Last reviewed on May 7, 2014   —  87 Comments

We’re seeing a lot of questions that begin like this:

I’m using Outlook 2010 and messages I send are not being saved to the “Sent Items” folder. I know they have been sent but I cannot locate them. I have checked the options and the necessary check-boxes have been checked

For most people, the sent messages are being saved correctly but not in the folder where they expected the sent item to be. Outlook 2010 (and up) changes how accounts are handled and Sent items are stored in the account’s data file.

Although not a change from past behavior, Outlook 2007 and 2010 users can configure where the sent items for IMAP email accounts are stored.

First, check your options and verify you are saving sent items. Most users will have the correct settings but you should check it just to be sure. Next, check the Sent folders in your profile.

Sent Item Options

In Outlook 2010, go to File, Options, Mail and check the Save Messages options.

Are you saving replies in the folder with the original?

If you forwarded the message, are you saving forwarded items?

Are you saving sent items?

Save Sent Items options

Find the Sent Items Folder

Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 have the ability to choose the Sent folder for IMAP accounts. Other account types save sent items in the data file where the incoming messages are stored.

If you have an IMAP account

  1. Go to File and open the Account Settings dialog in Outlook 2010; in Outlook 2007, it’s Tools, Account Settings.
  2. Double click on email account to open the Change Account dialog
  3. Click on the More Settings button to open the Internet E-Mail Settings window
  4. Select the Sent Items tab (Folders tab in Outlook 2007) and verify where you are saving sent items.

Gmail users: Note that saving sent items on the server will result in duplicate messages being saved in the sent folder because Gmail will save a copy as well. Some users report that two messages are sent, however I can’t reproduce this behavior.


If you have a POP3 account

By default, Outlook 2010 creates a separate data file for each email account, with separate Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items folders. The messages you send using each account are placed in the Sent Items folder in the data file associated with the account, not in one main sent folder.

To locate your folders, browse the folder list and look for additional Sent items folders. To make it easier to find this folder, drag it to the Favorites list at the top of the Mail navigation pane.

If you prefer, you can change where all messages for the additional POP3 accounts are placed by opening the Account Settings dialog, selecting the account and clicking the Change Folder button. We have screenshots and a tutorial at Deliver Two or More POP3 Accounts to One Data File.


  1. gary says

    The problem is on are new 2010 outlook. When we make are toolbar and at the end of the we log off, the next day we log on to outlook we have to set up the tool bar again, how do we get it to save are toolbar setting?
    Thanks Gary

    • Diane Poremsky says

      That usually means Outlook did not close correctly and it reverts to the last good set of files. Try closing Outlook and waiting a few minutes then looking in Tasks Manager, Processes tab and see if outlook.exe left running. If it's not running, restart outlook and see if your changes stuck.

  2. Ian says

    Good morning Diane - I had the problem as outlined, followed your excellent suggestion and my Sent items are now in my Sent folder!!

    However, I also have a very similar problem with Draft items - when I save a Draft of an email I am composing it is not saved in the Draft folder. No doubt there will be something simple I'm missing, but is there as equally good a solution for this problem?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Is it saved in the Inbox? That is normal under certain circumstances.

      IMAP drafts should be saved to the local drafts folders, not to the IMAP accounts drafts.

  3. paul says

    Help still required (IMAP account). Have followed all steps suggested, but sent messages still not being saved in Sent Items folder, nor are deleted messages being saved in Deleted Items folder. I can see in the Change Settings windows that the Sent Mail and Trash folders are drop-downs from my Inbox, but on the list of folders down the left when I open Outlook, there is no + next to the Inbox to allow me to open the drop-down list for more folders within the Inbox. Is this where I am getting stuck?

  4. S says

    Pre 2010 Outlook was so easy to use! Despite the instructions above, I must go to Options and click Save sent items in the Sent Items folder every time I send a message or I can't keep it in Outlook. If I don't remember each and every time, Then I have to go on the internet, forward the message, and then drag it into Outlook. I've even chosen Outlook as my default email. I don't receive any emails in Outlook anymore either. It's been frustrating and I regret my purchase of the 2010 Office Suite. Diane, if you would contact me privately through my email address instead of this forum and help me get my Outlook account working like the Pre 2010 Outlook worked, I'd really appreciate it!

  5. will says

    HI, I have followed the above setting changes with an IMAP account but i still cant save my sent items, would you be able to help with this.

