Why am I getting copies (duplicates) of my sent messages in Outlook 2011?

Why am I getting copies (duplicates) of my sent messages in Outlook 2011?
Q:Why am I getting copies (duplicates) of my sent messages in Outlook 2011?
A:

Outlook 2011 is the first Microsoft mail client for the Mac that gets close to the functionality of Microsoft Outlook for Windows. Now before all of you start arguing with that claim, I’m not saying that they are the same product. THEY ARE NOT! Outlook for Windows has more communications features than most people would even know what to do with. However, in its creation of Outlook 2011 for Mac, Microsoft is making strides toward feature parity between the two platforms. They can both connect to Exchange accounts and they both can (finally) view Public Folders on those exchange accounts.

With these strides comes features that may seem strange for many people on the Mac platform. One of these features is the answer to the posed question. Gmail users that utilize Microsoft Outlook in Windows for their GMail IMAP connection have had to deal with this for years, however, people that are new to Microsoft Outlook may not be aware of this issue. According to Microsoft this is a “Known issue” with Outlook when connecting to IMAP mail accounts:

This occurs when both Outlook and the email server are adding copies of the messages to the Sent Items folder after they are sent.

As mentioned, for those that have used Outlook on Windows, they are familiar with this fact, however this is news to individuals who have used Macs and Apple Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird for their IMAP Mail access. It appears that GMail automatically puts a copy of any message sent by users connected via IMAP into their “Sent Mail” folder. As a result, telling Outlook to put a copy into your Sent folder is an unnecessary redundancy that causes messages to be duplicated. In order to deal with this issue the user needs to select the Advanced account level option to “Don’t store a copy of sent messages”. Here is how to do so:

  1. Select “Accounts” from the “Tools” menu.
    Outlook-Tools Menu-Accounts
  2. Select your Google based account in the accounts list on the left side of the “Accounts” window.
  3. Click the “Folders” tab in the drawer that appears.
  4. Select the option “Don’t store a copy of sent messages”.
NOTE: Google will still maintain the message in “All Mail” with the label “Sent” so that it will still appear in your [GMail] > “Sent Mail” folder. Assuming your Outlook 2011 settings are setup to use that [GMail] > “Sent Mail” folder as its default Sent Folder, you should still see the messages you’ve sent when sending from your Outlook account. With it set this way, Outlook will simply not create a copy of it in the same place now.

26 Comments

  1. What an easy fix! I’ve been dealing with duplicate sent emails for quite some time and spending time erasing them. I finally decided to look for an answer. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Greg M.

      Thanks so much for the comment stefanie. If you have any other questions hopefully we have the answers.

      Reply
  2. Simple problem, simple solution. Great job. Wish Google or Microsoft could have offered something this clear and easy to follow.

    Reply
    • Greg M.

      Thanks so much for the comment Ryan. Couldn’t agree more.

      Reply
  3. Not so much, when I’m on the third step, I don’t have a tab called “Folders” I have instead a tab called “Delegates” which have different options.

    Still not solved for me.

    Reply
    • Greg M.

      Who is the service provider for your email account? Delegation is generally reserved exclusively for Exchange account types for corporate customers.

      Reply
  4. Thanks – very helpful, clear message … one sent message at last

    I had been worried that the sent message would not appear recorded on my (back-up) gmail server – but it did

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Greg M.

      Your worry definitely makes sense as it does seem a little counterintuitive. Because of the fact that Gmail (like many of Google’s services) functions just a bit differently, whenever you are sending using their outgoing settings, it automatically “labels” the message as a sent message. The way Gmail works is actually far more efficient than the way most email systems work, but far less intuitive in many ways (such as this).

      Thanks so much for your comment.

      Reply
  5. What version was used when this article was created? I have Microsoft Outlook for Mac Version 14.1.0

    In image 4 I don’t have that radio options under sent.

    Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.

    Reply
    • Ha! Nevermind. For some reason when I checked for updates through Outlook it stated everything was up to date. I go to the Microsoft site and it’s not! I’m now updated to 14.3.7 🙂

      Reply
      • Greg M.

        Sorry about the late response Jennifer. It sounds like you were able to figure out your question without me, but these docs were done with Outlook 2011 14.3.3 and the current version is 14.3.7. Let me know if you should have additional questions.

        Reply
  6. Ah! Such a simple solution!! Thank you!!

    Reply
  7. yay!! thank you!!

    Reply
    • Greg M.

      You are very welcome!

      Reply
  8. Thank you! This was such an easy fix.

    Reply
    • Greg M.

      I’m glad it was helpful. Its one of those things that you would think would be automatic for a more advanced program like Outlook in 2014. Enjoy!

