\program files\osasync\OsaSyncPro.dll"
    regsvr32.exe "c:\program files\osasync\OsaSyncProOCX.ocx."
    (replace the pathnames with yours if they are different)


Can I use multiple but different top level folders (= .pst and or .ost files)?

If you use more than one .pst or .ost file you will have more than one top level folders in Outlook. When you create and sync a new folder then OsaSync on the other computer needs to know in which top level folder this new folder has to be created so for this reason the top level folder names in outlook have to be the same on all computers (except if there is only one top level folder). So if on computer A you have the top level folders 'Personal Folders' and 'Archive Folders' and computer B has the folders 'Personal folder' and 'Rons info' then OsaSync can't sync a new folder because the folder names don't match (note the difference between 'Personal Folders' and  'Personal folder'). To solve this rename the top level folders.

However, sometimes it is not possible to rename top level folders, for example when exchange offline files are used (with a top level folder name like 'Mailbox - Ron'). By creating a setting in the windows registry OsaSync can be forced to always use a given top level folder name. If computer A has top level folders 'Mailbox - Mary' and 'Archive Folders' and computer B 'Mailbox - Ron' and I want to sync a contacts folder in  'Mailbox - Mary' to 'Mailbox - Ron' on computer B then I have to create the registry key 'UseTopLevelFolder' on computer B with the value 'Mailbox - Ron'. This instructs OsaSync to always create new folders in 'Mailbox - Ron' and not to look for the top level folder  'Mailbox - Mary'.

In the Windows start menu on computer B, click run and type regedit to start regedit. Now navigate to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\OsaSync. Click Edit - New - String value in the regedit menu and type 'UseTopLevelFolder'. Double click this new key and in the value box type the name of the top level folder that has to be used by OsaSync. In this example 'Mailbox - Ron'.


What do I do when I upgrade Outlook?

When you are going to upgrade Outlook to a higher version it is best to reinstall OsaSync after the upgrade has finished. You don't have to reconfigure OsaSync or to resync folders if you follow the steps outlined here:
How to completely reinstall OsaSync without needing to configure and sync folders again?

 


Outlook 2000 pre-installation checkIf you are running Outlook 2000:

  • check if the Microsoft Outlook security update or the Office 2000  Service Pack 3 has been installed (SP 2 is fine too). OsaSync uses a third party component to avoid the security dialog but this component may cause Outlook to crash when this security patch isn't installed. If you are not sure if this update has been installed look in the Outlook menu help - about Microsoft Outlook. The second line shows 'Security update' if this update has been installed. You can also look at the Outlook build number: 9.0.0.4201 or higher, to check if the security update has been installed; 9.0.0.4527 or higher if Office SP2 has been installed (9.0.0.6627 for SP 3).
  • In the same window check if Outlook is installed in Corporate/Workgroup mode. If Outlook is installed in Internet Mail Only then switch to C/W mode. See here how to do that.

 


We need a 4 user licence, can we buy two 2-user licenses?

No this is not possible. You cannot combine two 2-user licenses to compose a 4 user license. The number of computers corresponding to the license (=2) is encrypted into the license key and checked on startup against the actual amount of OsaSynced computers. So two 2-user licenses can only be used if not all 4 computers sync together but only if they sync in pairs.


What is folder comparing?

Although OsaSync's mechanism to detect and sync changes is very robust it is still possible that some changes are not correctly 'seen', especially in email folders or in the Calendar folder. 
Email folders:
If emails are moved frequently by several users it is possible that a folder can go slightly out of sync if a move is 'missed'.
Calendar folder:
There are two types of appointment items that pose a challenge to correct synchronization: birthdays and meetings. Both appointment types are created by Outlook itself. A birthday 'appointment' is created when you set a Contact's birthday. A meeting is automatically created by Outlook in your Calendar when you accept a meeting invitation. If several people accept a meeting invitation OsaSync on all computers has to make sure that all Outlook generated meetings are detected as being the same meeting in order to prevent duplicate appointments.

