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No email or folders visible when using IMAP account with Outlook 2013 or Office 365

The problem seems to be caused by two updates from Microsoft; KB2837618 and KB2837643.

There is a simple solution though:

  • Right click on the affected account in the left pane and select IMAP Folders
  • Below the list of folders, uncheck the box for “When displaying hierarchy in Outlook, show only the subscribed folders.
  • Exit Outlook 2013 / Office 365 and restart it
  • At the next synchronization the folders and mail will (hopefully) be visible

Microsoft Office 365 SSL certificate error in Outlook [solved]

Clients moving over to Office 365 who had purchased a valid SSL certificate for their mail server still got SSL certificate errors in Outlook and mobile clients. This was despite the mail service was equipped with a valid SSL certificate (not self signed, but issued by a real CA).

It turns out here that Outlook seems to investigate https root domain (i.e. the customer’s web site) for auto configuration before trying autodiscover.customerdomain.com. And if there is no valid SSL certificate installed on the customers web site, an error is displayed. This was verified by examining the customer’s web site logs where we could se repetitive accesses to /autodiscover/autodiscover.xml.

If only Outlook just would have ignored the SSL error and continued to the next method….

A simple solution was just to add a valid SSL certificate to the customer’s web site, and the problem was solved. That way Outlook didn’t get SSL certificate error when trying to retrieve the non-existing autoconfiguration information from the customer’s web site.

How to combine multiple .vcf files into one

If you have your contacts exported into .vcf files, they can easily be imported into for example iCloud, Google or your email program. However, if you have a couple of hundreds or thousands of contacts, and equally amount of .vcf files it will be very inefficient to import each contact one by one.

A solution is to combine all contacts into one single .vcf file. By importing the combined .vcf file all your contacts are imported at once.

To combine all .vcf files into a single one can easily be done using a Windows command prompt (cmd).

cd directory-path-where-your-vcf-files-are-located
copy *.vcf allcontacts.vcf

Now import the file allcontacts.vcf into iCloud or similar.

Convert Microsoft Outlook PST email to IMAP without Outlook

A client was going to stop using Microsoft Outlook and Exchange server and move their email to an ordinary web hosting company using IMAP. The client was downscaling and had no use of the benefits of Microsoft Exchange like shared contacts and calendars. They where just using it for email which could be obtained much cheaper by using the IMAP account at their web hosting provider.

So I was faced with the task of converting their old email contained in PST files. They had already shut down their Exchange server and I could not use the Outlook program. I just had the PST files that where exported before the server shutdown and needed them imported into the IMAP account without using Outlook as it was not availible for me.

This is how I solved it.

Tools used:

  1. Download and install Thunderbird. Set it up with the target email account both as an IMAP account and a POP3 account (it was a problem importing the converted eml files directly to the IMAP account so I had to import them to the POP3 account which is stored locally and then drag them over to the IMAP account, more about that later on). Make sure you setup the POP3 account to leave mail on server and not delete mail when deleted locally.
  2. Download the ImportExportTools extension for Thunderbird. Drag the downloaded file onto Thunderbird in the task bar to install it.
  3. Download the free trial of the SysTools PST converter and install it. The free version is limited to 25 emails per folder so if you have more emails you need to purchase it ($49 when writing this article). You can make a test run with the free version so you see everything works before you go on and buy it.
  4. Run the SysTools PST converter.
  5. Click the Add file button and select your PST file.
  6. Click the Export button and select EML format, and check the folders you wish to export (normally the top folder). Enter a target folder. Then click the Export button.
  7. In Thunderbird, right click the POP3 email account and select New folder and call it “From PST” for example.
  8. Select the “From PST” folder and go to the menu icon in Thunderbird and select Tools -> ImportExport-tools -> Import all EML from a folder -> and it’s subfolders. Select the top folder of your email export in step 6 and click Select folder.
  9. All subfolder and it’s email should now turn up in the “From PST” folder. Now drag the “From PST” folder from the POP3 account to the IMAP account in Thunderbird.
  10. Finally delete the POP3 account in Thunderbird.