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Outlook Setting "Leave a copy of mmessages on the server"

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
  This question was brought up in a round about way from another question. Outlook has the setting "leave a copy of mmessages on the server". The intent is simple. Leave it there so I can check it from other computers, phones, whatever and receive the e-mails at different locations.

   My question would be once I have checked and received e-mails from one computer (in Outlook) how does Outlook know not to re-download them again? Is it some flag in Outlook like "do not download duplicate e-mails"?

   It sure looks like it is all Outlook. If you look at the sub-options to "Leave a copy of messages on the server" they are 1) Remove from server after XX days and 2) Remove from server when deleted from 'deleted items'

   Outlook must be doing a whole lot of checking behing the scenes. The original question was... if I set up a new Outlook profile is there any way I can keep from receiving e-mails that were left on the server but already received by another profile. My guess would be no but I think it would all depend on how Outlook knows if it already received a particular e-mail. If it kept track by some "database" I suppose you could copy that "database" to another profile. Exactly how does it work?
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Question by:jimbecher
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Bidonet earned 250 total points
ID: 36504078
It dependa on the mail server you are using. Are using Microsof TOutlook in a Microsoft Exchange environment?

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by:jimbecher
ID: 36504154
  For the purpose of this discussion I kind of want to limit it to using Outlook (2003,2007) connecting to a good old, generic  ISP POP3 account.
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by:jimbecher
ID: 36504194
In searching I found an answer as far as Outlook Express goes. It is what I am looking for but with respect to Outlook:

http://superuser.com/questions/45538/where-does-outlook-express-keep-a-mark-of-emails-downloaded-using-pop3-protocol
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by:Bidonet
ID: 36504214
Using any mail client you have the opportunity to leave the messages on the pop3 server but this only tells the server to keep the message there and synchronize it with the local client. the client can be anything, outlook, outlook express, thunderbird, windows mail and even online mail client like gmail and all have the option to leave the messages on the server.

Your ISP server is keeping the message until one client has told him to deleted it.

The mail client keeps track of which email it has downloaded or not.
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by:jimbecher
ID: 36504332
  We are dancing all around it. "The mail client keeps track of which email it has downloaded or not". I am explicitly asking how Outlook keeps track. If you follow the link above it explicity tells you how Outlook Express keeps track. I am looking for the same explaination but with respect to Outlook.
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by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 250 total points
ID: 36504546
Outlook keeps info in the registry about the Outlook Profile including which emails it has / has not downloaded.

You can export / import the relevant registry section from one computer to another and it will not re-download emails that it has downloaded before, but as to the specific key / section in the registry, I'm not 100% sure.
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by:jimbecher
ID: 36504586
You got what I am going after. I am trying to create a new Outlook profile but copy the "already downloaded" from the old profile. I just need the specfics.....
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by:Bidonet
ID: 36504642
Profiles in the registry are located here:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles
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by:Bidonet
ID: 36504665
You might want to copy files from there also:

C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 36504708
The registry key above should suffice.  Export that and Import it to another computer and copy the .PST file and you should be good to go.
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 36505324
Oh well - that's a shame.
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by:Bidonet
ID: 36505347
If you need to move an Outlook profile to another computer and prevent all emails to be duplicated, Once the pst is transfered, you can redirect all new downloaded mails to a subfolder then deleted it afterwards.
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by:jimbecher
ID: 36505764
  What fun! I think all those "Outlook MVPs" in the above link need to find another job! I played around with the registry settings and the pst and it looks like you have to preserve both. It isn't just the pst. More the registry settings but ...

   Bottom line is to tell the dude who really initially asked the question to simply redownload the e-mails that were already downloaded in the other profile and DEAL WITH IT.

Thanks guys!
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