The folder compare process is added to OsaSync in order to find and correct these rare cases where something is missed or not correctly synced.

How folder comparing works:
One computer in a group of synced computers asks all other synced computers to create compare data for all items in a folder that have changed in a certain time frame (e.g. within the last month). The computer that has issued the request then actually compares the items from each computer with its own items. If a difference is found OsaSync will show a window asking what to do. The choice made will again be propagated to all computers in the sync group thereby repairing the difference.

The actual comparing takes place only on the computer that has sent out the compare request. This means that users on the other synced computers can remain unaware of the compare process and will not be bothered by OsaSync with prompts for choices.

How to start a folder compare:

  • To compare a folder access the Compare a synced folder window via OsaSync Options - Advanced Options - Exceptional procedures - Ask for compare data.
  • The folder list displays all synced email and Calendar folders. Select one or more folders by clicking the checkbox in front of the folder name.
    All sub folders in an email folder can be selected automatically by clicking the Include subfolders button in the E-mail folder section.
  • For each selected folder set the relevant time period:
    • Email folder: select the time period in which emails have been received
    • Calendar folder: specify until when in the future OsaSync will compare calendar items. Comparing appointments further in the future will be less relevant and impact performance during the compare process so set the period as short as possible.
  • Additionally have OsaSync run the duplicate items remover procedure before creating the compare request by clicking the Optionally remove duplicate items in this folder box.
  • On the Compare Options window you can instruct OsaSync to ask for compare data regularly. By clicking the Include this folder in a scheduled compare box compare data will then be requested for the selected folder also.
  • Click the Ask for compare data button to have OsaSync create compare data requests for all computers.
  • Close the Compare a synced folder window.

The actual comparing will start when the first computer in the synced computers group has created the compare data.

If for some reason a folder has gone completely out-of-sync it is better to resync the folder then to compare the folder. Resync a folder by running the folder resync wizard: OsaSync - Synced folder - Resynchronize.

Notes on email folder comparing:

  • OsaSync only checks if the same e-mails exist in the folder on both computers but it doesn't compare the properties of the individual e-mails (like sender name, subject and so on).
  • OsaSync doesn't receive all e-mails to be compared but only the e-mail headers. If an e-mail is not found on the current computer and you choose Change this computer then OsaSync will ask the other computer for this e-mail. The other computer will see this request the next time it processes the check for changes on other computers and will respond by copying the e-mail. This means that some time will elapse before the e-mail is visible on the current computer.

See also:


Is OsaSync compatible with PALM (or other PDA) or cell phone syncing software?

Yes it is. OsaSync however does not run on a PDA like a Palm or Pocket PC so you must continue to use the syncing software that came with your PDA or cell phone.

If OsaSync is running and you use ActiveSync or any other syncing application to sync your PDA then OsaSync will recognize all changes and copy them to all other computers. All items new, changed or deleted on your PDA will be also be added, changed or deleted on the computers synced with OsaSync.

Some PDA syncing applications like ActiveSync also enable syncing while Outlook (and OsaSync) is not running. All changes made while OsaSync was not running are detected and will be copied to the other computers.

Important:
If you sync with your PDA while Outlook is not running and you want to start Outlook after the syncing has finished then FIRST MAKE SURE TO DISCONNECT YOUR PDA FROM IT'S CRADLE OR CABLE to make sure that OsaSync will be started.

If you start Outlook without disconnecting the PDA first then Outlook will start (or better: it will be shown because it was already running in the background) but OsaSync doesn't start. Check the Outlook menu to make sure you see the OsaSync menu item.


Can I import external contacts?

Yes, externally created contacts imported into Outlook are seen by OsaSync as new contacts and synced accordingly.


If I insert a Word file into a task item can the other users launch the file regardless of where it is stored?

