Changing Feed Locations with Outlook 2007's RSS Feature

Microsoft introduced support for RSS feeds in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. Your RSS items can now integrate directly into your mailbox folder, and they'll be available through Outlook Web Access (OWA) as long as they're stored in your Exchange Server mailbox. Quite a few articles on this topic are available, but I'd like to share with you some of my experiences using Outlook 2007 SP1 as my RSS reader, focusing particularly on some RSS folder management aspects. For more general information about Outlook 2007's RSS support, see "How does Outlook support RSS feeds?"

When you create a new RSS subscription, Outlook creates a subfolder for the feed in the default delivery location for your new mail; the folder's name is the same as the feed name. So, if your mail is typically delivered to your mailbox on an Exchange server, the default location for the new folder is in your mailbox under RSS Feeds. If your default mail delivery location is a PST, the new folder is created there.

By the way, do you know the easy way to move RSS content? You can modify the RSS feed in Tools, Account Settings by using the Change Folder button on the RSS Feeds tab, but this action changes the folder location only for new items; all existing items stay in the old folder. Also, with this method if you want to move items to a different folder that has the name of the feed, you have to create that folder first. The solution to this problem is to use Outlook's Move folder command. Right-click the folder you want to move and select Move . This method not only moves the folder and all items in it, but also preserves the RSS feed link. If you rename the folder with Outlook's Rename command, RSS feeds will recognize the new name and still deliver to the correct location.

If you don’t want to use the default delivery location for your RSS feeds, you can change the location through the registry so that all new RSS feeds are stored in a PST called RSS Feeds. To change the default delivery location for RSS items, you create a DWORD called DisableRoaming with a value of 1 under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Options\RSS. If the RSS subkey doesn't exist, you can create it under Options by right clicking and selecting New, Key. The PST file is created and added to your Outlook profile as soon as Outlook detects the registry change so that all new RSS feed subscriptions are added to the RSS Feeds PST. The benefits of storing your RSS feeds in a separate PST are that you'll use less space in your Exchange mailbox and you can manage the RSS feeds separately from mailbox items such as your email and calendar.

If you do choose to use a PST for your RSS feeds, you should be aware that Outlook doesn't show flagged PST items on the To-Do bar automatically, but you can configure it to do so. On the General tab of your PST’s properties, select the Display reminders and tasks from this folder in the To-Do Bar check box. Here's another tip: You can keep Windows Desktop Search—and, consequently, Outlook's search, because they use the same index—from searching the RSS Feeds PST by clicking the down arrow next to All Mail Items in Outlook's Mail pane and clearing the RSS Feed check box.

RSS folder management can be tricky in Outlook 2007. Next month I plan to write about the Common Feed List (CFL) in Outlook 2007 as well as about some additional features—and limitations—of Outlook 2007's RSS implementation.

Sigi's Outlook Internet Site of the Month
Microsoft recently released a new tool for Outlook called Personal Folders Backup. This Outlook add-on lets you back up your PST files directly from Outlook. After you install this feature, you'll have a Backup option available on Outlook's File menu that lets you configure which PST files to backup and where to store the backup (e.g., on a file server), as well as letting you set a reminder for when you want to perform backups. You can initiate a backup at any time by using the Save Backup button. The PST backup takes place when you exit Outlook and uses typical file copy procedures. The add-on supports Microsoft Outlook 2002 and later; you can download it from Microsoft's Download Center.

As always, if you find a link for an interesting new freeware tool or add-on for Outlook, let me know! Send me a message at [email protected].

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