To Leave Internet Messages on the Server

Last reviewed on July 24, 2012   —  11 comments

Applies to Microsoft Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, Outlook 2003 and older

Leave mail on serverThe steps you need to follow to leave POP3 email on the server depends on your version of Outlook.

The dialog is identical in all versions of Outlook. If your dialog does not look like the one at the right, verify your account is a POP3 email account.

In Outlook 2010 (and Outlook 2013), the default is to leave all mail on the server for 14 days. This change was made to prevent problems when people set up new accounts and wanted mail left on the server but opened Outlook before setting Outlook to leave mail on the server. Once it's downloaded by POP3, it usually can't be put back. See Restore POP3 Mail to Server for methods.

Only POP3 email can be left on the server or deleted. IMAP, Hotmail Connector, Exchange server, and EAS account types are server-based accounts and mail is always left on the server. If you want to delete the mail from the server with these account types you need to use rules to move your email to a local pst file.

Outlook 2010 / 2013

Outlook 2010/2013 users who do not want mail left on the server for 14 days will need to go into More Settings and change it.

Select the POP3 account and double click or click Change

To change the settings in Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013:

  1. Click on the File tab
  2. Click Account Settings button
  3. Double click on the POP3 account
  4. Click More Settings
  5. Click on the Advanced tab (screenshot)
  6. The ‘leave email on the server’ options are at the bottom of the dialog.

Outlook 2007

Go to Outlook 2007’s Tools, Account Settings.

With the Account Settings dialog open, select the account and click Change, then click More Settings. Look on the Advanced tab (screenshot).

Outlook 2007 More Settings Tutorial

Outlook 2002 or 2003

Tools, Email Accounts, View or change existing accounts, select the account and click Change. Click the More settings button and look on the Advanced tab.

Outlook 2002/2003 Leave on Server Tutorial

Outlook 2000 or 98 (CW)

In Corporate/Workgroup mode, the setting will be found at Tools | Services, on the Advanced tab for the Internet E-mail service.

You can retrieve items remaining on the server by using the Tools | Remote Mail command in Outlook to download and mark headers, then retrieve the marked messages.

Outlook 2000 or 98 (IMO)

In Internet Mail Only mode, the setting will be found at Tools | Accounts, on the Advanced tab for an Internet mail account.

You will not be able to use the same copy of Outlook to retrieve the retained messages. Try retrieving from Outlook running on another machine, or use a different e-mail program.

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.

11 responses to “To Leave Internet Messages on the Server”

  1. A. Kennedy

    This answer in no way resembles what is on my Microsoft Outlook 2010. It is insufficient to properly answer the question. I would like to see a step by step answer as to where I find the settings. When I find following (as best I could) the instructions in this, I reached a screen that was not the same as the one shown above. Poor answer.

  2. T. Wooley

    Worked perfectly for me. A small button I had missed trying to do it on my own! Thank you!

  3. Dan

    i have outlook 2007, i have changed the setting to 'leave the message on the server', the trouble is, every time i turn the computer off, or shut down outlook i loose the setting. how do i make it permanent.

  4. James Tyree

    I have the same problem, "I change the setting to "leave the message on the server" but it won't stick. Have the same problem with my laptop. I'm running Windows 8 on both. What is the fix?

  5. Bobbie

    There are no settings in the final box as stated above, using Outlook 2013....only has info pertaining to deleted messages and says nothing about "leave on server".

  6. Bill Shanner

    Done this many times before but never on Win8 Outlook2013. My problem is the Internet E-mail settings dialog box just does not have the delivery section. Not sure what is wrong

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