If you insert for instance a Word file into a synced task item the Word file will be copied to the other computers as an attachment. This means that the other computers receive a copy of the Word file. When a user edits this copy the changes are NOT reflected into the original. If you want to work with ONE file don't use the Insert - File command but choose Insert - Object instead. Then choose create from file, browse to your file (it must be on a server or share accessible to others! So make sure that the path to the file has the format \\servername\sharename\folder\(more folders)\file) and check the boxes link and Display as Icon. Now a link to the file on the server is added.
After the task is synced to the other computer the user on that computer can open the file by right-clicking the link, then choosing properties, tab Link, click button Open Source.


Can I delegate Tasks to others and synchronize the Tasks folder?

Synchronization of the default Tasks folder with OsaSync and assigning tasks to others is not compatible. Outlook creates a task in the tasks folder when a task request is received in the inbox. This same task would also be created by OsaSync if the task folder is synced with the computer that assigned the task. This results in duplicate tasks. Another side effect is that the task owner information is lost and accepting or declining a task becomes impossible.
So if you do want to use Outlook's task delegation feature then don't synchronize the default tasks folder. Create other tasks folders to keep track of the synchronized tasks.


How to be prompted again when OsaSync is comparing a folder so I can decide what action has to be taken?

If OsaSync finds differences during the compare process it will prompt you what action has to be taken. Apart from telling OsaSync which action has to be taken for the specific difference found you can also instruct OsaSync to apply the same choice in the future.

If you have told OsaSync to always apply the same choice on finding future differences during the processing of compare data as the choice you have made before, you will never be prompted again asking you to decide what action OsaSync has to take.

You can change this so you will be prompted again during the compare process:

  1. Go to the OsaSync Compare Options dialog, accessible via the Outlook main menu: OsaSync - Options - Advanced Options; tab Exceptional Procedures; button Ask for compare data; button Compare Options....
  2. On tab Property differences you can instruct OsaSync what to do if a difference is found in an appointment property.
    On tab Items found/not found tab you specify what action has to be taken when OsaSync finds an appointment or an email that is not present on your computer or that IS present on your computer but not on one of the other computers.
  3. Select the computer in the from computer list..
  4. Set you choices what you want OsaSync to do. OsaSync immediately saves the choice made.
  5. Repeat this for other computers in the from computer list.

Scheduling

On tab Scheduling you can instruct OsaSync to automatically run a compare process every x days. On the scheduled day OsaSync will ask all synced computers to generate compare data for all folders that have the checkbox Include this folder in a scheduled compare set on the Compare a synced folder window. When OsaSync checks for changes and it sees that one or more other computers have indeed created compare data, OsaSync will start comparing that data.

Especially for the Calendar folder it has less relevance to compare data that is not actual. By setting the Compare data expires on other computers after x hours or days you can specify that OsaSync should not compare older data anymore.


Peer-to-peer mode: After reconnecting my laptop to the network my desktop doesn't show the changes made on the laptop

If you are running OsaSync in Peer-to-peer mode and Outlook on your desktop has been started some period before you reconnect your laptop to the network, OsaSync will have stopped trying to connect to your laptop.
After Outlook has been started OsaSync tries to connect to all configured computers two times. If a connection cannot be made OsaSync stops trying to connect after two attempts in order to prevent Outlook from 'blocking' during several seconds while trying to connect.

If the checkbox If connecting to a computer is not possible stop trying after two attempts on the OsaSync Advanced Options page is unchecked then OsaSync will try to reconnect to the computer each time when it checks for remote changes on other computers.

To make OsaSync reconnect simply restart Outlook or set the checkbox on the Advanced Options page and click check for changes on other computers again.


Our assistant needs to be synced with two separate people, but they do not need to be synced with each other. Is this possible?

Yes, this is possible. Sync the calendar (or contacts or task) folder on computer A to the assistants computer (and not to computer B) and give this folder a name like 'Calendar Anton' during the sync process. Start the syncing process on computer A from the OsaSync menu Prepare folders for synchronization... and fill out 'Calendar Anton' in the edit box Alternative folder name for the selected folder ..
Do the same for computer B. The assistants computer will now have three calendar folders: his/her own default calendar folder; 'Calendar Anton' and 'Calendar Bernie'. Computer A and B only have the default calendar folder.


