Choosing the Folder to Save a Sent Message In

Last reviewed on July 21, 2014

Lotus Notes can prompt the sender to specify what folder a message should be saved in. Outlook doesn’t have the feature built in, although you can select the folder to save the message to before sending. Outlook has an option to save replies with the original when its not in the Inbox. If you want to be prompted each time, you’ll need to use VBA or an add-in.

You can also use Rules to move sent messages to other folders. This works well if you need to move all messages sent to specific people or with specific words in the subject but won’t work for one-off messages.

Select Folder | Use VBA | Save Replies with the Original | Using Rules to file Sent items | Tools

Select the folder when sending the message

Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2013

Outlook's Save sent items iconIn Outlook 2007, 2010, or 2013, you can select a different Sent folder using the Save Sent Item to Command on the Options ribbon.

Save sent items

Outlook 2003, 2002, or 2000

In Outlook 2003 and older (using either email editor), click the Options button to dialog the Options dialog, where you’ll select the Sent folder.


Use VBA to display a dialog

Get the VBA from Outlookcode.com: To set the storage folder for an outgoing Outlook message. Also see this code sample.

Note: VBA does not work on messages created with File, Send commands in other applications or the Send to command in Windows Explorer. Send to commands use Simple MAPI, which bypasses Outlook functionality.

Use VBA to move sent items

You can use a macro to move all items sent by a specific email account. See Use a macro to move sent items for the VBA code sample. This macro will work with messages created using the File, Send commands in other applications since it processes the message after it’s sent.

 

Save Replies with the original

If you move messages of of the Inbox, you can configure Outlook (all versions) to save replies with the original.

In older versions of Outlook, go to Tools, Options, Email options, Advanced Email options button. (right)

In Outlook 2010 and 2013, go to File, Options, Mail - about halfway down, in the Save section, is the option to save replies with the original when its not in the Inbox. (below)

Using Rules to file Sent items

You can create an After Sending rule to copy messages meeting specific conditions or to specific persons to a different sent folder, however, this copies the sent message. The only way to avoid saving a message in the Sent folder as well as in another folder is by disabling the option to Save all sent messages and use rules to save messages. If you use this method, your first rule(s) will save messages meeting specific conditions in the desired folders, with each rule containing the Stop processing action. The final rule applies to all messages and saves them in the Sent folder, catching all messages not processed by previous After sending Rules.

Step 1Step 2Step 3

Begin by creating a rule “from scratch”, choosing a blank rule, applied on messages you send:

 

Add your conditions and Actions, remembering to select Stop processing on each rule.

The final Rule will have no conditions; the Action will copy messages to the Sent folder:

Note that when you use a rule to move a copy of the sent item, its marked as unread. You will need to use VBA to mark the copied sent message read. See Mark Sent Items “Read” after Moving to a New Folder for the necessary code.

Tools in the Spotlight

QuickFile for Outlook

File 90% of your emails at the click of a button. Manage your Inbox and Sent Items folders. Move emails out of the Inbox to the correct folder at the click of a button. QuickFile remembers the folders used for each person and presents a short customized list each time. Use the same list to Send&File in one step instead of having to go back to your Sent Items folder. Plus many more email management features such as one-click creation of task/appointments from emails, newsletter processing, deferred non-urgent emails and much more.

Sent Items Organizer

Sent Items Organizer version 3.2 has been released. With its Send And File button, this version now allows you to type the first few characters of the folder you're interested in to quickly find the folder you need. In addition, it allows you to override your regular Send button so you don't have to change your current send habits. Finally, this version has improved shared mailbox handling to automatically file emails from shared mailboxes into their respective Sent Items folders. Enter code WD9BHK53 during checkout.

Tools

Auto-Mate

Auto-Mate is an Outlook utility that allows you use define rules to move mail from your Inbox (or other folders) based on several criteria, including the age of the message. While Outlook rules only run as messages are downloaded or when you click Run Rules now, Auto-Mate rules run on a schedule, enabling you to apply rules to messages that have been in your Inbox for a given number of hours, days or weeks. Available in Standard or Pro Version. Supports Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, 2913. Now available for Outlook 2010/2013 64-bit.

