Link to home
Start Free TrialLog in
Avatar of Robberbaron (robr)
Robberbaron (robr)Flag for Australia

asked on

Outlook mailitem UserProperty lost when saved to on-Prem public folder

Exchange 2016, Outlook 2016+, O365

I have been using a custom Outlook 'Organisational' form for last 15years that adds a UserProperty 'ProjFile' to an outgoing email via VBS, and BCC's it to a mail-enabled public folder (ProjFiling).

An separate app then polls the public folder for items, reads the 'ProjFile' property and moves that email to a relevant public folder.

set objRecip= ThisEmail.Recipients.Add("")
objRecip.Resolve ThisEmail.UserProperties("ProjFile") =  sProjId & "-" & sFileAs

Open in new window

All user mailboxes have recently been transitioned to Exchange Online, with the PF mailboxes (320Gb) still on-premises so we can use Sharepoint & Teams more effectively.

BUT.  the userproperty is not being saved on the copy of the email within the ProjFiling PF, but it does remain when email is received by an internal Outlook user. (it displays on the Organisational Form);  

so outgoing emails are not able to be filed without user action.

I suspect the problem is caused by ExchangeOnline removing all the properties when sending the the PF mailbox onprem.

Looking for ideas or settings to reinstate situation.

Avatar of Robert Berke
Robert Berke
Flag of United States of America image

User defined fields / userproperties are a bit complicated. I will give a quick summary and we can dive into the complexity in later posts.
But a few words of warning,
  1. I expect you are actually quite knowledgeable about user properties. If so, please correct any errors you find in this post.  
  2. I have never tried user properties with Exchange Server or with public folders
  3. The following discussion is from an Outlook 2010 application which I wrote many years ago and have not touched in several years. Some of my memories may be vague.
  4. In this post I discuss a property named “MyProp”.  You should actually use the name of one of your existing properties.
  5. If you are not the Exchange Admin, please work with them.
  6. If you are the Exchange Admin, you should try this on an easily recoverable Public Folder.
 My first suggestion is to test that your tgtFolder is capable of creating a message with a user defined field.  
  • Select tgtFolder > Ribbon > Current View > View Settings>Columns>New Column.> name = “MyProp”, format = Test > OK > Click “Move Up” 10 times to get MuProp to the top >OK > OK
Afterwards your email list should look like this.
User generated image
The next step (Step 6 in the slipstick webpage) probably won’t work for public folders.
              View Settings > Other Settings > turn on “Allow in cell Editing” > OK
Details are in 
For your convenience I have put a portion of the slipstick webpage here.
User generated image
If the above yields a public folder that looks like this, you can continue to the rest of my post,  Otherwise post back to tell me what went wrong.
User generated image
If your public folder looks like the above, I believe you will be able to copy emails successfully.
but, if the userproperties are still being dropped, do not despair. Post back your problems and there are other slightly more complicated things to try.

Avatar of Robberbaron (robr)


  1. Thanks for response as i had not thought to review old items in PubFolders
    1. We use the column option already to display userprop
    2. The public folder still displays the ProjFile data from older emails that were successfully filed, prior to the switch to O365 on 01-AugUser generated image
  2. I have full access to Exchange and my filing app (using EWS API) has an altenate option that reads the entire text of msg to try to determine the projectFile, but this takes more time, and is only successfull on about 90% of outgoing emails.
  3. It must be something with the Exchange Transport service, as emails to internal User Mailboxes retain the ProjFileUser generated image
And i can copy a tagged email from my Outlook mailbox to a PF and it retains the UserProp.
Next option is to trial stop using a Mail-enabled PubFolder as journalling email account, and use a UserMailbox to see what happens.  (have to be on a weekend...)
'something with the Exchange Transport service 
I agree that it sounds like properties are being dropped during the Send operation, rather than in the receive operation.

I doubt if I can help your much, but I will give you a little history of my own problems which were similar to yours.

My memory is a little vague but I am pretty sure my own application had a similar problem when we switched from Server 2003 to Server 2016 essentials.

there was never an exchange server. Instead each computer used Outook PSTs and native send/receive POP3 functions.

Each  of our 10 client computer already had full retail copy of Office 2010 or Office 2013 with perpetual license so wee saved about $2,000 by keeping that software and create new Outlook User Profiles that were virtually identical to the old profiles.

In both environments  user properties were added to incoming email.
In Server 2003 those emails could then be forwarded to external users and the properties would be retained.
In Server 206 the properties were dropped upon forwarding.

I never figured out what went wrong, but found a workaround was to use ":forward as attachment:".

I believe there was an Outlook setting that could make that the  default method of forwarding.

I also retained user properties by saving the email as a c:\\subject.msg  and forwarding that.  That also caused problems because we sometimes sent to school districts that automatically refused .zip files.

One of those approaches might work for you.  If not I suggest you call Microsoft and see if they can help.  You can offer to send them a zip file which they can use to duplicate the problem on their own servers.

You will need to be tenacious because this is not the kind of trouble shooting the normal Microsoft Support agent is equipped to handle.

Good Luck

rberke (aka UncleBob)

do you still need help on this problem? If not please close the question


Avatar of Robberbaron (robr)
Robberbaron (robr)
Flag of Australia image

Link to home
This solution is only available to members.
To access this solution, you must be a member of Experts Exchange.
Start Free Trial