Can I sync the calendar with several computers and give it an alternative folder name only on one computer?

The prepare folders for synchronization wizard includes a step on which an alternative folder name can be filled out. On all computers that are selected in the select computers wizard step this alternative folder will be created by OsaSync. So by default all other computers will use the alternative folder name.

However it is also possible to work with an alternative folder name on only one computer and use the normal folder name on all others. Assume you have a desktop and a laptop and you want to sync your calendar between them. You also want your secretary to manage your calendar and she should see your calendar on her computer as 'calendar boss'. So the alternative folder name should only be used on the secretaries computer; your desktop and laptop should sync the default calendar.

Here is how to set up this syncing scenario:

- Make sure the calendar folder on the 'alternative' computer is not synced anymore with the other computers. If it is still synced stop the synchronization by right-clicking the calendar; choose properties and click stop synchronization on the OsaSync tab. Choose stop folder syncing with this computer only on the next dialog.
- On one of your other computers start the prepare folders for synchronization wizard and click next until the alternative folder name step. Fill out the alternative name and click next. In the select computers wizard step now make sure to DESELECT the computers already synced and SELECT the computer that should get the alternative folder. Then finish the wizard.
- On all other computers click check for changes on other computers. The alternative folder will be created and marked for syncing with the other computers. Your other computers will also mark the calendar as being synced with the 'alternative' computer. Check if everything went well by checking the OsaSync folder ID on the folder properties OsaSync tab. This folder ID has to be the same on all computers.
 


OsaSync does not seem to change my corresponding computer; folders are not kept in sync.

Everything seems to work fine but OsaSync does not process the changes made to items on the corresponding computer. 

Check folder synchronization settings

Check to see if the folder is indeed synchronized with your other computer(s):

  • Select the folder and click OsaSync - Synced folder - Properties...
  • See if you other computer(s) is/are listed in the computer list box.
  • Look at the OsaSync folder ID.

    Do this also on the other computer(s) and verify that:
  • Each computer lists all other computers in the computer list box.
    Example for a folder synced between computers A, B and C:
    - the list box on computer A should list computers B and C
    - on computer B the computers A and C should be listed
    - on computer C the computers B and C should be listed
  • The OsaSync folder ID for the folder is the same on all computers

    If a computer you expect to see is not listed then the folder is not yet synced with that computer. Click the Add computer button. This starts the folder synchronization wizard. In the select computers step select the computer to add and deselect those that are already in sync. Finish the wizard.

    If the OsaSync folder ID is not the same on all computers then a previous sync process was not successful and the folder is not in sync. In this case resynchronize the folder and select all computers for resyncing. Select the folder in the Outlook Folder List and click OsaSync - Synced folder - Resynchronize....

If the computers listed and the folder ID on the Synchronized folder properties window are OK on all computers then we have to see if OsaSync is able to connect to the other computer.

Peer-to-peer mode: check the connection to the computer

If you are running OsaSync in peer-to-peer mode:

  1. Choose check for changes on other computers from the OsaSync menu. OsaSync displays a popup message box showing the processing results.
  2. If the message displayed is: 'computer name: connection could not be established' OsaSync was unable to read and process the OsaSync data files on this computer (OsaSync creates temporary data files for all changes to your synced items). 
  3. Look if your corresponding computer is still up and running. It could have gone into standby mode.
  4. It is possible that the network connection is no longer intact between your corresponding computers. Use Network Neighborhood or My Network Places and try to browse your network and connect to your computer. A Windows peer-to-peer network can be a bit unstable so it is possible you can no longer connect to your network computer. If you cannot connect OsaSync also cannot connect. Restarting your computer and/or connecting to this computer from your corresponding computer can help.
  5. Check the the logfile 'computername_osasync.log' (Computername is replaced by the name of your computer in the  log files folder) for one of the following lines:
    - clsComputer.Connect to \\LAPTOP failed; network name not found; computer probably offline
    - clsManager.GetRemoteData: Reading data from \\LAPTOP failed. err#: 52: Bad file name or number
    If you see one of both lines this indicates a connection problem as described under 3. and 4.

