Configure Outlook to Leave Email on the Server

If you are going on travel and need to be able to access email while you are on travel, you may need to stop your desktop system from downloading email from the server and deleting it.

Normally, Outlook will download email from a server and immediately delete it. That behavior will pose a problem if you have the option of checking your email through a web-based interface while you are on travel. Or it could pose a problem if you will be checking your email using a laptop while you are on travel, but the desktop system is also downloading email. If Outlook is left open on your desktop system or has to be opened by someone at your office while you are on travel, e.g. to check old email, by default Outlook will download any new mail from the server and delete it from the server.

To prevent Outlook from deleting email from the server when it downloads that email, take the following steps:

  1. Click on Start.
  2. Select the Control Panel. If you don't see it when you click on start, e.g. you are using Windows 2000 rather than XP, first select Settings and then Control Panel.
  3. Then click on Mail. If you are using Windows XP and don't see the Mail icon, then the Control Panel is probably configured in "Category View". If it is you will see a window similar to the one shown below and will need to click on "Switch to Classic View".

    Control Panel category view

    Once in "Classic View", you should see the Mail icon. Double-click on it.

    Control Panel classic view

  4. Click on the E-mail Accounts button on the Mail Setup window that appears.
  5. Outlook 2000 mail setup

  6. When the E-mail Accounts window opens, choose the option "View or change existing e-mail accounts" and click on Next.
  7. Outlook 2000 view or change
existing e-mail accounts

  8. Then, if you have more than one email account, select the one you want to modify, by clicking on it and then click on the Change button.
  9. Outlook 2000 select e-mail

  10. In the E-mail Accounts window that opens, click on the More Settings button.
  11. Outlook 2000 select
more settings for e-mail accounts

  12. In the Internet E-mail Settings window that opens, click on the Advanced tab. You will then see, under "Delivery", the option to check "Leave a copy of messages on the server". Check that option. If you wish, you can also check "Remove from server after" and specify the number of days after which Outlook should delete any old messages from the server. For instance, if you selected 7 days, when Outlook checks email on the server, it would delete any messages older than 7 days, but leave any newer ones on the server.
  13. Outlook 2000 leave
email on server

    When you return from travel, you can go through the same procedure above, but uncheck the "Leave a copy of messages on the server" option at the end. You shouldn't leave the "Leave a copy of messages on the server option checked, unless you've specified messages be removed after a certain number of days, because your old email will continue to accumulate on the server as long as you have an account on the server or until you've exhausted any quota you may have on the server. If you exhaust the space allocated for your account on the mail server, then you won't be able to get any new mail at that point and anyone sending to you will get bounced email indicating you've exceeded your disk qouta on the server.