How do I make Outlook 2010 leave a copy of my messages on the server?

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With Microsoft Outlook 2010, it’s possible to leave a copy of each message on the mail server after you read it.

You’ll want to do this if you read e-mail in Outlook and another program (or our Webmail system). If you don’t do this, Outlook will delete the message copy from our servers after 14 days, and the other program (or Webmail) won’t be able to see the messages.

You can also do this if you want your old incoming mail to be permanently stored in our backup system (see “E-mail backups” on our backup policy page for more details).

This page explains how to set up Outlook to leave a copy of each message on the server. It assumes that you have already followed the basic instructions to set up Outlook 2010.

Before you continue, you should enter your e-mail address (the address you want to set up in Microsoft Outlook) in the box above. Entering your e-mail address makes sure that the instructions below are correct.

Changing the Outlook settings

To leave messages on the server, you will:

  • Open the Advanced settings window for your mail account
  • Change the length of time that Outlook 2010 stores messages on the server.

1. Start the Microsoft Outlook program.

Use the Start menu to start Outlook.

When it opens, click the File tab and select the account for your e-mail address if it’s not already chosen:

Outlook 2010 select account

2. Click “Account Settings”.

After making sure your e-mail address is selected, click the Account Settings button to open the settings window:

Outlook 2010 "Account Settings"

3. Choose the account and click “Change”.

Make sure your e-mail address is selected, then click Change.

screen shot

4. The “Change Account” window opens.

Click the More Settings button:

screen shot

5.The “Internet E-mail Settings” window appears.

Choose the Advanced tab.

In the “Advanced” tab, make sure that Leave a copy of messages on the server is checked. Then change the “14” to the number of days you want to leave messages on our servers:

Outlook 2010 "leave messages on server" settings

You can also uncheck the Remove from server after X days checkbox completely — but if you leave messages on the server forever, it can eventually slow down your mail connections and use up your disk space allowance. So we recommend choosing a number of days that’s long enough that you’ll be able to read the messages in your other mail program (or Webmail). In terms of performance, even using a large number such as 365 days is better than not checking this box.

If you check Remove from server when deleted from 'Deleted Items', the messages will be deleted when you delete them in Outlook. This may be useful if you’re trying to keep your Webmail box (sort-of) in sync with Outlook without using IMAP, but you shouldn’t choose it if you’re trying to leave messages on our servers to be permanently backed up.

5. Click OK to close the “Internet E-mail Settings” window.

After you close the “Internet E-mail Settings” window, the “Change Account” screen will still be visible.

6. Test the settings.

Click Next. Outlook will test the settings, then should tell you that “all tests completed successfully”:

Outlook 2010 success window

If Outlook tells you a test failed, double-check to be sure you’ve entered the settings correctly.

If the “Test Account Settings” window is still open, close it to continue.

7. Finish the wizard.

Click Finish.

Outlook setup is complete

You’re finished! From now on, any mail that arrives should stay on the server, and you should be able to see it in your other mail program or Webmail. (If you’re using another mail program, you’ll probably want to setup that program to leave a copy of your messages on the server, too.)