      Reply
  9. I cannot get the folder tab in advanced settings of the mails in Microsoft outlook for Mac 2011 as I’m using pop account. Folder tab is only available if I select the mail as IMAP.

    Can someone help me to get the folder tab for pop mail in Microsoft outlook for Mac 2011 ?

    Reply
    • Greg M.

      Hi there Syed, thanks for your comment and question, are you seeing duplicates of your sent messages in the GMail web interface?

      Reply
  10. yep fixed easy .. tks

    Reply
    • Greg M.

      You are welcome. Cheers!

      Reply
  11. Hi,

    In my case, I have added the delegate account for a Distribution group giving Send As permission in outlook 2011 in Mac, for that I have followed below link,

    https://exchange.readyexchange.net/support/kb/default.asp?id=2116

    after adding it as per above URL procedure I am able to send mail from that Distribution group but now I get duplicate emails in both inboxes, it is very delayed and I keep getting the below errors multiple times in a day,
    Error1:
    The operation on the server timed out, the server may be down,overloaded or there may be too much net traffic.
    Error code 3259
    Error2:
    Connection to the server failed or was dropped.
    Error Code 3253

    I want to continue sending mails from that distribution group but at the same time I want to avoid duplicate inbox and these errors. Could you please help in this.

    Regards,
    Vijay I

    Reply
    • Greg M.

      Vijay:

      After doing a quick Google search I found this link:

      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2739937

      That Microsoft article indicates:

      Outlook for Mac has the following limitations:
      You cannot send email messages from a distribution list or a security group.
      You cannot use a distribution list or a security group as a delegate.

      Since this is a known limitation, my suggestion would be to send your messages to the group from your account. That is the only functionality that works properly every time. If you want to send as the group, I would use something like OWA to login to the group for the occasional use requiring that functionality.

      As is indicated in our article:

      Outlook 2011 is the first Microsoft mail client for the Mac that gets [close] to the functionality of Microsoft Outlook for Windows.

      While they are nowhere near feature parity, there are some good features (mailbox level delegates and public folder access) that have not been present since Outlook 2001. I am hopeful that this trend of additional features will continue.

      Best of luck and I hope that information helps.

      Reply
  12. Hi Greg,

    Thanks for update and quick response, but I am able to send the mails from that distribution group.
    We need to send those mails On Behalf of that distribution group name in my company (Ex. mail should go from cultural committee to all other members in company to give them cultural event updates)
    In this case we have created distribution group in Exchange, it do not have any separate account so that I can not log in it through webmail/OWA.
    I had faced the issue previously as you mentioned in thread http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2739937 so that I had tried with below thread,
    https://exchange.readyexchange.net/support/kb/default.asp?id=2116
    which works but now getting duplicate inbox as my original, I need to type my own credentials while configuring delegate account for distribution group(As mentioned in https://exchange.readyexchange.net/support/kb/default.asp?id=2116)

    Regards,
    Vijay I

    Reply
  13. Hi Greg,

    Thanks for update, but I am able to send the mails from that distribution group.
    We need to send those mails On Behalf of that distribution group name in my company (Ex. mail should go from cultural committee to all other members in company to give them cultural event related updates)
    In this case we have created distribution group in Exchange, it do not have any separate account so that I can not log in it through webmail/OWA.
    I had faced the issue as you mentioned in thread http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2739937 so that I had tried with below thread,
    https://exchange.readyexchange.net/support/kb/default.asp?id=2116
    which works but now getting duplicate inbox as my original, as I need to type my own credentials while configuring delegate account for distribution group(As mentioned in https://exchange.readyexchange.net/support/kb/default.asp?id=2116)

    Regards,
    Vijay I

    Reply
    • Greg M.

      Hi there Vijay, I appreciate your response and I completely understand your situation. I, as a third party, have to trust Microsoft when they say it is not a supported function in one of their Knowledge Base articles. Since you are using a non-supported function via an article you found on Ready Exchange, I would suggest posting your issue to that site since the folks there are clearly going to have more experience with the nuances of that configuration, or I would suggest speaking with your Exchange server administrators for further troubleshooting assistance. This article is specifically looking to assist users in addressing an issue where multiple copies of messages appear in the “SENT” folder as a result of the way Gmail handles IMAP connections to its mail servers. Corporate Exchange accounts have quite a bit of variability in their configurations. Thanks for talking with me, but unfortunately I can’t be of much assistance via a free text-based communication channel. Best of luck and I hope you find a solution for your issue.

      Reply
  14. Thanks you very much Greg.!!! Appreciate your support.

    Reply

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