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Leave Copy of Email on Email Server

Leave Copy of Email on Email Server

Sometimes when you pick up email with your email client (email software) you would like to be able to also pick it up from another computer but still be able to pick it up from your main computer.


During the day you work at your main location of your business (job). In the evenings and weekends or even on days when you wish to work from home you would like to check your email but still be able to download it to your main computer at work.

You could pick up the email at home then email it back to yourself at work. This is a hassle plus could get confusing if you forget to do it.

What you can do, which is easier and less confusing, is set up your home email client to leave a copy of the emails on the email server. This way, when you return to work, all the emails can be downloaded to your main computer at work.

This tutorial is written using Outlook Express or Outlook but the principles are the same for other email clients (email programs).

Set Up Email Client to Leave a Copy of Email on Email Server

We are going to set up your home (or mobile) computer to check your email and leave the original copy on the email server.

  1. Set up your email client for the email account you wish to check email for from your home computer (or mobile computer).

    See Create Email Account Outlook Express-Outlook if you haven’t set up the email account yet on this machine.

  2. Left click the Tools menu item in the top menu bar.

    The menu will expand to show more items.

  3. Left click the Accounts menu item in the list that has appeared.

    The Internet Accounts screen will appear.

  4. Left click the email account name under the Account column you wish to set up to leave a copy of emails on the email server.

    When selected, the Account name will be highlighted.

  5. Left click the Properties button on the right.

    The email account’s Properties screen appears.

  6. Left click the Advanced tab at the top of the screen.

    The Advanced settings for the Account appear.

  7. In the bottom section of the Advanced tab screen, under Delivery, there is a check box beside “Leave a copy of messages on server”.

    Left click inside the check box.

    Some more Advanced settings will now be available. You can make a decision about these settings now or later.

  8. Left click the Ok button at the bottom when you have finished.

    Internet Accounts screen is visible again.

  9. Left click the Close button in the bottom right.

    The Internet Accounts screen will close.

That’s it, you are done.

Now, when you pick up email from home or on the road with your laptop a copy of the emails will be left on the email server. On your return to the office you can pick up your email including the ones you already looked at while on the road.

Warning:  Added June 15, 2006

If you are going to be away from your main computer for an extended amount of time or if someone sends you a very large file while you are away from the office, your mailbox on the server could become full and emails will start to bounce. It might be a better idea in this case to have your mobile computer pick up mail while you are away or have someone in the office pickup your mail to clean out the mailbox.

Tip provided by PCDOC.

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35 Responses to “ Leave Copy of Email on Email Server ”

  1. PSP Internet says:

    Great post. Thanks for the step by step guide, really appreciate it.

  2. [...] Leave a Copy of Email on Email Server [...]

  3. I’ve had so many clients that leave that option unchecked and when the computer breaks down all their emails go too.

  4. Nice post. I actually needed this. I checked the boxes in both programs. I also checked “remove messages from server after 30 days in Microsoft outlook Outlook.


  5. Thanks so much! This post was really useful for me. I had this happen to me and I could not receive any emails until I figured out how to fix it. Thanks!

  6. Hire a Geek says:

    nice post!it’s always good to leave copies of your email on a web-based server. I’d have to agree with what Basic Computer Information said though.. every once in a while, you’d have to clean unecessary emails on the server (especially for free/standard accounts) or else you’ll have a “mail bomb” and you’ll stop receiving messages.
    Just delete unimportant messages once in a while and make sure you have not yet exceeded your storage limit (in the server) ^_^

  7. Medisoft says:

    I can’t believe how hard it can be to fix email problems. I never realized it until I ran into my own. Thanks for the step by step instructions, it helped a ton! I finally fixed my problem and can get my emails again.

  8. Josh says:

    This is a great article! Remembering to remove old email from the server is important. I just had over 2000 emails that I no longer needed on the server. This of course, caused all my email to bounce. While I was doing research to determine what the cause of this was, I discovered I had not cleared my server email in a very long time. Great tip! Keep up the good work

  9. Geek says:

    Yup. Just keep watch of your storage limit on the server. You can’t imagine how many clients i’ve had who are having “email problems” but simply have the case of exceeding their storage limit.

  10. server racks says:

    I like to always leave it there in case I check it from my phone or while on the road from my laptop via the webmail. As long as I set it to delete when I delete or after 14 days after I have downloaded it to the main computer. Helps to keep the server clean and fast.

  11. Wrought Iron Doors says:

    I hope that others find this as helpful as I did! I really needed these tips to fix my email! Thanks for sharing the super info.