SimplyFile for Microsoft Outlook

SimplyFile helps you file incoming and outgoing messages to the right Outlook folder with one click of a mouse. SimplyFile's state of the art algorithm learns as you file messages and suggests destination folders for filing. All you have to do to send a message to the right folder is click a button. SimplyFile also includes buttons for turning messages into Tasks and Appointments. Compatible with Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007. Version 2.3.4.106.

Single Click Filing for Outlook

Use Single Click Filing for Outlook to file your messages in Outlook. You can define up to 10 filing folders each with its own toolbar button and use the corresponding shortcuts (Alt+1, Alt+2, ... , Alt+0) to quickly and easily file messages. Free trial.

Track Your Sent for Outlook

Track Your Sent for Outlook gives you four easy ways to track your sent items using Filing, Categories, Calendar, Tasks. Re-attach your category with a reply/forward to the sent item and keep your categories local (and not expose them to the recipient). Define a default action or action(s) for just a single sent item.

TuckAway Intelligent Email Organizer

TuckAway Intelligent Email Organizer is an Add-in for Microsoft Outlook that helps you file messages into folders and keep the Inbox neat. TuckAway uses advanced prediction algorithms which adapts to your filing preferences and will suggest the right folder to store the messages. Free trial available.

VBOffice SAM

SAM automatically sets the sender, signature, and folder for sent items based on several criteria. Use SAM to assign a sending account or SendOnBehalf address and signature to contacts, folders, or categories. Works with Outlook 2007, 2010 and Outlook 2013.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

40 responses to “Choosing the Folder to Save a Sent Message In”

  1. hussein

    Hi,

    Thanks for th tip above. I tried to apply it based on Category (assigining a category to my sent message so it will be moved to a specific folder once it s sent). I could not see the Category button on my open new message!

    Only when I get into properties of the message (file, properties) I could see an option for categories but this is not the same list of categories I typially use for example for incoming emails!

    Hussein

  2. Don Ledbetter

    Diane, are you in the process of authoring a book on Outlook, if so when will it be published?

  3. Miles Barry

    I use Quickfile from AddIns for Outlook. Quite simply, I can now no longer use Outlook efficiently without it.

  4. Jake1947

    Diane, I found the 'rules' system tedious for my type of filing. Since your Tip for Dec 20 I've been using the Save Sent Item option.The list in the drop down menu is growing alarmingly. How can I delete the little used folders from this menu? And, is there a manner in which I can re-arrange them, at least?

  5. Luis

    Diane

    I have the VBA code to prompt in which folder I want to save the email. However, any time I close Outlook, the script stops working and it only works if I start the VBA editor.

    I have the VBA (ThisOutlookSession) digitally signed and I have tried all macro setting (from low to high). In all instances, after I change the settings I do restart outlook and I do check that it has stopped running (using Task manager).

    The code never works when I start outlook, but once open VBA, it works until the end of the Outlook session. It will work even if I close the VBA. In a sense, it seems that it dos not activate whatever is in "ThisOutlookSession" until I open VBA.

    Any ideas?

  6. Luis

    No, I do not get any prompts/boxes when I open the Visual basic Editor (via Alt+F11).

  7. mostafa

    great article,

    When you click the "Save Sent Items To", you have the option to "Use default Folder" or "Do Not Save".

    How do you modify these properties through VBA?

  8. DJ

    I am often baffled at the choices made by Microsoft with regard to the options available to users. I would like to use Outlook rules to do two extremely simple things. First, to move certain messages to a folder *after* reading them; and second, to move certain sent messages to a specified folder. While one can set up rules that are almost absurdly esoteric (How many users have ever set up a rule looking for a particular "Form Name," or created a rule exception for particular RSS feeds?), one cannot, so far as I know, set up either of the basic rules I described above. I am aware that incoming mail moved to a particular folder on arrival (as opposed to after reading) will still appear as "unread" in the "Unread Mail" folder; if, however, like 99.9% of Outlook users, you are used to reading your mail in your Inbox first, this is a rather klutzy workaround. Similarly, one could set up a rule to *copy* designated "Sent" items to a specified folder, and then manually delete the messages from the Sent folder later, but that defeats the purpose of having a rule in the first place. Am I missing something here?

    DJ

  9. DJ

    Thanks for the prompt response.

