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Always download full items in IMAP mode / MS Outlook 2003 – 2010

You are using your account as an IMAP account and noticed that it will only download the message when you actually click on the message.

This can be very annoying when you are not connected to the Internet at that time.

How can I configure it so that it will directly download the message in full without clicking on it first?

Up until Outlook 2007, by default an IMAP account will indeed be set to “Download headers only”.

With Outlook 2010, this default has changed to “Download complete item including attachments”.

You can change these default settings in your Send/Receive settings.

Send/Receive settings

To edit your Send/Receive settings, press CTRL+ALT+S and press the Edit… button.
Another way of reaching this dialog is through:

  • Outlook 2007 and previous

    Tools-> Options…-> tab Mail Setup-> button Send/Receive…-> Edit…

  • Outlook 2010

    File-> section Options-> section Advanced-> button Send/Receive…-> Edit…

If you have multiple accounts configured, select your IMAP account in the left column.

Configure download behavior

How to configure the download behavior depends on your version of Outlook and your desired settings.

  • Outlook 2003 and previous

    In the Folder Options section, select a folder and change the option from from “Download headers only” to “Download complete item including attachments”.

    You’ll have to do this for each individual folder, there is no way to change this for all folders at once.

  • Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010

    Under “Receive mail items” you can change the download method for all folders at once.
    If you want to control it on a per-folder basis, then you’ll have to select the option “Use the custom behavior defined below”.

If you need any help in do a proper set up of your MS Outlook or other Microsoft products, please contact us and we will assist you.