When I create a new Outlook profile and re-add POP account, Outlook starts to redownload old messages from POP server if Outlook had previously configured with "Leave messages on server" setting. This occurs even when the very same PST file is used as message store.

I would like to know, where does Outlook keep the information associated with "Leave messages on the server" setting. And if there is a way to "cheat" Outlook into thinking that it has already downloaded these mails (when I use the same PST from it's older install instance).


Instead of trying to cheat POP3 on Outlook, why not use a more robust mail-syncing protocol like IMAP. That way you can more closely control which messages are downloaded (in decent clients/applications) and mail state is synchronised back to the server and between clients.

  • The problem is that Outlook is already set up with POP (not by me). Another problem is that there are a lot of emails and Outlook + IMAP + a lot of mails = sloow. – Henno Nov 19 '11 at 11:57
  • That could be alleviated by moving all emails out of the inbox and into other folders, Then only using the inbox for emails still to be dealt with or ones that are cared about – Ashley Nov 20 '11 at 19:34
  • The user is an accountant and has many email accounts for different client companies. The user was receiving 0x80004002 error and for solving that I had performed Detect and Repair procedure in Outlook which, as it turned out, wiped out all e-mail accounts, too. So I re-created them but discovered that Outlook wanted to re-download all the old mail which was already downloaded and carefully sorted to various folders by the user. Switching to IMAP would not have helped here at all. And the servers she's using probably don't have very big storage quota either so IMAP is out of the question. – Henno Nov 21 '11 at 6:07

Outlook keeps the information associated with "Leave messages on the server" in the .PST file (for versions after 2000). However the information is linked to the specific email account via a unique ID. When you recreate an email account (in the same or in a new profile) then it gets assigned a different unique ID from the original email account

Hence, although the .PST file contains the information it cannot be linked to the email account as the IDs don't match.

I have found a piece of software called MoBackup ( www.mobackup.com ) which allows you to backup your email account info and "restore" it to a new profile or new PC with the same ID as the original account. (using their "Restore Outlook Profile 1:1" option)

You only need to do this once and you can then copy the .PST file to the new PC / Profile and all "Leave messages on the server" information is preserved.

Note that MoBackup won't restore the passwords assoicated with your email accounts (citing security reasons) so you need to re-input the passwords after the restore.

If you want to use MoBackup to copy email account information from one PC to another (and keep the same unique ID), then the version of Outlook on both PCs has to be the same.

I have tested this on Outlook 2007 and it works brilliantly.

The software is not free but worth the money I reckon.

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