Last reviewed on December 27, 2013   —  19 Comments

To change how frequently Outlook does automatic send and receives, you need to edit the Send and Receive settings. The easiest way to open the Send and Receive dialog is using the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Alt+S.

send and receive dialog

If you prefer to use the mouse, look on the Tools, Send and Receive menu, Send/Receive Groups, Define Send and Receive Groups.

In Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013, look on the Send and Receive tab, under Send/Receive Groups, Define Send and Receive Groups.

For best results, don't check for new mail more frequently than about 8 – 10 minutes. Checking too frequently (either automatically or manually) can cause Outlook to hang on the process and you will not be able to send or receive mail until you restart Outlook.

Send ImmediatelySend immediately when connected is in Tools, Options, Mail Setup tab in Outlook 2007 and older.

In Outlook 2010 and 2013, Send Immediately when connected is about halfway down the File, Options, Advanced page.

A link to the Send and Receive dialog is on the Mail Setup tab too.

Video Tutorial


  1. Tam says

    Dear Diane,

    Either with Outlook 2k7 or 2k10, all my "sent" mails are not being stored to the Send Items; it stored in All mail items folder. I have to go there and search for the mail and move them to the Sent Items. Or I have to do this on every single new mail: click Options, and select Save Sent Items To, and then Other Folders. After that I will then select Sent Item.

    I want to have a permanent fix, but I can't find one. Please help! Thanks a lot for your time.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      This is a Gmail Account? That is how gmail does it - rather than using separate folders, it uses one mailbox and labels and filters to create fake folders in the mailbox. (Labels are converted to real folders in email clients such as Outlook and thunderbird.)

      Because saving sent items to the server in Outlook may not properly tag the sent item Outlook uploads (and other issues), we recommend setting Gmail IMAP account to either save sent items locally or not to save them at all (in Outlook's Account Settings, double click on the account, More Settings, Sent Items tab) - saving them to the Gmail IMAP folders is problematic. If you choose not to save a copy in Outlook, gmail will still save a sent copy in your mailbox online.

      We also recommend not subscribing to the all mail folder and its subfolders as it only duplicates all the mail in outlook - first in the regular folders and again in all mail.

  2. sharon says

    I have a totally unrelated question. But am hoping you would know why my outlook 2007, after a few years, my 'send/recieve' option is now sending me 'everything' on my email server, from years ago! It appears to be the email that I have archived to pst files. Even archives that are a few years old.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Are you leaving mail on the server? If so, the "message manager" file was damaged and outlook isn't properly tracking the messages it downloaded.

  3. Rebekah says

    I have an issue where my outlook account seems to get "hung up" in a send receive process. When this happens the send receive box will populate, indicating from 6-7 items processing up to 3200 items processing. This has been occurring frequently, but the strange part is that no new items ever appear in my in or outbox. I am afraid that my entire account is corrupt. Can you provide insight?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      It's possible it's corrupt. But before making a new profile, does it work as expected for awhile following a reboot? Does it work correctly in safe mode? (To open Outlook in Safe mode: Close Outlook then hold Ctrl as you click on the Outlook icon. You'll get a message asking if you want to start in Safe mode. Click Ok. )

      If the answer to both is yes, then you may have an addin causing problems.

  4. Craig says

    Why on God's good earth did Microsoft decide, in Outlook 2010, to put “Send Immediately when connected” in the Advanced section instead of the intuitive section- E-mail?

  5. Marco says

    Hi Diane,

    I have a related question that's driving me insane. A few months ago I noticed I could no longer edit the 'Send/Receive Groups.' I can open the 'Send/Receive Groups' and click on 'Define Send/Receive Groups,' but clicking on Edit won't do anything. When I click on it nothing happens at all. The function stopped working for all groups. I've been searching for a solution for months and haven't found any. I also noticed that this issue affects the selection of signatures. Simply put, I can't assign new signatures to my accounts and the field 'Choose default signature' is grayed out.

    I read your post about editing the registry but that didn't fix either. I uninstalled and reinstalled Office 2010 a number of times, to no avail. I also briefly upgraded to Office 2013 (trial) to see if that could fix the problem, to no avail. I'm now back to Office 2010 and the problem persist no matter how many different Outlook profiles I create. I have removed all profiles and started from scratch, but the problem persist. Any idea what might be happening?

  6. Marco says

    Here's the follow up for those looking for a fix to the problem I mentioned, Remove the icloud account from your profile and that should fix the whole shebang.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Oh, you mean the or email account? Yeah, if you aren't using it for email, remove it. It shouldn't affect the send/receive groups or signatures though. (I'll release that post as soon as i test some things - if i don't keep it in pending, I'll forgot to come back to it. :))

  7. Marco says

    Exactly. Make then post available when you can. I'm guessing there's a bunch of people out there dealing with the same problem,

  8. Bjorn Kassoe Andersen says

    In Outlook 2013 I seem to be unable to stop automatic send/receive. I have selected
    "Disable scheduled send/recieve" and I have tried to enable it with time set to both 30 and 270 minutes for online as well as offline. I have (with Outlook closed) tried to rename the .srs file to .srs.old without any change. No matter what I do, Outlook keeps checking every one minut. I have Outlook 2013 running with Google Apps Sync. Have checked if the Google add-in has a sync setting that could interfere but I didn't find any. I have several email accounts set up, as I receive and send mail from a number of different addresses. I have a similar setup with Outlook 2010 on a different machine that works fine without automatic send/receive.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What type of email accounts? Are all of the accounts being checked? IMAP accounts will refresh when you open the folder, unless offline.

  9. Bjorn Kassoe Andersen says

    Hi Diane. Thanks for responding. It's got to be IMAP as I have everything syncing across several computers and two Google Apps accounts (using the Google Apps Sync for Outlook add-on). If it syncs like you describe has it then changed from Outlook 2010 to 2013? The computer I have with 2010 does not behave this way and I've never used the 'offline' option.

    So what is the best set up for Outlook 2013 with IMAP if want to be in charge of when email is fetched? I don't want to be distracted by new mail while working with other stuff. I want it only to arrive when I press F9 or CTRL-M or something else (I can automate keystrokes if necessary).

  10. Rob MacDonald says

    My send/receive settings do not stay set when Outlook 2010 is restarted.

    I don't want to "send immediately", so I set the Online setting to send every 20 minutes, and click the box. This works fine until I reboot or restart Outlook, when it reverts to not sending at all. I have to go in and recheck the box every time.

    Is there a permanent cure for this?

    Oh, and note that when working on line, this is not "send/receive", it is effectively send only, as e-mails come in instantly/constantly.


    • Diane Poremsky says

      What type of email account do you use? Do you use a registry cleaner utility? Do you reboot every day?

      If Windows reboots, settings aren't always saved and you revert to the last know settings before the update that forced the reboot was installed. Registry cleaners will often block changes. Group policy or log on scripts will also revert changes.

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