    If you see a line like:
    clsComputer.Connect to \\LAPTOP failed; Authentication error: 1326
    (or 5 or 1244):
    This indicates a username and /or password problem. It is possible the password on the corresponding computer has expired. In this case check you username and password on your corresponding computer. You can also rerun the connection wizard, the wizard will prompt you again for a username and password if the wizard cannot connect to the other computer.

    A line like:
    clsComputer.Connect to \\LAPTOP failed; WNetAddConnection2 err#1219: A DLL networkerror occurred; DLL     errornumber: 1219 
     
    indicates you are already logged on with another username or password. Restarting will solve this.

Check if a change results in an OsaSync temporary data file

Changes to items in synchronized folders result in temporary data files created by OsaSync. These files are saved in the following OsaSync temporary data folder :

  • Peer-to-peer mode:
    C:\OsaSync_data\computername (The location of the OsaSync_Data folder can be different).
  • Cloud mode:
    C:\...\...\Dropbox\shared dropbox folder\OsaServer\current_computername\corresponding_computername
    The shared dropbox folder is the folder inside your Dropbox (or SkyDrive or Google drive) folder that you have shared with the other computers
  • FTP setup in Client-Server mode:
    C:\OsaSync_local\1R00x\OUT  (x corresponds to a number starting with 1 so 1R001 is the computer ID of the first FTP configured computer. The file CnfComputers.txt in the /OsaServer folder on the FTP server lists all computers with there computer ID's)
  • LAN setup in Client-Server mode:
    \\Server\share\...\OsaServer\current_computername\corresponding_computername

If your corresponding computer has imported all changes this folder will be empty. Now add a test item with a subject or name like 'OsaSync test' and see if after a few seconds a new .txt file like 000001.txt appears in the folder (for appointments, tasks and email items also a corresponding .msg file like 000001.msg can be created).

If a .txt file has not been created:
Send the log file computername_osasync.log to techsupport@vaita.com and specify the name or subject of the item you have created so we can trace it in the logfile. See log files folder for where to find the log files (do not restart Outlook before sending this log file otherwise the file will be overwritten).

If this file is created:
See if the file is processed by the corresponding computer. Go to the corresponding computer and click Check for updates on other computers in the OsaSync menu. OsaSync should import the new item and delete the files in the OsaSync temporary data folder.

If the file is NOT deleted then the problem of your corresponding computer not being changed is most likely a connection problem:

  • Peer-to-peer mode:
    Check if OsaSync looks at the SAME OsaSync_Data folder on both computers. Look here how to check this.
  • Cloud mode:
    Check if changes in the shared Dropbox folder are synced by Dropbox to your other computers. Make sure the Dropbox app is running. Within a few seconds a new, changed or deleted file should be visible on the other computers.
  • FTP setup in Client-Server mode:
    - Click Transfer files to/from FTP server and see if the files are uploaded. If you have enabled zipping and encryption then OsaSync zips all files in 1R001 into a zip file in the 1R001\Zip folder.
    - Click Transfer files to/from FTP server to see if the files are downloaded. Files are downloaded into the 1R00x\IN folder. If files are not downloaded then use an FTP client utility like WS_ftp to see if there are still files on the FTP server in the /OsaServer/current_computername/corresponding_computername folder. If the file with the lowest sequence number is a .msg file and you don't see a .txt file with the same sequence number then delete this .msg file. This caused OsaSync not to download files because it is still waiting for the .txt file to arrive (this scenario is solved in the latest version).

If this all doesn't help then send us the osasync.log files: also the  as mentioned above of both computers. Don't forget to mention the name or subject of the test item you created.


Does OsaSync support Business Contact Manager?

The Business Contact Manager is not compatible with OsaSync and should be excluded for OsaSync on the OsaSync advanced options page in order to avoid errors (Use button Top level folders to include for OsaSync and make sure BCM isn't selected). However in order to sync business contacts you don't need OsaSync because Microsoft released an update to BCM which does allow syncing of BCM items! It's called the 'Business Contact Manager Update' and it's available from http://www.microsoft.com/office/outlook/contactmanager/prodinfo/update.mspx#top.


