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How to Configure an Email Program to Keep a Copy of Emails on the Server

Some people use multiple programs and platforms to access their email. For example, you may use Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Eudora, MacMail on a laptop, desktop, Blackberry, iPhone, or cell phone. You may also use webmail to access your account. In this case, you may want to leave a copy of emails on the server instead of deleting them each time they're downloaded. This allows you to view a message on your laptop at work with Outlook and still be able to log in to webmail at home and view the same email message. Depending on the protocol used (POP3 or IMAP), there are two ways to leave a copy of emails on the server.

1. POP3

Your email program will provide an option to 'Keep a copy of messages on the server' (or similar). Here's how to configure this option in popular email programs.

Outlook 2003

  • Go to Tools, then Email Accounts
  • Select View or change existing email accounts, then Next
  • Double click the email account
  • Click the More settings, then go to the Advanced tab
  • Check the box that reads Leave a copy of messages on the server and choose a length of time or indefinitely
  • Click OK, Next, then Finish

Outlook Express/Outlook 2000

  • Go to Tools, then Accounts
  • Double click the email account
  • Click the Advanced tab
  • Check the box that reads Leave a copy of messages on the server and choose a length of time or indefinitely
  • Click OK, then Close

Mozilla Thunderbird, Netscape Mail

  • Go to Tools, then Account Settings
  • Go to the Server Settings section on the left under the specific email account
  • Check the box that reads Leave messages on server and choose a length of time or indefinitely
  • Click OK

Apple Mail (Mac Mail) for Mac OS X

  • Go to Mail, then Preferences
  • Click the Accounts icon and your specific email account
  • Click the Advanced tab
  • UNcheck the box that reads Remove copy from server after retrieving a message. Messages will stay on the server indefinitely. To specify a period of time to leave a copy on the server, CHECK the box and choose a length of time.
  • Click OK

Eudora 6

  • Go to Tools, then Options
  • Go to the Incoming Mail section on the left
  • Check the box on the right that reads Leave mail on server and choose a length of time or indefinitely
  • Click OK

2. IMAP

If you are using IMAP, the server will store email messages automatically and there is no option to configure in your email program. That is, email messages will always remain on the server unless you delete them. This is particularly good for people on the go using multiple programs and platforms. This method fills up your quota faster and there is no option to remove message automatically after a certain period of time. We recommend using POP3 and configuring your program to leave a copy on the server for a period of time.



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