Online archiving of email Print

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Our Anno Premium hosting service includes an email archive option in cPanel that enables you to keep a full record of all incoming and outgoing email. This feature works very well but has one major drawback – it can consume a lot a of disk space. We therefore recommend using this option only if you have a moderate volume of email; if you send and receive large email attachments on a regular basis, then this feature may not be suitable for your organisation and you should look at other options (see below).

For more information on the cPanel email archiving feature, see

Below are other "home-brewed" recipes for archiving email...

When you use Outlook (or other email program) to receive your email, you will typically have all your messages on your computer and none on the server. In some cases you may wish to keep copies of your messages on the server, for example:

  • You want to use Outlook to work with email when in the office, and Webmail on your home computer or when on vacation.
  • You may want to maintain an archive of email for a certain period of time or perhaps even indefinately.

To keep copies of incoming email (messages sent to you) and outgoing email (messages sent by you) requires two separate steps outlined below.

Note: Our server will never delete any messages from your mailbox unless instructed so by an email client (Outlook, Webmail or other email program).

To keep copies of incoming email

The default behaviour of Outlook is delete new messages from the server immediately after downloading them. You can change this behaviour so that the messages remain on the server:

  • Open the properties for the given email account. In Outlook 2010, do this by opening the File menu, selecting Info, and then Account Settings. In older version of Outlook, you will find a similar function on the Tools menu.
  • In the dialog box that opens, click the More Settings button and then go to the Advanced tab.
  • Enable the option to Leave copy of messages on the server, and set the number of days until removal. If you do not specify a number of days, then messages will remain on the server indefinately.

With the above settings in place, Outlook will delete messages from the server only if they are older than the number of days specified. If you are using Outlook on more than one computer to connect to the same mailbox, then you need to make these settings on all the computers.

Warning: Your mailbox has finite storage space (you can set the size in cPanel). If you leave copies of messages to accumulate without deleting anything, your mailbox may eventually run full and stop working. For this reason, set a reasonable retention period, e.g. a couple of days or weeks only. If you want to keep a permanent online archive of your email, see the "Gmail solution" at the bottom of this article.

To keep copies of outgoing email

Messages that you send email from Outlook relay through our server without passing through your mailbox itself. Therefore, when you view your mailbox via Webmail, you will not see any messages that you have sent using Outlook.

If you want to keep an archive of messages that you send, you will need to take some extra steps to get those messages stored in your mailbox on the server. One way of doing this is to send a copy of all your messages to yourself; they will then be delivered to your mailbox and you can manage them as explained above for incoming email. To send a copy to yourself, you can simly add your email address to the CC or BCC (blind carbon copy) field whenever you send an email.

You can go a step further to automate the process, and use the Rules function in Outlook to automatically send a CC for all outgoing messages. The Rules function unfortunately does not allow you to send a BCC. However, you can set up an automatic BCC using a Visual Basic script; see  the "Gmail solution" below for more information.

"The Gmail solution" for a permanent archive

If you wish to keep a "permanent" online earchive of all your email, then you need a relatively large storage container. Consider using a free Gmail account (or similar) that provides several gigabytes of storage, and then set up your archiving as follows:

With the incoming and outgoing email configured, you should have copies of all your emails in your Gmail account.

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