Does OsaSync support Microsoft Exchange?

OsaSync only syncs between Outlook and Outlook, not between Outlook and Exchange. Nevertheless you can sync folders in an Exchange offline file (.ost file) in Outlook with another Outlook computer.

When you are connected to an Exchange server and OsaSync starts, it creates object wrappers for all folders monitored by OsaSync. While creating these wrappers a connection to the exchange server can be required when the folder is an Offline Folder. Also there have to be sufficient access rights to iterate these folders on the Exchange server. If this is not the case then errors are generated. The only solution then is to EXCLUDE the exchange top level folders in OsaSync by adding the folder to the list of excluded folders: on the OsaSync advanced options page; General Options tab, click Select folder.. and select the folder.

Connect Outlook to the Exchange server in cached mode. Non-cached mode can result in high CPU and network activity.

Exchange Public Folders are automatically excluded for OsaSync.


Are FollowUp flags supported?

Yes, OsaSync supports syncing of the follow-up flags. Also flags, due by dates and reminder dates for all Outlook 2007 items are synced.

See also: Does OsaSync sync Reminders?


Does OsaSync sync Reminders?

Yes, OsaSync does sync reminders. By default OsaSync doesn't sync reminders but on the OsaSync advanced options page - Outlook items - tab appointments, the option also sync reminders can be set.  Also for tasks, contacts and emails the syncing of reminders is optional.

Please note: if prefixes are used to show who has last updated an appointment, the appointment appears to have been changed by another user if a reminder change is synced (when a reminder is snoozed) .


Can OsaSync remove duplicate items?

Yes, OsaSync can remove duplicate items in a selected folder. Choose OsaSync - Options; button Advanced Options...; tab Exceptional procedures; button remove duplicate items.... Now select the folder from which you want to remove duplicate items and click Remove duplicate items.

When OsaSync finds duplicate items it will create the subfolder OsaSync_duplicate_items in the folder and move the duplicates to this folder. OsaSync also creates DELETE messages for all other computers with which the selected folder is synced. The synced computers will delete the duplicates so you don't have to run the duplicate items remover procedure on those computers!


How does OsaSync recognize an item as a duplicate?

When OsaSync looks to see if an item is already present in a folder or when it removes duplicate items in a selected folder it uses the following properties to determine if an item is a duplicate item:

  • Contact items:
    first name, last name, company name and email address
     
  • Appointment items:
    subject, location, start date and end date
     
  • Task items:
    subject, start date, due date and status
     
  • Note items:
    contents of the note (Body property) and color
     
  • E-mail or Post items:
    - received emails: the internet message ID (this is a unique identifier for each email received)
    - sent emails: email subject and the time the email is sent (PR_CLIENT_SUBMIT_TIME)
    - unsent emails: email subject only

If all properties are the same then OsaSync assumes it's the same item.


How are new appointments identified by the users who scheduled it?

New appointments can be identified by using prefixes. Example: appointment 'coffee with Ron' will be shown as '[JS] coffee with Ron' if this appointment is created or updated on John Smith's computer for which prefix JS has been set. You can have OsaSync use prefixes on the OsaSync advanced options window - Outlook Item options Appointments tab.
If you are running OsaSync in Client-Server mode then prefixes can be set in two ways:

  1. OsaSync will use the prefix that has been set by the other computer when that computer was configured with the OsaSync connection wizard.  How appointments or tasks from your computer are prefixed on other computers was also specified when your computer was initially configured.  Here's how to change this prefix:
    • Go to OsaSync Options - OsaSync advanced options - Outlook Item options - Appointments tab
    • Click the Specify prefixes button
    • On tab How others see me the currently used prefix is shown. Click the Change prefix button to change it.
    • Fill out a new prefix and click the OK button to close the prefix window. OsaSync will now update the prefix in the CnfComputers.txt file on the LAN server and if necessary also on the FTP server.

