Don’t re-download all emails

I installed Outlook on my new machine and transfered the emails that I had downloaded already. I have Outlook set to leave a copy on the server but now that I have reconfigured Outlook with my email account, it starts to download all the emails again. How can I prevent this?

When starting with a new mail profile (which gets created when you configure your new computer), Outlook is unaware of what has been downloaded already by another mail profile. That is why Outlook starts to download all the messages again.

Some mail servers allow you to set a date from which emails are being offered to a POP3 client or allow you to set the option to download from the current day onwards.

For instance, Gmail can do this in the following way;

  1. Logon to the web based version of Gmail here.
  2. Click the Settings link in the right top corner.
  3. Select the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab.
  4. Set the option: Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on.
  5. Press: Save Changes

If your web based mail account doesn’t provide such an option, and you still want to leave the messages on the server, then you can move all the emails that you do not want to download again to a different folder on the server. As POP3 only offers messages from the main Inbox, Outlook can’t see the other messages so it won’t download them again either.

Some web based mail accounts also offer an Archiving option which makes moving your items to another folder on the server much easier.

Note 1: Since there are so many different web based mail clients and even more different options been made available, you should contact your ISP or mail administrator and ask about the options available to you when in doubt.

Note 2: If you are receiving the same mails over and over again, take a look at this guide instead.

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