  6. Thomas says

    I have everything checked as it is supposed to be, but still not saving to sent items. I am using Outlook 2010 with Office 365 Exchange, This just started today. I have made no changes to anything on my machine.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Did you reset the view on the sent folder?

      If you use the option to show in conversations and from all folders, do you see the sent messages?

      Are you using the option to save Sent items in the folder with the original?

  7. Gorlock says

    Thanks for not approving my post. I'll just call the 24x365 toll-free tech support at MS for Office 365, as opposed to you fat-ass poseurs - not that this post will appear. But at least you will know that your ghey-ass middling poseur consulting site will have lost potential business, mkay.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      I'm sorry, but I don't see any prior posts from your name or address - I approve all comments that get through the spam filter. It may take 24 hours on weekends, as I do have a real life too.

  8. chris says

    I just got it right. Thank you for your suggestion Diane Poremsky, you have been such a help. God bless you and continue to give you more wisdom.

  9. Hal says

    I switched to IMAP from a POP account so that I could sync my phone, laptop, and desk computer email. The inbox does seem to be synced but the sent items from my phone and desktop are different. Is there a way to sync these so are the same as well?

  10. Debbie says

    I have found that they are sometimes filed in the Outlook Data File folder which appears at the bottom of the folder list. However sometimes they are there and sometimes in the Sent folder associated with the email address

  11. Barbara says

    Since purchasing and installing Outlook 2010 I have had no problem with Sent Items being saved automatically in the Sent Items folder for the respective identity. But now suddenly the sent items do not show up until the next day. If I need to consult a sent message on the same day, it's not there. What happened and how can I reverse it?

  12. Mike W says

    I like to have replies saved to an archive folder where I've moved the received message and have new messages just in the "Sent Items" (ie the default). My problem is having a mix of pop and imap accounts in one instance of Outlook (2010). If I check "Save copies of messages in Sent Items" then that's good for new messages for the pop accounts but I get the imap accounts saving all replies in the Sent Items folder as well the archive (with the original message). But conversely if I don't check "Save copies of messages in Sent Items" then the imap accounts behave correctly (ie the message is only in the archive folder) but for pop all new mails I create seem "lost".

    Is there an ideal set up for have both types of account in Outlook?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Try an "after sending" rule to save sent items - I'm not sure how it needs to read to apply to all messages (maybe through specified account, except if subject has RE:), but there should be a way to make it work.

  13. Debbie says

    I followed the instructions provided, but it didn't work with this imap account that was automatically set up when I installed the new Outlook 2010 program. Between this and Windows 8, I'm ready to scream. I cannot get my sent emails to show up in the Sent folder and I can't see my deleted files, either. Very frustrating because I need to be able to access them occasionally. Please help!

  14. Kathy Mason says

    I have just moved to outlook 2010 and have two email accounts. The IMAP one works fine. The other is POP (gmail in recent mode). As I've done in the past, I set up a rule to move the emails sent from that account into the sent folder, but they are also going into the inbox. How do I get them to stop going into the inbox and only go into the sent folder?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      That sounds like typical Gmail behavior. It keeps a copy of messages sent through its server and because of the way gmail uses labels instead of folders, the sent items are in the same folder with new mail. Try setting up a rule in the account online to archive messages from your address. I haven't tested it, so it might not work... but that is my best guess right now.

  15. Kathy Mason says

    Interesting. When I used Outlook 2007 it didn't do that. And I've created the same rule I used in that version of Outlook (other than there is no longer an option to add "mark as read", so when they're dropping into the send folder, they go in as unread). Even more interesting, is that I have this account set up on my work computer (the one with 2010) and my home computer (which still has 2007). Ever since I set up this account in the 2010 version, the one at home is now putting sent emails in the inbox too. I haven't changed anything there but it's acting the same way.

  16. Melissa B. says

    Hi Diane. I am stumped trying to figure out what is happening to emails once deleted. I am using Outlook 2003 (I know stone age). If I delete an email, it goes away. I look in the Junk folder, nothing. I look in the deleted folder and nothing. The "do you want to delete permanently" message does not appear so I do not believe the settings are such that it deletes the email without sending it to the deleted folder. Now there are a handful of emails in the deleted folder from a wide range of dates. Why those were lucky enough to make it there is beyond me. But it is frustrating to accidentally delete and then not be able to retrieve. I have not found any on-line (google) help blogs that have answered the question. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What type of email account do you use? Can you find the deleted items if you use Search?

