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.

  • bb

    Yes THANK YOU - you saved my Outlook. I never knew that since my other Outlook accounts weren't that way. thanks 100000000000. Sometimes you get a glitch and it won't go away so I was worried. By the way, WHY can't we sign in to these discussion with our yahoo account? why is google, facebook, twitter sanctioned but not yahoo, which has been around longer and is my favorite email and news thing..... Please add yahoo!

  • D Poremsky

    Re: signing in with yahoo - I don' think yahoo allows it or if they do, it's not as easy to integrate.