Synchronizing mails by exporting/importing pst files works great, but my problem is that because pst files contain no account information, outlook starts downloading all mails from all POP3 accounts again.

Is there any way to control where Outlook should start downloading POP3 e-mails from? I know that GMail has an option to set a date for this, but not all e-mail providers offer this. Or is there maybe a way to export/import account details which contain the status of POP3 downloads?

(The scenario for this is that I have two systems (stationary pc and laptop) and each time after restoring a backup on one of the systems, I can't get any new mails until all older ones have been downloaded (and deleted), which takes about 2-3 days.)

  • Please update your question. How old are the backups you are restoring? What procedure are you using to backup/restore? Say you have a 7 day old backup. Once you restore it do you want to download messages from the past 7 days or from today on? Also, have you considered not leaving the messages on the server since you potentially have a copy of them on two computers already? – Jeremy W Jun 14 '12 at 3:34
  • Backups are about 1 month old. Once I restore it I want to download only from the present day on. Deleting the emails on the server is not ideal, since this way I can't use the web-interface any more, when I don't have my laptop with me. – Dexter Jun 15 '12 at 20:28

Outlook stores the last downloaded hashes in special message that is specific to your computer and Outlook profile.


According to Diane Poremsky (outlook MVP and associated with http://www.slipstick.com)

Outlook doesn't use uidl files anymore (hasn't for a few versions) - the last message download count is stored as a hidden file in the pst or mailbox - its called Outlook Message Manager. In older versions each account had one message manager named Outlook Message Manager (Account) - Outlook 2010 stores each account OMM in each pst, not in the default pst file or mailbox. When you use one pst for all accounts in Outlook 2010, the MM's get confused/corrupted

I read elsewhere that Outlook 2010 stores client rules, the pop3 message counter, and other information in this Outlook Message Manager and that it is named according to the profile, account name, and other identifying information of the last computer that downloaded email. Thus when you restore a backup to another computer the restored Outlook Message Manager is ignored.


  • using the web interface that you referenced, create a new folder called 'Archive' and periodically move messages into it that you don't want to download again.
  • Thank you for looking this up. The workaround isn't what I was looking for, but the background-details are a helpful pointer. Though I haven't had much luck in finding a tool to view or change these OMM-entries, I still think it shouldn't be too hard .. seems like I may have to create my own tool for it. – Dexter Jun 19 '12 at 19:16

Quick and easy solution:

Leave the laptop 'as is' - ie leaving a copy of messages on the server.

Change the Desktop PC so it 'Removes old messages' from server, or messages of a certain age (would depend on how regularly you check mail on the laptop) so no duplication is possible when/if you have to restore the PST.

  • Thanks for your answer, but that seems a bit like a kludge. Is there no way to actually influence from where on Outlook starts downloading? It obviously is capable of not downloading everything - I just want to control that setting. – Dexter Jun 15 '12 at 20:30
  • There is no way to 'influence' or prompt Outlook into downloading certain messages, as far as i'm aware it will just download where it last left off. The only other option would be to use some kind of 'POP3 Manager'/spam tool to remove the old messages prior to send/receive on Outlook. I've used 'Mailwasher' for this before – HaydnWVN Jun 18 '12 at 9:00

If no other solution can be found, a last-ditch solution is to use a tool for removing duplicate emails.

See Duplicate Remover Tools for a long list of such tools, many of them free.

This is not such a bad solution as it seems, since the next time that you use Outlook, it will not re-download items that it already downloaded before the cleanup.

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