Change the number of days Outlook keeps email on the server

Emails for you arrive at the server. Outlook then retrieves them off the server ... but sometimes it doesn't remove the copy on the server. - This could be handy if you want more than one device / computer to get copies of the emails from the server - This could also be a real problem because if emails are never cleared off the server it becomes full and new emails get rejected
  1. On the Tools menu, click E-mail Accounts (for Outlook 2010 or newer, go to File > Info > Email Accounts).
  2. Click View or change existing e-mail accounts, and then click Next.
  3. Select your ISP account, and then click Change.
  4. Click More Settings.
  5. Click the Advanced tab, and under Delivery, select the Leave a copy of messages on the server check box.
  6. Choose how long you want to leave emails on the server ... 7 days  could be a good starting point

Select one of the following options:

  • Remove from server after x days E-mail messages are downloaded to your computer but remain on the e-mail server for the number of days that you specify. This is the most common setting for people who want to read their messages at work but also download them for permanent storage on their home computer. We recommend that you choose the smallest number of days that suits your needs. The longer you leave messages on your e-mail server, the greater the risk of exceeding your mailbox size quota.
  • Remove from server when deleted from 'Deleted Items' E-mail messages are downloaded to your computer but also remain on the e-mail server indefinitely until you delete the e-mail message in Outlook and empty the Deleted Items folder. Just deleting the message doesn't remove the message from the e-mail server.
  • Click OK, and then click Finish.

If you do not select either check box, messages are left on the server indefinitely. You will eventually exceed your mailbox quota. You can also delete mail by using webmail, which can be accessed by going to and entering your full email address and password. Deleting emails from here will remove them from the server forever, which will free up space for you.