Read POP3 e-mail messages on multiple computers

By default, when you download new messages from a POP3 (POP3: A common protocol that is used to retrieve e-mail messages from an Internet e-mail server.) e-mail account (e-mail account: The server name, user name, password, and e-mail address used by Outlook to connect to an e-mail service. You create the e-mail account in Outlook by using information provided by your administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).), the messages are deleted from the POP3 mail server. If you check your POP3 e-mail account from different computers by using the default Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 POP3 settings, the computer that downloads a new e-mail message is the only location where the message is stored. The message is no longer on the POP3 mail server when you connect from another computer.

To view your messages from different computers, you can choose to download a copy of new e-mail messages and not delete them from the POP3 mail server.

What do you want to do?


Download a copy of the messages and leave them on the POP3 mail server

Downloading a copy of your messages can be useful if you check your POP3 e-mail account from multiple profiles or computers. For example, you can download a copy of the messages on both your work and home computers and then delete them from the POP3 mail server.

 Note   E-mail messages that you send are saved in the Sent Items folder in Outlook only on the computer from which they are sent. You cannot access the Sent Items folder of one computer from your other computers that run Outlook. Consider including your e-mail address in the Bcc box so that you can download the messages that you send on another computer.


Multiple computers downloading POP3 e-mail messages

Callout 1 When you connect to your POP3 mail server from your laptop computer, a copy of your new e-mail messages is downloaded to Outlook.
Callout 2 When you connect from your work computer, a copy of your new e-mail messages is downloaded to Outlook.
Callout 3 When you connect from your home computer, a copy of your new e-mail messages is downloaded to Outlook.
Callout 4 Because the Leave a copy of messages on the server check box is not selected in Outlook on your home computer, a command is sent from Outlook to the POP3 mail server instructing it to delete the messages that you just downloaded. No other copy of Outlook can now download these messages from the POP3 mail server.

On each computer where you want to read your e-mail messages but not save them permanently, do the following:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Account Settings.

ShowThe Account Settings command is missing

The Account Settings command is on the Tools menu in Office Outlook 2007. If you are using an earlier version of Outlook, the following instructions do not apply. Use the Help that is included with that product. If the title bar of the program that you are using displays Outlook Express, you are using a program that is not the same as Outlook. See the Help in Outlook Express for assistance.

  1. Under Name, select the POP3 e-mail account that you want to change, and then click Change.

 Note   If your profile does not contain a Microsoft Exchange account, your messages are stored on your computer in a Personal Folders file (.pst) (Personal Folders file (.pst): Data file that stores your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for e-mail messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.). However, if your profile contains both an Exchange account and a POP3 e-mail account, and the default setting is to deliver all new messages to your mailbox on the server running Exchange, your downloaded POP3 messages are stored in your Exchange account. Any profile that you use on any computer that has access to your Exchange mailbox will be able to see the previously downloaded POP3 e-mail messages.

  1. Click More Settings.
  2. Click the Advanced tab, and then under Delivery, select the Leave a copy of messages on the server check box.

You can also select whether to automatically delete messages from your e-mail server after a specified number of days, when you delete the item on your computer, or when the Deleted Items folder is emptied. These settings might help prevent you from exceeding the maximum mailbox size set by your Internet service provider (ISP) (ISP: A business that provides access to the Internet for such things as electronic mail, chat rooms, or use of the World Wide Web. Some ISPs are multinational, offering access in many locations, while others are limited to a specific region.).

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Get new messages manually    
      • On the Tools menu, point to Send/Receive, point to the POP3 e-mail account, and then click Inbox.
    • Get new messages automatically    
  1. On the Tools menu, point to Send/Receive, point to Send/Receive Settings, and then click Define Send/Receive Groups.

Keyboard shortcut  To open the Send/Receive Groups dialog box, press CTRL+ALT+S.

  1. Under Group Name, select a group that contains your POP3 e-mail account, and then under Setting for group name, select the Schedule an automatic send/receive every n minutes check box. Enter a number between 1 and 1440. The latter number schedules an automatic send/receive once daily.
  2.  Note   If you have not created custom Send/Receive groups, select the All Accounts group.

Your POP3 e-mail server will be checked and new messages will be downloaded according to the schedule that you specified.

 Note   Most ISPs have a size limit on your POP3 mailbox. If you do not delete items from the server, your account will eventually exceed the amount allotted by your ISP, preventing additional messages from being received, and you can possibly incur additional charges. For more information, contact your ISP.

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Download messages and delete them from the POP3 mail server

On the computer where you want to save the e-mail messages, you will configure Outlook to download the messages and delete them from the mail server. After you use this computer to check your e-mail messages, the other computers will no longer be able to download the messages.

  1. If you have not added the POP3 account to the Outlook profile, add it now.
    1. On the Tools menu, click Account Settings.

ShowThe Account Settings command is missing

The Account Settings command is on the Tools menu in Office Outlook 2007. If you are using an earlier version of Outlook, the following instructions do not apply. Use the Help that is included with that product. If the title bar of the program that you are using displays Outlook Express, you are using a program that is not the same as Outlook. See the Help in Outlook Express for assistance.

  1. On the E-mail tab, click New, select Microsoft Exchange, POP3, IMAP, or HTTP, and then click Next.
  2. Click POP3, and then click Next.
  3. Enter your name, e-mail address, and password in the corresponding text boxes.
  1. Do one of the following:
  • Get new messages manually    
    • On the Tools menu, point to Send/Receive, point to the account, and then click Inbox.
  • Get new messages automatically    
  1. On the Tools menu, point to Send/Receive, point to Send/Receive Settings, and then click Define Send/Receive Groups.

Keyboard shortcut  To open the Send/Receive Groups dialog box, press CTRL+ALT+S.

  1. Under Group Name, select a group that contains your POP3 e-mail account, and then under Setting for group name, select the Schedule an automatic send/receive every n minutes check box. Enter a number between 1 and 1440. The latter number schedules an automatic send/receive once daily.
  2.  Note   If you have not created any custom Send/Receive groups, select the All Accounts group.

Your POP3 e-mail server will be checked and new messages will be downloaded according to the schedule that you specified.

 Tip   If you want to access new messages on any computer, an alternative is to use the steps to download a copy of the messages and leave them on the POP3 server on all your computers. When you select the Leave a copy of messages on the server check box, also select the Remove from server after n days check box. This allows you to check your mail from any computer within the specified number of days. Mail is deleted from the POP3 mail server after the time limit is exceeded.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007