The renaming of Microsoft’s Hotmail email service to Outlook.com has resulted in a great deal of confusion for everyone which includes those involved in answering question/resolving problems as well as those who are doing the asking/encountering the problem. The purpose of this article is to highlight some key items that cause confusion and ways to pose a question/problem that will allow getting an answer as quickly as possible instead of getting a litany of questions about your environment before an answer can even be attempted.
When using Outlook ’2013 with an Outlook.com account configured as an EAS (Exchange ActiveSync) email account, “Contact Groups” (formerly known as Distribution Lists) are not created the same as Contact Groups for any other email account type.
When trying to import into an Outlook.com account (formerly Hotmail) using the Outlook ’2013 import wizard, you may encounter the following message preventing you from completing the function
“Could not complete the operation because the service provider does not support it”
When importing a file into Outlook.com via the Outlook.com web interface, you do not have the option to select which fields to import or map fields contained in the CSV file against corresponding fields in an Outlook.com contact item. The field names used in the CSV file are required to be labeled according to what the web import function expects.
When problems are encountered, many people resort to uninstalling/re-installing Microsoft Office/Outlook in hopes that the problem will be eliminated.
If the problem being encountered is related to the Outlook profile in any way, or more specifically related to email account issues, uninstalling/re-installing Outlook serves absolutely no purposes and is a complete waste of time. Outlook profiles do not get deleted when Outlook is uninstalled/re-installed. These profiles persist from one Outlook installation to another so whatever issues may exist, will remain. It is this behaviour that allows for the seamless “in place” upgrade from one Outlook version to another on the same machine.
Outlook.com (aka Windows Live Mail, Hotmail etc) generates a unicode text file when exporting contacts to a CSV text file. This file generates a MAPI translation error when attempting to import it into Outlook.
If this is the cause of the problem, it can be easily identified by opening the CSV file in Excel which will result in one of the two following things to occur
With the introduction of Outlook 2013, there will be a reduced number of import/export file format options. The majority of the items removed relate to outdated formats (old versions of Act etc) but the most notable items removed in reference to file formats for “Import from another program or file” or “Export to a file” are the Microsoft Excel and Access file types. The only formats that are now supported in Outlook 2013 for those options are:
The Outlook AddressBook allows for the sorting of the AddressBook names in either <First/Last Name> format or based on the value of the <FileAs> field. The example shown beside the Outlook AB setting for FileAs shows <Last, First> but that is simply an example of what the FileAs field can contain.
A common misconception is that when the default format for the FileAs field is changed (i.e. from First/Last to Last/First) in the Outlook user-interface then the AddressBook will automatically list the AB in the format set for the FileAs field.
There are 3 sets of address fields that can be used when importing information in Outlook (Home, Business, Other). To use the Business Address as an example (everything applies equally to all 3 address groups), the fields applicable to that group are (field names are shown as Internal Outlook names followed by the Outlook Display Name as seen in the Field Chooser and/or <All Fields> collection)
+BusinessAddress (Business Address)
Completing an Outlook export to a PST file is one of the simplest and easiest things to complete but there are certain things that you should be aware to avoid unexpected results such as items that do not get included in an Outlook export. The following demonstrates performing an Outlook export in addition to a manual alternative that avoids the “missing items” issues.