  17. Melissa B. says

    I am using gmail to link in. I cannot find the files if I search. The Deleted file under the Personal Folders shows a random number of deleted emails (nothing I deleted recently), and the Trash file in the folder shows only one email from 2010. I do not get the "this will be permanently deleted" message so this leaves me to believe they are going somewhere.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      IMAP accounts work a little differently, more so with gmail. Are you using Outlook 2010? In older versions, IMAP sent items go into the local pst file's Sent items folder. In Outlook 2007/2010, you can choose the sent folder. In Outlook 2013, the server's folder is used.

  18. Terry Harter says

    The issue I am having is with Microsoft Outlook 2010. We use IMAP. I have a user that wants his DRAFT emails to default to his IMAP DRAFT folder, whereas now they DEFAULT to the DRAFT local (personal) account. I’m starting to think there is no way to make this happen within Outlook without some kind of APP (Which I don’t want to use.). I’ve been reading around at other people solution for this, but I haven’t found any. So I thought I would through it out here. I see that Ian on March 27-2012 had the same question.


    • Diane Poremsky says

      There is no solution to this - Outlook 2010 keeps them in the local drafts. Outlook 2013 will use the IMAP drafts though.

  19. Terry Harter says

    Thank you for the fast reply. I thought that would be the case from digging around on other sites, but I wanted to ask someone who would really know. The upgrade to 2013 sounds like what I will do.

    Thanks again.

  20. Mandy says

    I am using 2007 and have no idea what's going on! My messages were saving up until a week ago in my sent items and now nothing. I've been using this account for 2 years and now it won't work. I have no idea how to fix it. I have a POP3 account. Please help! :(

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Are you syncing with a smartphone? Press Ctrl+6 to switch to the folder list - is there more than one sent folder?

  21. Byzas says

    We have similar issues (1) Outlook 2010 on one of our Macs puts sent emails into "deleted items" instead of "sent items". (2) Also "move this email" button to a set folder moves them to the junk folder instead of the pre-selected correct folder.

    So many legitimate emails are going to deleted items and junk.

    The "more settings" for chosen destination folders are correct.

    Any ideas what might be happening?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Is that Outlook 2010 running in Windows/Parallels on a Mac or Outlook 2011 for Mac?

      In either case, the list is created as you use it - default is just the simple More to Folder / Copy to folder commands. You need to delete the list and rebuild it as you use it. This has instructions for clearing the MRU list in Windows: Clear the MRU lists

  22. C. Travis says

    Please Help - I’m using Outlook 2010 and messages I send are not being saved to the “Sent Items” folder. I know they have been sent. I have checked the options and the necessary check-boxes have been checked

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What type of email account do you have configured?

      did you check the folder list to see how many Sent folders are in your profile? Ctrl+6 will open the folder list so you can check.

  23. Barbara says

    I am not savvy enough to figure out my "type of email account" or to know what it means to "[reset] the view on the sent folder." Can you give a neophyte like me a more complete reply that will enable me to fix my problem?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Sure can... just need to ask. :)

      Check your account type: File, Account Settings - to the right of the account name is the type. POP3, IMAP, Exchange, etc. If using Outlook 2007, it's Tools menu, Account Settings.

      Reset the view: Outlook 2010/2013: Open the folder where you want to reset the view. Go to View ribbon, Reset View. In Outlook 2007 and older, click on the fields above the message list, where it usually says 'arrange by' and choose customize, then reset. More information here: Reset views

  24. Barbara says

    That fixed it -- thank you so much! Today's "Sent" emails have just appeared in the Sent Items folder, without waiting until after midnight. I can't imagine why that is not the default setting; I hope if you have some influence you will urge Microsoft to go back to that method.

  25. Anthony says

    Good morning...I am using Windows XP 2007/ sent messages in Outlook are always there for viewing, however, I cannot "see" any of today's sent items...there just aren't there...I can see last night's sent items...I know they are being sent as the recipients are sending me replies and my phone is configured to receive emails...I have attempted to follow your instructions through your tutorial on addressing this problem, but I cant seem to correct it...also, the sent items are also being grouped into categories which I have not requested..such as "Three Weeks Away" etc...can you offer some advice as to how this can be corrected...please and thank you.


    • Diane Poremsky says

      Do you have a view set that hides messages that arrived today? Try resetting the view.

  26. Priya says

    Hi Diane,

    I found that my Sent Item Emails are not saved more than a week. Is there any possibility to get the emails and if so how to find it.

    Could you please help me in getting my emails back?

    Thanks in Advance!


    • Diane Poremsky says

      What type of email account do you use? POp3, IMAP, etc.
      Did you reset the view? Check your Deleted Items folder? If the sent messages are not being hidden by a view that shows only this week's sent messages and you don't have backups, they are likely gone for good. If using Exchange server, it's possible they are in deleted item recovery.

  27. ann says

    Thank you - I was directed to your site from the Help button on my Outlook 2010 and I have found the answer to my problem. What a great public service :-)

  28. Mo says

    I am using outlook 2010 and have a pop3 account. I can view Inbox, Sent Items etc. under the email address on the bar on the LHS of the screen but while the other email address attached to outlook allows me to view all items in the inbox, drafts, sent items etc. I can only see the Inbox in my pop3 account. When I click on deleted items, sent items etc. it says "There are no items to show in this view". I followed your instructions and ensured that I had the right boxes ticked in the account settings but I am still unable to view any sent items/deleted items etc. as there are none able to be viewed in the folder (according to what it says when you click on it). I even clicked on "reset the view" thinking that this might make a difference (but it didn't). Please can someone help? I am pretty technologically challenged so if you have an answer for me please make it easy to follow and idiot proof!

    • Diane Poremsky says

      When you use a pop3 account, you can only see folders you created in the local pst file. If you have folders on the server you won't see them, as pop3 is Inbox download only. You should see sent messages you sent from this outlook. Same for deleted - if you deleted it in outlook, it should be in the deleted items folder.

  29. Carol says

    Dear Diane
    Am using Outlook 2013, my one sent item keeps getting copied and send every 2 minutes to my trash..filling up the trash can. have tried all kinds of things and cant seem to stop it..Is it virus?

  30. waleed says

    Dear Diane ,
    i have outlook 2010 and windows 7 , i had strange case .
    i have user in the company i work for and he complain that there is a e-mail deleted from his sent items by someone else without log on to user computer . can this happen ? and if it does what are the tools to be used and how i can check that
    note , i am the help desk in the user company

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What version of Exchange server? Anyone with the correct permission to the user's mailbox could delete anything but it's more likely something else. Is only one message missing? Do they sync with a smartphone? There isn't any type of activity log and the last person to access the mailbox is the only information you'll have - definitely not helpful.

  31. waleed says

    Exchange server 2010, and yes its only one message missing , he has smartphone but not sync with outlook . what do you mean by permission ? on user laptop profile or it could be done on exchange server itself to delete anything from user's mailbox ?and if it can be done on user laptop with out login to what is the tool that can be used for it

    • Diane Poremsky says

      In order for someone to delete a message, they need access to his computer or Exchange permissions to open his inbox or mailbox from their computer. Right click on the folder, choose properties then permissions. If no one has delete permission, they could only delete it if they were on the user's computer.

  32. nopnop says

    I'm enabled in send on behalf on a shared mailbox. This shared mailbox is configured in outlook as additional mailbox. When I create a new messagge in outlook 2010 and change the folder FROM with the additional mailbox address, all it's ok. The mail is saved in Sent Items of additional mailbox. If I use the function Save & send in word 2010 and change the "FROM" folder, the email is saved in my personal mailbox. Is there a setting to do to save in sent items of additional mailbox?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      No, unfortunately, you can't change that. The Send to command brings up the email at a point later in the new message process and it can't pick up the current account.

  33. Nikki Ochtman says

    I have Outlook as part of Office Home and Business 2010. For some reason since yesterday evening my sent messages are not being saved in my Sent folder - but this only applies to one of my 3 POP email addresses (my private one; the two work ones are still saving sent messages there).

  34. Emran says


    my case is close to the title, they only difference is that when i send an email it will be placed in Outbox folder, please note that email will be received by the destinantion...

    i tried to repair my office 2010, also insured the checkboxes mentioned here but it didn't work

    please help me, since i want my sent emails to be in Sent Folder

    • Diane Poremsky says

      So it stays in the outbox instead of moving to the sent folder? What type of email account - IMAP, POP3, Exchange, ? Which version of Outlook?

  35. Keith says

    Hello Diane,

    This week i noticed my Outlook 2010 client (with Exchange Server 2010 account) is duplicating emails from my DRAFTS folder to the RECOVER DELETED ITEMS (Deletions) folder by itself.

    I discovered this when I had sent out an email and found the same email but with incomplete message in the RECOVER DELETED ITEMS. The completed message email appears in my SENT ITEMS folder as expected but i did not expect one to appear in the RECOVER DELETED ITEMS.

