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Newsgroups and News Messages

A newsgroup is a collection of messages posted by individuals to a news server. You can find newsgroups on practically any subject and anyone can post messages to a newsgroup; they do not require any kind of membership or joining fees. Some newsgroups are moderated, most are not.

If you want to use newsgroups in Microsoft Entourage, your Internet service provider must offer access to one or more news servers. After you set up an account for each news server you want, you can read and post messages to any of the newsgroups stored on that news server. When you find a newsgroup you like, you can "subscribe" to it. Subscribing provides easy access to your favorite newsgroups. Because they are displayed in your Entourage Folders list, you don't need to scroll through a long list on the server each time you want to visit a specific newsgroup.

When you subscribe to a newsgroup, you can set up a schedule to receive news messages at certain times or intervals. You can also apply rules to the messages you receive from a subscribed newsgroup. For example, you can create a rule that hides messages posted before a certain date or a rule that assigns messages from a certain person to a category. To help you read and keep track of news messages, Entourage displays newsgroup message headers in the Message list. Although newsgroups can contain thousands of messages, Entourage limits the display to 300 headers by default. You can specify the number of message headers you want to view.


  • Although you can use HTML format or attach files to your news messages, you should use such options sparingly. Some news-reader programs cannot display HTML and many newsgroup members might have relatively slow computers or Internet connections.
  • If you read newsgroups in other languages, you can apply a character set to all of the messages in a newsgroup.

From Entourage Help...a great resource for information

For Office questions, the following newsgroups off support:

All Microsoft Newsgroups have been cancelled!

Outlook 2011 for Mac does not contain a newsreader.

Create a News Account

Go to Tools -> Accounts

  1. Click on News tab
  2. Select New
  3. Name: enter name of News Server
  4. E-mail: select the account with the e-mail address you want to use
  5. News server: enter the address of the news server.

(Public newsgroups do not require passwords.)

If you want to download entire messages and not just the header, check out this rule.

Clear newsgroup cache:

Control+click the icon of the news server (e.g. Microsoft News Server) in the Folder List and select Empty Cache from the contextual menu that pops up. That deletes all the downloaded news messages from every news group of that server, all in one go.

Create a nospam address for newsgroups

Alternatives to subscribing:

Access the newsgroup through your web browser

Free News Accounts: You can also sign up for a free (or paid) news server at http://www.teranews.com/

News-reader FAQs

  1. Offline news-reader
  2. Delete news server
  3. Empty cache
  4. Search archives Entourage newsgroup
  5. Unsubscribe
  6. Threaded format
  7. Combine and decode segments
  8. Find other news groups
  9. Delete posts
  10. List out of order
  11. Delete news server folders
  12. Default news reader
  13. Newsgroup folders stay bold when all read
  14. Microsoft News Server appears twice

1) Is possible to use Entourage v.X as an offline news-reader?

Yes, Use a Schedule - such as Send & Receive All to receive news automatically (which receives just the headers) to all your subscribed newsgroups, and also set up a Rule to retrieve all.

Create a News Rule

2) How do I delete a news server from Entourage?

Go to Tools -> Accounts (News tab), select the news server, then click Delete.

3) How do I empty the cache on my newsgroup? I need to reduce the size of my database.

Control-click the icon of the news server (e.g. Microsoft News Server) in the Folder List at the left, and select Empty Cache from the contextual menu that pops up. That deletes all the downloaded news messages from every news group of that server, all in on go.

If you want copies of some messages preserved, drag a copy to a regular Entourage folder before you empty the cache. Otherwise, if the message is gone from the server, it will be permanently deleted.

Note: You'll also need to rebuild the database to gain the space back.

4) How do you search the newsgroup archives for the microsoft.public.mac.office.entourage newsgroup?

The archive for the Entourage newsgroup can be found on the web at Google Groups.

5) How do I unsubscribe from a newsgroup?

To unsubscribe from a newsgroup, just click on the News Server to which it belongs, in the Folder List. You see the entire list of its newsgroups, with your subscribed ones in bold. Select one of these subscribed groups in bold, then click Unsubscribe on the toolbar or Control+click the newsgroup and select Unsubscribe. It will unbold,and the newsgroup will disappear from your folder list.

Downloaded messages remain in the database until you do an Empty Cache on the news Server.

6) When I read news messages, I would like to view the messages in threaded form but would like to arrange this form by the "sent" tab up the top. How am I able to do this?

This option is now available in Entourage 2004. See Custom Arrangements

7) I used to use Outlook and could select a group of files in a news group that when combined and decoded became a binary file some were .exe, .jpg, and .mov files. Is there anyway to do this with Entourage?

