How to configure Outlook to leave mail on the server

Many users would like to leave their e-mail on the server so they can download it from other computers or read mail using their provider's web interface.

This setting is found only in POP3 accounts – IMAP always leaves mail on the server, as does Exchange Server (assuming you are not using a PST as the delivery location) and the Outlook Connector for Hotmail/MSN.

Leave mail on server settings

In Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010/2013:

  1. Go to Tools, Account Settings in Outlook 2007;  File, Account settings in Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
  2. Select the Email account, click Change (or double-click on the email account)
  3. Click More Settings
  4. Go to the Advanced tab – leave on server settings are in the lower section

In Outlook 2003 and older:

  1. Tools, Email Accounts
  2. Select View or Change Existing Accounts
  3. Select the Email account, click Change
  4. Click More Settings
  5. Advanced tab – lower section

Tutorial: Leave mail on server in Outlook 2003 and older

  • Betty Brown

    OMG this worked. Thank you. :-)

  • Dave Schultz

    This did not help at all. when I follow the directions here in the advanced settings all it has is my name and password.
    I am tring to remove Email from hotmail using Outlook 2010.

  • Diane Poremsky

    This tip is for POP3 accounts only. When you use the Outlook Connector, Hotmail is treated as a server-based and mail syncs to Outlook.

    If you want the mail deleted, you need to configure a POP3 account instead. Instructions are here if you need them.

  • victor

    Thanks was very helpful.

  • JP Houdet

    where and how does Outlook 2010 store the list of messages already downloaded from a POP3 server but left on the server as a result of the "Leave a copy on the server" setting?


  • Diane Poremsky

    The message id of the last message downloaded is stored as a hidden message in the Inbox, called Message Manager. You can view it using MFCMAPI or Outlookspy.

  • Ackerjax

    Diane - Thank you!! Directions are simple enough even for me to follow. The test? New email came in on webmail site - went to Outlook to retrieve even read it and sure enough it stayed in the server so I still could view it on the webmail. Thank you again.