  12. [...] A dedicated email address that is not a forwarder; you need to make sure incoming and outgoing email are handled by your domain name, not by a Gmail account. Spam filters don’t like replies from servers that don’t match the email address. Give this person a username and password they have to access, but require them to leave all emails on the server. [...]

  13. Quick Connect says:

    Good comments. It is important to remove the emails from the server after x days. 14 is a safe number. Especially with the amount of spam out there, a server can fill up with useless data.

  14. Print Services Birmingham says:

    I had no idea that it was important to remove emails like that. Thank you so much for sharing, I’ll have a lot of cleaning up to do now!

  15. payday advance no faxing says:

    this was a great read. I really didn’t know that it was important tot delete E-Mails – I will have to pay better attention to this

  16. Building Computers says:

    This also works in Mozilla Thunderbird. Go to tools, account settings and select server settings. Check the box that says leave message on server. You can also set for how many days to leave he message on the server – default is 7 days, or select the option to leave messages on the server until you delete them. A useful tip indeed! Marvin

  17. Karen S. says:

    Hi. This is definitely very helpful info you have here and I appreciate the post.

  18. laptop cases bags, says:

    This is a great feature of Microsoft Outlook. The other thing that is nice is you can flag email to go into the spam folder so you can filter out your email to stay more productive.

  19. duh…this is vital to a backup plan just in case your PC goes down for a day or two. I run a delivery service and my business depends on email to be there…if I checked it and then the PC died…I have to be able to get to those. So having a copy on the server is a must have. These days with so much room on gmail…no real reason not to leave those emails up there for some amount of days.

  20. Cleaner says:

    I still do not understand why, with advent of online services offering in excess of one gigabyte of online storage, accessible from any computer or even a cellphone, people still use the emails services like Outlook. Especially since using Outlook implies using Windows, and that needs to be formatted every 6-10 months, which also implies the loss of emails, unless backed up.

    • Cleaner,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Why would you think that using an online service is anymore secure and less prone to data loss than managing your email and data yourself through self backup. There is an option to backup your emails if you choose to use Outlook, Outlook Express or any other client email program.

  21. promozione del casinò in rete says:

    I had no idea that it was important to remove emails like that. Thank you so much for sharing, I’ll have a lot of cleaning up to do now!

  22. Computer Repair Lakeland says:

    Cleaning your email and backing up important information is a key in the computer business. Very nice read.

  23. Nice post! I haven’t been receiving mails almost 2 weeks from now. This article of yours will really help me a lot fix this problem. Glad you posted it with step by step guide. Thanks! :)

  24. Computer Repair says:

    This is a neat trick, thanks for sharing. I can now get emails on my Blackberry too, as the emails are no longer removed from the server before my Blackberry gets there!

  25. Printers Liverpool says:

    Great tip there. Much appreciated. I’ve been having so much trouble with my m ails since I had to format my PC and I lost a lot of my mails. This is an awesome trick. Thanks

  26. Computer Geek says:

    Great Info and nice step by step instructions.

    I now get all my lappie work organised by my online computer geeks.

  27. Retiree says:

    This works very well in Outlook, Outlook Express, Incredimail, and other similar programs, but I have not been able to find a way to do his with the webmail options such as Windows Live Mail,GMail, etc.

    • I have Windows Live Mail on my machine and it has the same options as Outlook Express.

      You can set up your email client to pick up mail from Gmail and leave a copy on the web server just the same way you do for other email accounts.

      If you are only using WebMail, the message is left on the web server until you delete it (or fill your mail box).

  28. Carson Rose and Associates says:

    nice post and it is always good to leave a copy of email on wed base server and thanks for the step by step guidline i really like this post good work by you keep it up.

  29. Michelle says:

    Leaving Copy of Email on Email Server would really make sense..Thanks for the detailed instructions on how to set up email client.



  30. Pet Insurance Quotes says:

    I’ve Home windows Live Mail on my small machine and contains exactly the same options as Outlook Express. You are able to setup your email client to get mail from Gmail and then leave a duplicate on the internet server likewise way you need to do for other email options.

  31. Monte says:

    Somehow it doesn’t work to leave the messages on the server. I can get the same mail between a mobile device and one laptop by doing this but not two laptops with Windows Live Mail. I suspect Live mail must set a flag in gmail to prevent downloading the same messages over and over. Gmail doesn’t know the difference between the two laptops each using Windows Live Mail. Is there a way to identify the two laptops?


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