Suspend reception of emails

Is it possible to suspend the reception of emails while staying on-line?

Working off-line isn't an option for me as I still need access to non-cached on-line data like Public Folders and shared folders.

There are 2 methods possible to do this depending on your needs;

  1. Never have Outlook automatically receive email
  2. Temporarily enable/disable the automatic reception of email

Never have Outlook automatically receive mail

If you never want Outlook to automatically receive your emails, then you can disable that in your send/receive settings;
Tools-> Options…-> tab Mail Setup-> button Send/Receive…-> disable the option: Schedule an automatic send/receive every x minutes

You can then still read on-line data and press the Send/Receive button to receive your emails.

Temporarily enable/disable the automatic reception of email

If you only want to disable the automatic reception of email for a short period of time (it really helps with concentrating on other things when you receive a lot of email!), then you can do this via the command “Disable Scheduled Send/Receive”;
Tools-> Send/Receive-> Send/Receive Settings-> Disable Scheduled Send/Receive

When you are ready to receive emails again, simply select that option again.
If you only want to quickly check for emails a single time, you can still press the Send/Receive button while your mail is being suspended.

Make it a button!

To easily view if you have suspended your emails or just for quick access to the option, I recommend adding it as a button to your Outlook toolbar;

  1. View-> Toolbars-> Customize-> tab Commands
  2. Select “Tools” in the Categories section
  3. Find the option “Disable Scheduled Send/Receive” in the Commands list
  4. Drag and drop it from the open dialog box to your preferred location on the toolbar
  5. Close the open dialog

Note 1: Optionally you can change the text and/or display an icon for the option (I recommend the coffee cup!) so it will take up less space on your Toolbar. For more instructions about how to customize the toolbars in Outlook, see this guide.

Note 2: This option applies to all account types; not just Exchange. However, for POP3 or IMAP accounts, there is little difference between this option and the option to work offline (in the File menu) when you have your Send/Receive settings set to always receive full items and not just headers.

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