Email is deleted from server or duplicated in Outlook 2016 when downloaded using POP3

Applies to: Outlook 2016Outlook for Office 365Outlook 2019


You have Microsoft Outlook 2016 configured to download your email by using POP3, and you experience one of the following symptoms.

  • After Outlook downloads your email, all the email messages on the server are deleted from the Inbox.
  • Email messages are downloaded multiple times in Outlook, causing duplicate items.


This issue may occur if you have Outlook 2016 version 16.0.6568.2025 configured to use POP3, and if you have the Leave a copy of messages on the Server option enabled, as shown in the screen shot later in this section.

If you have the option Remove from server after <x> days enabled, you may experience the issue of email messages being deleted from the server.

If you have the option Remove from server after <x> days disabled, you may experience the issue of email messages being duplicated in Outlook.
Note The <x> placeholder represents the number of days, such as 14.




To fix this issue, make sure that your Office 2016 Click-to-Run installation is at version 16.0.6568.2036 or later. If it is not at this version or later, update your Office 2016 installation. To do this, follow these steps.
  1. Start any Office application, such as Outlook or Word. 
  2. Click File, and then click Office Account or Account.
  3. View the version that's listed under Office Updates. 
  4. If the version is not at 16.0.6568.2036 or later, click Update Now.

After the fix is applied, Outlook may download all email one final time. If this occurs and email is duplicated in your Inbox, use the method described in the "More Information" section.

More Information

If you have experienced the issue of email messages being duplicated, you can remove the duplicate items by following these steps. 

Note This section assumes that Outlook has been updated to version 16.0.6568.2036 or later.

Important Before performing these steps, backup your Outlook data by exporting it to a .pst file by following the steps in this article:
Export or backup email, contacts, and calendar to an Outlook .pst file
  1. In Outlook 2016, select the folder for which you want to delete the duplicate items.
  2. On the View tab in the Ribbon, click Change view and then select Preview.
  3. On the View tab in the Ribbon, disable Show as Conversations.
  4. On the View tab in the Ribbon, click View Settings.
  5. Click Columns.
  6. In the Select available columns form field, select Date/Time fields.
  7. In Available columns select Modified, and then click Add.
  8. Click OK two times.
  9. Click the Modified column header that is now added to your Outlook view to sort by this column.
  10. Verify that the duplicate items have a unique date from the original set of items. If it is unique, continue with the next steps.
  11. Click the first item in the set that you want to delete, scroll to the last item in the set that you want to delete, and then click the last item while you hold down the Shift key.
  12. Press Delete to permanently delete all selected items.


If you are unable to update Outlook to version 16.0.6568.2036 or later, you can use this method to work around this issue. You may be able to configure your email account to use IMAP instead of POP3 if your email server supports IMAP connections. The following steps will create a new Outlook profile configured to connect using IMAP.

Note The new Outlook profile created using these steps will not contain your previous email data. You can import your previous email data from the .PST file used by your POP3 account, or you can switch back to your POP3 account when you want to access your previous email data.
  1. Exit Outlook.
  2. In Control Panel, click or double-click Mail.

    To locate the Mail item, open Control Panel, and then in the Search box at the top of window, type Mail. In Control Panel for Windows XP, type Mail in the Address box.
  3. Click Show Profiles.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Type a name for the profile, and then click OK.
  6. Select Manual setup or additional server types and then click Next.
  7. Select POP or IMAP and then click Next.
  8. Enter your name and email address, and then select IMAP for the Account Type.
  9. Enter your Incoming mail server and Outgoing mail server (SMTP) details, and your logon information, and then click Next.

    Note Go to your email server host's website or contact them to collect the incoming and outgoing mail server details.
  10. Your account settings will be tested to verify that they are correct.
    • If the tests are completed successfully, click Close.
    • If you receive an error during the tests, click Close. Correct the information in the account settings and repeat steps 9 and 10 until the account settings are correct.
  11. Click Finish.
  12. In Mail, make sure that the Always use this profile option is selected, and then select your new profile name from the list. 

    Always use this profile
  13. Click OK.
Optional steps If you prefer to continue using IMAP in the new Outlook profile, you can import your previous email data from the .pst file that was used by your POP3 account by following these steps.
  1. In Mail, select your POP3 account profile, and then click Properties.
  2. Click Data Files.
  3. Note the .pst file locaiton that is listed in the Location field.
  4. Click Close two times.
  5. Start Outlook. It will open the IMAP account profile that you configured in the previous steps.
  6. On the File tab, click Import/Export.
  7. Select Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
  8. Select Outlook Data File (.pst), and then click Next.
  9. Click Browse, and browse to the location found in step 3 to select the .pst file, and then click Open.
  10. Select the option that you prefer (Do not import duplicates may be preferred), and then click Next.
  11. Click Finish.