We have an IMAP account with years of back history in it, and I can see and search all the old messages from the mail host's webmail page. However, when we configure an IMAP connection in Microsoft Outlook, we only see the messages created since the day we set it up. Of course we need to see and search the old emails, not just the new ones...

This seems like it should be obvious, like there should be a configuration for it ("Show X days of history"), but I can't find anything in the GUI nor with lots of Googling. Help?

2 Answers 2


It sounds like OutLook is only pulling items it sees as new. Try this, close OutLook. From the webclient send yourself an e-mail. Read the e-mail from the web. Open up OutLook and see if it pulls the message.

You can also try going back and marking one of the old e-mails that isn't showing up as Unread (through the webclient). Open up OutLook and see if it pulls the message. If it pulls the new message, go mark the old stuff as Undread and you'll have your e-mail.

  • 1
    Good point... not exactly the answer, but it led me to it. It turns out that the user's BlackBerry had decided to move 2,000 old emails into the 'Trash' folder. Since the messages were still there, searches in the webmail showed them. To see them in IMAP I just needed to subscribe to that folder (or move them back into the Inbox).
    – ewall
    Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 15:19

What were you viewing the account with previously? It sounds like what you would experience if you had been downloading the emails through a POP3 account previously, because typically you would ahve it set to delete the mails downloaded. So accessing the account through an email client would show you all the mails ever downloaded, but once you switch to IMAP, you would only see the emails on the server, which would only be the ones you had received since you began using the IMAP client.

  • They already said they can see all the messages via a webmail client, so it doesn't sound like they downloaded all their messages via POP. Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 19:55
  • Sorry, miss the mention of webmail, which is why I asked a question to clarify.
    – AaronLS
    Commented Aug 25, 2009 at 1:55

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