Why won't deleted messages delete from the server after I've emptied my deleted folders.


  • I have three computers all using Outlook 2010. I want to remove messages from the server as soon as I delete and then empty my Deleted Items folder. In Internet Email Settings under the Advanced Tab, I have checked "Remove from server when deleted from "Deleted Items".

    This seems to have no effect, ie, I still get all these deleted messages on my other two computers later when I check mail even though this is checked  and I either click shift-delete the messages or empty the deleted messages manually. Is it the ISP or how do I delete a messaged from the server?

    Thanks! advance

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 6:53 PM


  • Hi,

    It depends on HOW (or WHERE) you deleted an item. If you delete an item from a folder (other than the Deleted Items folder), it does not get deleted. Instead it gets *moved* into the Deleted Items folder. If you delete an item from the Deleted Items folder then it gets its status changed to "deleted" and Outlook will not show delete-marked items. If you use Shift+Del on an item in any folder, the item's status also gets changed to "deleted" and becomes hidden in Outlook. When you compact your message store, all delete-marked items are physically purged from the .pst file.

    As to whether the item remains on server depends on whether you selected to use their POP or IMAP interface. Normally when using POP, whether the item remains on the server depends on whether you left the default config of "leave on server" disabled (which deletes the item from the server after retrieving it) or enabled (which does not delete the item from the server after retrieving it). For example, Google doesn't follow RFC standards and emulates POP which has side effects. In Gmail, you can configure what happens when you access your account using POP (Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP). You could configure it to leave the message on the server (and ignore the DELETE command that the e-mail client normally sends after retrieving an e-mail). You have 3 choices for POP handling at Gmail: delete Gmail's copy, keep Gmail's copy in the Inbox, archive Gmail's copy (into the All Mail folder). IMAP keeps the local and server folders in sync, so deleting an item locally also deletes it on the server; however, deleting will not remove the archived copy in the All Mail folder but deleting from the Spam or Trash folders will permanently delete the item.

    So whether or not an item gets permanently deleted (and not have an archived copy in the All Mail folder) depends on how you configure your account.

    Any problem feel free to post back.

    Tony Chen

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012 6:09 AM