Hi, welcome and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I am glad to assist you today.
I am very sorry about your issues. Are you using Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10?
Also, is this the first time that you noticed this problem? Or are your categories visible before but not gone?
Are you using Internet Explorer or Chrome to access your hotmail?
Please let me know by replying to me here so that I can help you further.
Hi, thank you for writing back. Yes, I am still here and I am very sorry for the late reply. I believe this is an incompatibility issue with your web browser since you are using Windows XP and updates to browsers are limited.
Please try to use Firefox and then try to update your Firefox. This is done by going to Help => About Firefox. It will initiate the update and allow updates if there are any. Please let me know if Firefox is updated.
Is your account added there in your Outlook as IMAP?
Go to Tools => Account Settings
Then locate your email account information there and the server type shall show if it is a POP or IMAP
Thank you for that information. Please check this for me:
Thank you for writing back with that confirmation and I am very sorry for the late reply. Unfortunately, since you are using MAPI account, and since you are using the "Category" from within your MS Outlook 2007 program, there is no way to push them or sync them to the webmail. By webmail, I am referring to your hotmail account being accessed from the web browser by going to www.hotmail.com. The "Category" and "Flags" in the MS Outlook program are features contained inside the MS Outlook program only, and it cannot be synced to the webmail since Hotmail (the webmail interface) also has its own features that cannot be pushed or synced to any email clients or programs like MS Outlook.
When you access your Hotmail on the web, there are also pre-defined categories and user-created categories. But these categories are "contained" only by the web interface and cannot be synced to any email program like MS Outlook. The main reason is because these properties (category, flags, etc) are NOT supported by MAPI or even IMAP protocols that MS Outlook is using. Therefore, though IMAP or MAPI accounts do a process called "sync", these internal features can never be synced to the webmail since they are NOT supported by the protocol and that these are designed only as a feature of the specific program -- MS Outlook 2007.
With IMAP accounts, and also with MAPI accounts like your Hotmail, the only information that you can sync to the Hotmail or Live servers are your email folder structure and their contents. Flags (in emails like flagging as Today, Tomorrow, Complete, etc.) and categories are retained as to where they were created. For instance, if you create the category in the webmail, they are only visible in the webmail; if you create them in MS Outlook, they will only be visible in MS Outlook as well.
I understand that this is not the answer that you like to hear and I hate to be the bearer of this bad news to you. But it will be unprofessional for me if I will not give you the real score or the truth about the matter. It will also be unfair to you if I will not provide you factual answer on this and give you false hope.
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Again, I am sorry if this is bad news to you. But I hope at least I have shed some light on your situation and save you some time.
Thank you for using our service.
Thank you for writing back with that information. I believe you are referring to an OST file (not OSI). OST means Offline Storage Table and this is used by Exchange Server accounts like yours since your Hotmail in your Outlook is a MAPI account and it is using Hotmail Connector that syncs your Outlook with the Microsoft servers. This OST file is the offline table that allows you to view your emails while offline. When Outlook fetched new emails this OST file is updated to reflect the changes. For instance, you initially have 1000 mails, after doing a Send/Receive you have 1100 emails. When you lost your internet connection, you can still view these 1100 emails because of the OST file.
Unfortunately, Outlook stores category information is a PST file but you are using a MAPI account with no PST (You only have OST). So your only option to save your master category in an external file so that you can restore it anytime to another computer even to another email profile. The entire export process is discussed in details in this link:
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By category, are you referring to the color-coded category that you can rename? For instance, Category Blue and then the message has the small blue square and then you can then rename the "Category Blue" to something like "Family Connection"?
Another thing, can you please tell me the modification date of your OST file? When you see the OST file listed, there is some column there name Date Modified. What is the "date modified" entry for your OST file?
Thank you for writing back with that confirmation. So you are using color categories. Your only option to back these color categories is through the procedures in the link I gave you. You need to backup these categories as an EXTERNAL file (the output in the process is a .msg file) and you can then use this output file (.msg file) to restore your categories in case your system crashed.
Please follow the procedures in this link:
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do or make use of in your OST file. Definitely, the categories are not stored in the OST file and the only way to extract these categories is through the procedures in the link I gave you since these categorization is not stored in a single file in your Outlook. That is, the OST file only contains offline emails and folder structure that are synced by Outlook to the email server. And unfortunately, the color categories are not synced from Outlook to the server and that is the reason why you are not seeing these color categories when you access your email using a web browser.
So once you have done the steps in the link I gave you, you will have a .msg file that will contain all your color categories and you can use this file to restore them when your system crashed.
Thank you for writing back with that explanation. After a thorough research on this matter, I have confirmed that it will work with your OST. The main reason is that, the OST file stores the email tables (not the actual emails unlike the PST since emails will be mapped or linked to the Microsoft Exchange emails in the server, thus OST file is dynamically changing) and tags which serves as links to your categories. The OST does not contain the categories in itself. So the procedures I gave you still apply:
Only these 2 files are needed to restore your categories in case your system or Outlook crashed. As a workflow, when your Outlook crashed and you need to reinstate it, and add your Hotmail account there as MAPI, you can then expert or place the OST file to where it is located by default, and you shall see your emails again. And when you import your categories using the steps I gave you, the email tags will then apply and your categorization will then be restored.
Here is the link for the procedures: