Messages Aren't Saved in the Sent Items Folder

Last reviewed on December 30, 2013

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.

imap-sent-items

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.

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.

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