    I am using Retention Policy on my Exchange Server but I do not think it is applied to the DRAFTS folder. Thank you.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      The retention policy would not apply. I wouldn't expect a draft copy to go into the recover deleted folder but it could if you are using multiple computers - a second computer that had a cached copy could add it to the recover deleted items when it updated it's cache.

  36. Keith says

    Hi Diane,
    I do not have a second computer but am using Exchange ActiveSync feature with my Samsung android mobile device. I do not think the Exchange ActiveSync feature is causing the problem as my colleagues are facing the same problem and their accounts do not have the Exchange ActiveSync feature enable.
    I noticed if i am composing a long email or takes more than 20 minutes to write and send an email, a duplicate copy of the email will be found in the RECOVER DELETED ITEMS. Thanks.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      I'll test it and see what is going on. Microsoft will probably say its expected behavior. :)

  37. Keith says

    I have re-check the timing again. It seems if i take more than 3 minutes to compose and send an email then a duplicate copy is made. If less than 2 minutes than there is no duplicate.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      That makes sense - the drafts time is 3 minutes. So when it saves the draft, it is deleting the old draft and replacing it with the new one. Yeah, it should just update the copy, but cached mode often sees changed items as new.

  38. Keith says

    Do you think it is a normal behaviour for Outlook 2010 Client to keep copy of a mail in the RECOVER DELETED ITEMS location when the mail is only sent after more than 3 minutes?
    I have tested on another Exchange server and are getting the same result.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Yes, I think it is, especially with cached mode. The draft was deleted when the message was sent.

  39. Ryan says

    As per usual, the issue I was having was related to having to "turn on" saving sent items even though I had gone into the account settings and set it to save them on the IMAP folder of choice. One caveat to your directions... My company uses Gmail, but some of my vendors' mail servers would reject my emails because they were coming from Gmail's SMTP server and possibly also because my address in outlook is on our company domain, not Gmail automatically saves outgoing messages to the Sent Mail folder as long as you use their SMTP server with authentication. To avoid emails being rejected, I used our ISP's SMTP server, which meant Gmail no longer saved a copy of my sent emails and I had to enable it through the various settings mentioned here.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      On the rejected email - does your company have SPF records and domain keys published? That usually solves the smtp server issues.

  40. Arthur Hernandez says

    Hello Diane,
    For the past two weeks, something weird is happening when I resend an email in Outlook 2007. The email is sent to the person but a copy also goes to my draft folder. I have checked the settings but found nothing strange. This started approx. two weeks go. Have you ever heard of this happening?

  41. klemunyon says


    I just got a new laptop running Windows 7. I am using Outlook 2013 for my
    Gmail; previously I used the Gmail web interface.

    I've been able to get Outlook set up so outgoing messages sent from Outlook Gmail appear in my Outlook Gmail sent box, but I can't figure out how to get all my OLDER Sent messages to appear in my Outlook sent box as well. What's really odd is that my Outlook Gmail Inbox is fine - showing all my inbound messages both before and after this new computer was purchased.

    Can you help? Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      The Account is configured as IMAP? Messages in Gmail's Sent folder should be in your profile under [Gmail] folder - in the Sent Mail folder.

  42. Kathy says

    Yes, that's what I'm trying to get, but my older "sent" messages aren't appearing there. For some reason, they aren't syncing correctly, but I know they're still on the server because I can see them in the web interface for Gmail. I am using IMAP. Thx!

  43. Rohit Dixit says

    Dear Diane, i am using microsoft outlook 2007,but after sending the mails to any one,those mails are not reflected in sent items from 2 weeks back,So kindly suggest me for the same.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      The inbox uses the sender's display name, the sent folder uses the name & address as its stored in the autocomplete cache or in contacts for the To field. In most cases this is the same as how its shown in the inbox, but not always. It's also possible to use a custom field and display the email address, but you need to set it up.

  44. Claudia says

    Thank you! I KNEW this couldn't be difficult but just couldn't figure it out. Your instructions were easy to follow.

  45. Scott Behrends says

    Diane, thank you for all of your posts and answered questions! I have been able to figure out how to view my sent emails on my computer now. My question: Is there a way to save the sent emails on my computer AND on the server?

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      What type of email account? What version of Outlook? You can use a rule or a macro to keep a copy in a second folder. (When you use imap, Exchange, or, a copy of the sent item is stored on the computer - in the Synced sent items folder.)

  46. Dave Thillen says

    Thank you for helping solve my issue with Outlook 2010 Sent File not showing sent messages. Your solution for IMAP users worked.

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