    • Alternatively you can change the prefix directly in the CnfComputers.txt file on the server in the \OsaServer folder. Edit the 'Prefix=....' section in the CnfComputers.txt file.
      note: if your computer is configured for both LAN and FTP then also the CnfComputers.txt file on the FTP server has to be updated.
    By setting the prefixes in this way each computer sees the same prefix for each other computer.

  2. You can determine how you want to see the other computers by specifying a prefix for each computer. On the Specify prefixes window, tab How I see others, choose Use prefixes set by me  and fill out a prefix for each computer. This is the only way to specify prefixes in peer-to-peer mode.

Apart from working with prefixes there are two other ways to see that something has been changed by a user on another computer:

  1. OsaSync can mark new or changed items as being unread. This is not only so for emails but also for contacts, appointments and tasks. If you view your contacts in phone list view or another table view then you can see which contact has been changed by looking at the Read field (visible by an envelope).
  2. OsaSync can assign a category called OsaSyncNew to new items created on another computer or OsaSyncChanged to items that have been changed by another user.
    Both options can be enabled or disabled on the Outlook Item Options tab on the OsaSync advanced options window. Category assignment is set for all items at once on the All items tab while specifying the unread status is set on each item tab.


Does OsaSync support archiving?

Yes, if you don't close the archive.pst file after archiving is ready, then OsaSync will 'see' all moved items and create move messages for all other synced computers. If many items have been archived it can take a long time for OsaSync to create all those messages and this renders Outlook almost unresponsive.

To prevent this it is best to EXCLUDE the archive.pst file for OsaSync: on the OsaSync advanced options page; General Options tab, click Select folder.. and select the archive top level folder. Close the options page and restart Outlook. When items are moved to an excluded folder then OsaSync will not 'see' those moves so no data for other synced computers will be created. To keep your folders in sync make sure to archive also on the other synced computers using the exact same 'archive until' date.

When there are very much items to archive we recommend to disable OsaSync before starting the archive process. In this way OsaSync won't interfere with the archive process. When archiving is ready enable OsaSync again.

Note: if OsaSync has imported emails on another date then the received date, for instance because the folder was resynced, then the email's Received date is affected because OUTLOOK assigns the import time as the date the message has been received. This is not correct but cannot be changed because this field can only be modified by Outlook. This interferes with the Archiving because older emails now appear to have been received recently (when the folder was resynced) and are not archived automatically. To overcome this a resynced folder can be archived manually. Instead of displaying the Received date you can display the Sent date, this date is not affected. With your email folders sorted on the Sent date you can manually move older emails to the archive folders.


Does OsaSync PRO handle the other Outlook items in the same way as it does contacts?

In general this is the case. Variations in the syncing of contacts; notes and e-mail:

Notes

  • OsaSync syncs the note content, the color and the note categories.

E-mail / Post items

  • OsaSync does not support e-mail synchronization with HTTP folders like Hotmail; MSN etc. A HTTP account should be excluded for OsaSync on the OsaSync advanced options page.
  • All e-mail folders can be synchronized except the Outbox and the Deleted Items folder. If the outbox could be synced this could result in the same e-mail being send multiple times. By syncing the Sent Items folder you can keep track of all outgoing e-mails on multiple computers.
  • It is possible to synchronize all e-mail subfolders of an e-mail folder in one go. Check the box in the synchronization wizard step Sub folders.
  • Unsent e-mails can only be synced when the are in the Drafts folder. You can specify the folder in which Outlook saves unsent messages via Outlook's advanced email options.

Notes on syncing the Inbox:

  • If OsaSync imports an e-mail from another computer Outlook assigns the import time as the date the message has been  received. This is not correct but cannot be changed as this field can only be modified by Outlook.  Instead of displaying the Received date you can display the Sent date, this date is not affected.
  • If send/receive on different machines connects to the same ISP mailbox then do not set the Outlook option: leave messages on the server. OsaSync will sync all incoming emails (if the inbox has been synced) so there is no need for other computers to retrieve these same emails again from the ISP mailbox.
 


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