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TECHNOLOGY Q&A

Check it or leave it

 

By J. Carlton Collins
May 2012

Q: I check my email using Outlook 2010 at work and Outlook 2007 at home. My email accounts are set up using POP3, and the problem is that, when I read email on one computer, those email messages then do not show up on the other computer. Having my email messages scattered across two computers in two locations is inefficient and frustrating. Is there an easy solution?

A: If you read email from more than one computer, you can set the less frequently used computer’s Outlook settings to leave a copy of the email on the email server so the other computer(s) can also pick up the message, as follows (please note that this process applies to POP3 accounts, not those on Microsoft Exchange or other IMAP accounts):

1. In Outlook 2010, from the File tab, select File, Info, Account Settings, Account Settings (again). In Outlook 2007 and 2003, select File, Data File Management.

2. In the Account Settings dialog box E-mail tab, select your email account and click Change.

3. In the Change Account (or Change E-Mail Accounts) dialog box, click the More Settings button. Next, on the Internet E-mail Settings dialog box’s Advanced tab, under the Delivery section, place a check in the box titled Leave a copy of messages on the server. Also, place a check in the box titled Remove from server after and specify 3 days in the spinner, then click OK, Next, Close, Finish, Close (or OK, Next, Finish, Close in Outlook 2007 and 2003).

Afterward, each message read from your less frequently used computer will remain on your email server for three additional days before it is deleted, providing adequate time for that message to also be read (and archived) by your primary computer system.

This approach will provide you with a complete record of all messages on your primary computer system. Applying the same setting adjustment on your primary computer will ensure that both computers accumulate all received messages. You may consider blind copying all of your email replies to yourself as well, so those replies can also be accessed from either computer.

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