Entourage cannot combine and decode parts without the use of a helper app. Otherwise, you need to consider using another news-reader.

8) How do I find other news groups and subscribe to them besides the Microsoft ones that came with Entourage?

The Microsoft server only provides Microsoft-sponsored groups. You need to use a regular news service for other groups. Most ISPs provide them; contact your ISP for information. If there is a rare case in which they don't, you could try a fee-based premium news service, like Giganews. If neither of those options work for you, or you are away from home and can't set up a news server, you have access to a great web archive from Google Groups.

You can then set up the news server in Entourage, using the instructions on the Entourage Help Page Get Started.

9) How do I delete newsgroup posts?

You can't delete individual newsgroup posts like you can mail messages. This is because the server will keep these messages, even if they are no longer visible on your computer.

You can clear all downloaded news messages using the "Empty Cache" command. Using this (and only this) will reduce the percentage of database used. Learn how to do this in FAQ #3

If you want to remove individual posts from your list but not necessarily clear the entire cache to save space, you can do so using a rule. Go to Tools -> Rules, and click the News tab. Create a new rule named "Delete Newsgroup Messages": IF All Messages THEN Do Not Show Article

Make sure you UNcheck the "Enabled" box, then click OK. When you find a message you want to disappear, just select it and go to Message -> Apply Rule -> Delete Newsgroup Messages.

10) My subscribed newsgroup list is out of order. How can I restore them to the proper alphabetical order?

This is a known bug with Entourage 2001. Try restarting the computer and re-launching Entourage, especially if you've just subscribed to new newsgroups. If that doesn't help, do an Advanced Rebuild of your database. See Database to learn how.

Alternatively, if you don't want to clutter up your Folder List with subscribed newsgroups, click the triangle next to the news server to collapse it. Click once on the news server to open the Newsgroup List. You can go to View -> Subscribed Only to only see subscribed newsgroups. Double-click any newsgroup to open it. You can also search for other newsgroups to visit by disabling the view and then using the Quick-filter box. You can visit newsgroups without subscribing.

11) How do you delete news server folders?

Actually, they're not folders and you can't "delete" them as such. They're news groups and you can unsubscribe from them. Click on the News Server icon in the folder list. In the main window, you'll see the entire list of newsgroups, with your subscribed ones in bold. Find the ones you want to remove (you can use the little filter box at top right), command- click to select them cumulatively, then press the Unsubscribe button. They will disappear from the folder list.

The downloaded news messages will still be in the news cache (and will keep showing up in custom views and advanced finds). If you're particularly concerned about the database size, the way to get rid of them is to control-click on the news server icon and select Empty Cache. That empties the cache for ALL newsgroups of the server - but you can just re-download headers and/or messages of newsgroups to which you're still subscribed when you go back to them afterwards. Emptying the cache can speed up Entourage if the database is enormous. It's usually not necessary or advisable to do more than that (the database starts filling up again), but if it's _really_ essential to reclaim disk space, you can do a Typical Rebuild after emptying the cache. That compacts the database.

12) How do I configure Entourage to be my default news reader?

Entourage 2001/OS 8-9: Go to Apple -> Control Panels -> Internet. Click the News tab. Under "Default News Application", choose your default news application. You may need to manually locate Entourage by choosing "Select" if it's not in the list. Once you have it chosen, quit the Internet Control Panel and choose to Save changes.

Entourage X/OS X: The system does not have a default news reader.

If you use IE...

Open Internet Explorer, then go to Explorer -> Preferences. Under Network, choose Protocol Helpers. Click protocol "news", then click "Change". Click "Choose Helper" and manually locate your copy of Entourage X. Uncheck "Use current application if possible", then click OK and OK to save preferences.

There are freeware applications you can use to set preferences:


More Internet

MISFOX (MIssing Internet Settings for X)

13) Why do newsgroup folders stay bold when entirely read?

The most likely possibility is that you are merely seeing the silly "ghost numbers" that the Microsoft Public News Server almost always has. It's just an estimate, and it almost always gets it wrong. Other news servers don't have this problem.

First, try command-L when you get to the news group, to see if the new messages are "hiding" on the server.

In your schedule, after choosing "Receive News" to the correct news server, have you clicked "Click here for account options" and checked the subscribed newsgroups you want? Otherwise they won't get checked.

Have you also set a News Rule to download news messages, as well as your schedule to check the news server's subscribed groups? That would ensure that the messages appear: Tools/Rules/News/New - All Newsgroups/All messages/Retrieve from Server.

The rule should not be necessary just to get headers, however.

14) Microsoft News Server appears twice, with exactly the same contents. The duplicate icon is named Microsoft News Server 1. is it OK to trash?

Yes! Delete extra account under Tools -> Accounts -> News