Using IMAP through Outlook

Subscribing to Folders

When using IMAP, our server only shows you new messages in folders which you are "subscribed." By default, the only subscribed folder is the inbox.

Saving a copy of Sent Messages

Outlook does not save a copy of sent messages automatically. To set this up, you need to create a custom filter, and apply that filter to all outgoing messages.

Purging Deleted Items

When you delete a message over IMAP, it isn't actually deleted, only marked for deletion. You have to "purge" or "expunge" the folder in order to truly delete the marked messages. Most mail clients do this automatically, but Outlook does not as of Office 2010.

You have two options for purging your marked messages:

  1. You can purge them manually when you get sick of looking at them.
  2. You can configure Outlook to do it automatically whenever you switch folders or exit the program.


A manual purge is performed similarly in all recent versions of Outlook. Select the folder (e.g. your Inbox), and on the menu choose Edit→Purge→Purge Marked Items in All Accounts. The option may be named slightly different in some versions, but you should still be able to pick it out of a line-up.


The second option is almost always preferable. The instructions are different in each version.

Outlook 2010 and 2007
  1. Click a folder in your IMAP e-mail account.
  2. On the Edit menu, point to Purge Deleted Messages.
  3. Click Purge Options.
  4. On the General tab, under Purge Options, select the Purge items when switching folders while online check box.
Outlook 2003

Sorry, you're out of luck. If you aren't married to Outlook for other reasons, consider using the (free) Mozilla Thunderbird.