Outlook Search from Anywhere?
October 10, 2012 9:05 AM   Subscribe

How do I set up searchable outlook archive that I can access from anywhere?

Until very recently, I've had an outlook rule set up to redirect all my outlook emails to a gmail account, so that I can then do an easy search from any browser - not just my outlook computer - and find emails/terms/contacts/etc.

Now the administrators (for good reasons, I'm sure) have disabled redirect. Any workarounds that could let me search emails from anywhere, ideally through a browser or the same gmail account?

And to nip one potential response - the admins have given me permission to find a workaround.
posted by jtajta to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Could you set up Mail Fetcher in Gmail to grab a copy of all your email? Your account would need to allow POP access, which your admins can tell you about.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:22 AM on October 10, 2012

Can you create new accounts in Outlook? If so, you could change your existing Gmail account to IMAP, sync it, then create a rule to copy all incoming and outgoing email to the new account in Outlook, which will be synced via IMAP back up to Gmail. It's a kludge, but it might work.
posted by COD at 9:24 AM on October 10, 2012

One workaround would be to set up your Gmail account as an IMAP account in Outlook, and then just copy messages over to your Gmail account once you've read them. You can probably also set up a rule that will do this as messages come in.

Outlook's handling of IMAP isn't great (it tends to be very slow when moving lots of messages), but this would take advantage of the Gmail account that you already have set up, and is probably the least technically-complex solution.

The alternative that comes to mind if that's not possible involves setting up your own IMAP server (Dovecot, etc.) and webmail interface, or using a mbox-to-HTML translator running as a periodic job, but that's a lot of work and requires a server that you can run the appropriate software on and expose to the Internet.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:24 AM on October 10, 2012

Actually, as existing email is already in Gmail, you would only need to sync new email. You could copy over by hand all email since IT shut down your redirect.
posted by COD at 9:29 AM on October 10, 2012

Can you transfer the Outlook archive file to Dropbox or something similar? You'd still need Outlook on every machine you want to access the archive from.
posted by zanni at 3:07 PM on October 10, 2012

Have the admins set up Outlook Web Access? If not, you should ask them to do this. That's the best workaround here.

Alternatively, you could manually forward your email to your Gmail account, although this might violate the expectations of your admins. Or, you could export your mail to a PST file, then take it home and use a personal copy of Outlook to send those messages to Gmail. Again, this may violate the expectations of your admins. Both of these solutions kind of suck, though, since they require manual work.

Dropbox won't provide a good solution here, I think, because you'd need to be constantly synchronizing and resynchronizing a large file.

One other possible alternative would be for you to convince your admins that your Gmail account was reasonably secure, using two-step verification for example.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:52 AM on October 11, 2012

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