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Disable send and receive mail options in Outlook

Users don't have to both send and receive email via Outlook; they can choose to do one or the other.

Most of us use Outlook to both send and receive email messages, but you might have a user or two that only wants to do one or the other - not both. Fortunately, you can configure Outlook to send or receive messages, but the option isn't where you might first look, in the mail options section.

To configure Outlook to only send or only receive messages, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab and choose Options under Help and choose Advanced in the left pane. In Outlook 2003 and 2007, choose Options from the Tools menu and click the Mail Setup tab.
  2. Click the Send and Receive button in the Send and Receive section.
  3. Select the account you're modifying (All Accounts might be your only choice), and click Edit.
  4. In the Account Options section, uncheck the appropriate option: Send Mail Items or Receive Mail Items.
  5. Click OK, Close, and then OK.

That's it! Outlook will still offer both options, as before, but the account will behave accordingly to the new setting.

When you disable the send operation, Outlook will still let users create an email. Then, when they initiate the send and receive operation, Outlook will move the message from the Outbox to the Sent folder, but it won't actually send the message. Nor will it alert the user to that fact, so use this option carefully. Users could think they're sending email when they're not. This is also a good starting place when a user says Outlook has stopped sending and/or receiving email. Often, the user has accidentally disabled the feature without realizing it.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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