Sunday, April 1, 2007

Why won’t my email download automatically?


By David Gewirtz

This week, we've got two questions: one about why send/receive no longer works automatically and another about exporting email dates. The good news is we can answer the first question. The bad news is that we don't have a good answer for the second question. Such, of course, is life with Outlook.

Why won't my email download automatically?

Reader Martin Libhart writes:

An Outlook setting on my PC has apparently changed somehow. Originally, my mail would download automatically upon first opening Outlook. Now I have to click the 'send/receive' button. How do I restore the original setting to automatically retrieve incoming mail upon initial opening of the application?

We've got two possible fixes for you, Martin. The easiest is to look at your Disable Scheduled Send/Receive option, located under Tools->Send/Receive settings. If this is checked, there's a chance unchecking it will solve your problem.

The gotcha here is that this feature generally turns off all automatic sends/receives, including those that occur over time after you've launched Outlook. If, after you load Outlook, you're automatically downloading email periodically, then this is probably not your problem.

The more likely answer is you've got a corrupted Send/Receive group in your copy of Outlook. Fortunately, this isn't all that hard to fix.

First, open up the Send/Receive Settings dialog, by selecting Tools->Send/Receive Settings. Now, click Define Send/Receive Groups. You'll see an area for group names, as shown in Figure A.


It's nice to play in groups. (click for larger image)

In the main field, you'll likely see a group called All Accounts. This is probably what you're using. But if you're using a different group, click it instead. Next click the Copy button.

You'll be asked for a new group name. Type one in, then click OK. You'll now see two groups, the original and your new group. Click the old group name.

In the lower part of the dialog, you'll see two sets of checkboxes. The first item in both sets is "Include this group in send/receive". Make sure both of these are unchecked, but only for the old group. Make sure both are checked for the new group.

Restart Outlook and see if things work.

If they don't, you've got one other option, which is to Remove both groups and create new groups from scratch. Good luck!

Exporting dates

Reader Gavin Meyers writes to us all the way from South Africa:

Hope somebody can assist me. I need to extract the following information: Date, Time, Senders name, and Subject. These appear on emails being sent to a support mail address into Excel. Have tried the export function in Outlook but it does not give the date and time as an option. Looking forward to hearing from somebody. God Bless.