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Outlook 2007 downloading 5000+ old emails

Posted on 2010-11-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
For apparently no reason today when I opened Outlook 2007 the program started downloading 5700+ emails that were on the comcast.net server. These emails had already been downloaded to my WIN XP computer and now the program was acting as if it never downloaded them.

My solution was to close Outlook, go online to comcast.net and delete all my old emails from the in-box. But you can only delete one screen at a time so it takes quite a while to delete everything manually.

Does anyone know why this happened and how I can prevent this from happening in the future? Comcast seems to feel it is a setting in Outlook that reminds or resets something so that every 10 months or so it downloads everything. Or another program could have changed a setting in Outlook.
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Question by:mfriend
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Expert Comment

by:dmeeren
ID: 34167258
You can tell outlook to download the emails and leave the message's also on the server. I figure this has happenened. So configure your email client that ist will download and delete the emails from the server.
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Expert Comment

by:patterned
ID: 34167341
While in Outlook 2007, click Tools/Options.
Click on the tab "Mail Setup".
Click the Send/Receive button.

With the "All Accounts" group selected click "Edit".

Under the Account Options, click the radio button "Use the custom behavior defined below".
Click on your inbox and on the right side make sure the "Download headers only" radio button is selected.
Double check that your Inbox folder is the only box selected.

From now on put old emails into a separate folder below your Inbox.  Outlook will never poll for those messages in that account again.

Outlook should have never polled for all of the mail (if you already had the mail downloaded on that account).  The only thing I could guess is Comcast messed up and changed timestamps on your emails, which caused Outlook at repoll them...

??
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Author Comment

by:mfriend
ID: 34167422
What does "poll for those messages in that account" mean?
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Expert Comment

by:patterned
ID: 34168542
Exactly what it says.

It will check and see if new messages exist in the account/folder you have checked.
If you tell it not to poll for messages, it will never download them because it never asks.
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Author Comment

by:mfriend
ID: 34169543
After I click 'edit" I do not see any radio button that says "use the custom behavior defined below"

In fact I do not see any Account Options. I do see Properties though.
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Accepted Solution

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patterned earned 2000 total points
ID: 34173118
That means you are pulling your email via POP3.  You can change the Folder Options there to "Download headers only" if you would like.  This means a very small download of the email and will only download the full email when you first open the message.

Comcast probably messed up and changed some timestamps like I said earlier.  Not sure as I don't have access.  They are obviously keeping the a copy of the mail on their side (good for you in the long run).  If you want to remove those messages, Outlook does provide a way to do this (granted Comcast's server responds to these commands).

Go to Tools/Account Settings.
Highlight your comcast account and click "Change..."
Click "More Settings" on the bottom right.
Click the "Advanced" tab
On the bottom Check the "Leave a copy of messages on the server"
Then click "Remove from server after X Days"
Also check "Remove from server when deleted from 'Deleted Items'"
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