    With regard to the read/unread issue, what would be ideal would be a rule that would permit items to be moved to a folder some set interval after being read, in the same way that items can be deleted from an e-mail server after x days. As for the Sent items issue, I suppose this falls into the category of "it is what it is." However, it is one of those aspects of Outlook that border on stupefying. In effect, one has to organize one's Sent folder manually.

    DJ

  10. Martha Harris

    I think I have tried everything, and I can't get Outlook 2010 to save my sent messages. Any suggestions?

  11. tommus@kompan.com

    Do you ha any experiences that the save function when you send emails this way doesn't work sometimes. The sent email is not saved in requested folder or even in sent folder. Thank you.

  12. Ros Christopoulos

    Microsoft Outlook 2010 - I am simply trying to save an email to a folder when I have sent it to retain it for my records. Using the 'help' system it advised me to in the options tab click on save sent item to... seemed simple enough so I named a folder and sent my message of now I have no record of it being sent or can't find the folder???? any help appreciated

  13. RJ

    Diane- I am moving under protest at work from Thunderbird to Outlook 2010. In Tbird, I can save replies with the original even in the Inbox, so I can move the whole conversation together to the appropriate folder. Is there ANY way to save replies TO the Inbox?

  14. Roberto

    Hello. Please, can you tell me? How I can recover a file:
    ~backup.pst.tmp

    Thanks! & best regards,
    Roberto.

  15. Fraser

    Diane,

    Thanks for the excellent tips and the continued support. Not sure that Outlook has my solution but you have given some more tools to look at.

    F

  16. Nakadaca

    Hi Diane, I have successfully used the VBA script option for years with Outlook 2003. I was recently upgraded to Outlook 2010 and the script no longer works. What, if any, are the necessary code edits to the VBA script to allow it to function with Outlook 2010?

  17. Nakadaca

    Hi Diane, Thanks for the response. I should have been more specific. The code/script I've been using is the exact one linked in your blog post on OutlookCode com.

  18. Nakadaca

    It seems the fix to get the code to run was to check the "Apply macro security settings to installed add-ins" box under Trust Center > Macro Settings > Add-Ins. Thanks so much for your assistance with this!

  19. Karl Russell

    Hi Diane, this worked great thank you. Saved me lots of time and allowed me to track emails I was not tracking before.

    However, I have another query. We receive enquiries from our website in an email form and they always contain the same subject line. When received I need to send them on to the correct salesman and then file the original email (not sent item) in the same folder each time. Basically, a folder containing all web enquiries.

    How would you go about this? I dont want it to auto send upon receiving because I may miss them and forget to send on. I need it to go in there once I have forwarded it on.

    Thanks,

  20. Karl Russell

    Hi Diane, thanks for the quick response. Either I am missing the point here or it is no quicker than what I do now.
    Currently:
    1. Email enquiry comes into my inbox
    2. I press 'Forward' then type in the correct salesmen's name (address)
    3. I send the email to them without needing to type anything myself
    4. I go to the email in my inbox and drag and drop into an enquiries folder
    How can I make this more automatic? i.e. once I have replied/forwarded a message it disappears from my inbox straight into the enquiries folder. Not before I have forwarded it and not the sent message, although thinking about it the sent message would be fine. Would still mean me deleting the original though which is as much effort as moving it.
    No worries if it cannot be done. I just thought it would and that I would not be the first to want this function.

  21. Roy Colbran

    I can't get the list of e-mails in my Sent Folder to show either "To" or "Subject". It did show "from" which was useless as it was always me until I eliminated that. I know there are ways of grouping them but they don't achieve what I want. I just want them all in date order as they were under Outlook Express but showing "to" and Subject but this seems impossible

  22. Robert Moore

    I went into the Outlook 2003 Mail Options and the section you've highlighted with the red frame just doesn't exist!

    This Outlook has 2 accounts with 2 different sets of incoming/outgoing servers (comcast, GoDaddy). The comcast account was set up first and is the default account.

    Email from the godaddy-based account goes to the Sent folder under the comcast account. Incoming email does go to the correct accounts, at least.

  23. Gary

    When did finding your "sent Items" become such a mystery. I just started using outlook 2010 for my email a week ago and this seems a lot harder.

Leave a Reply

If the Post Coment button disappears, press your Tab key.