Copper Contributor

My outlook is set up with IMAP but I constantly lose old mails. What do i do? 

3 Replies



I am an independent advisor responding to Outlook inquiries.


Since you indicated that old emails are disappearing, please check the Retention Assigned Policies. These policies may be auto archiving or deleting your messages based on a timeframe. The retention default setting is two years.


Outlook Online

Right-click on Inbox, Select Assign Policy and Review what is checked.

Use parent folder policy is usually the default retention setting unless it has been changed.  

For a work/school account, check with your IT department about the retention set dates.







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Do they disappear by age ? Go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings. Double click on the account - what is the sync setting?

Are the missing messages still available in web mail?

Are you using more than one device to read mail? If so, and if you delete mail there, it will be deleted from all devices.

As an FYI, IMAP doesn't have retention policies - that is a Microsoft Exchange feature.

@Diane Poremsky 



Hello Ma'am,

Thanks for responding.

The missing emails are no longer in the webmail.

Yes, emails are viewed on about 7 or 8 devices.

If I delete a mail on one device, it gets deleted on another device.


If IMAP doesn't have retention policies, should I switch to POP3 instead?