What is Cached Exchange Mode in Outlook for Windows?

There are two ways to connect Outlook to an Exchange account: Online Mode and Cached Exchange Mode. While Online Mode maintains a direct connection to an Exchange server, Cached Exchange Mode creates a local copy of the mailbox data stored on the Exchange server in an offline data file (.ost file). Outlook accesses this cached copy for most operations, speeding response times. Outlook and the Exchange Server synchronize the local and server data periodically. This may help improve the performance of Outlook on slow Internet connections.

NOTE:  It is impossible to use the feature Work Offline if the Outlook is in Online mode. Please double-check that the Cached mode is enabled and the offline data file was created to access the mailbox.

Enabling Cached Exchange Mode

NOTE: By default, Cached Exchange Mode is enabled when adding an Exchange account.

NOTE: if you want to turn off Cached Exchange Mode, follow the same steps, but make sure that the box next to "Use Cached Exchange Mode" is unchecked.
  • In Outlook, go to File > Account Settings, then click on Account Settings again in the dropdown.
  • In the E-mail tab, select your Exchange account and click on Change.
  • In the Exchange Server Settings window, check "Use Cached Exchange Mode" and click on Next.
  • You should be back at the Email Accounts window. Click on Finish.
  • You should see a notification window that advises you to restart Outlook in order for the change to take effect.

When you re-launch Outlook, it will begin to make a copy of your mailbox content to your computer. This will take some time; not all items will be immediately available. If you have a large mailbox or a slow Internet connection, it can take an hour or more. 

Outlook Cached Mode Recommendations
  • It is not recommended to use Cached Mode when the mailbox size is greater than 25 GB, as it might cause performance issues.
  • By default, the overall size of .ost files has a preconfigured limit of 50 GB.
Creation date: 5/12/2020 9:31 PM      Updated: 5/12/2020 9:31 PM
Information about using Outlook for Windows