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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.

Update: Outlook 2010 stores the download history in the pst-file itself and should not re-download the mails when you configured Outlook to download your mails to your existing pst-file instead of a new one.

Set download date for POP3 via web mail

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 Gear icon in the top right corner and choose Mail settings.
  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

Note: 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.

Move to a different folder on the mail server

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.

Removing the duplicates

To remove the duplicates from your pst-file, you add the “Modified” column to your view and sort your mail by that column. As all the re-downloaded emails were downloaded at about the same time, they should now nicely group together and should be easy to remove.

Another way to go would be to use a duplicate remover add-in.

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



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