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How To Delay or Schedule Delivery of Email Using Outlook 2007

imageDelaying or Scheduling the sending / delivery of an Email in Outlook can be VERY handy for those times when you want to draft and send an email but don’t want it delivered until a specific date and time.  Many people do this at work for specific announcements which they don’t want sent out to everyone until 8am the next business day.  I personally used this Outlook feature earlier today to send an email with an attachment next week since I’ll be away on vacation (It’s a Monday report).

The way it works is you simply write up your email as you would normally but before you send it, you set the Defer Delivery options.  Once set you send the email as normal and the email will sit in your Outbox until the date/time triggers at which point it will be sent.  SUPER simple and SUPER handy.

Update 5/19/2010 – Outlook 2010 Users – Please see the latest update here: – How-to Delay or Schedule Email Delivery for Outlook 2010

First, let me demonstrate the steps Outlook 2007 steps in a real quick groovyVideo.

And how the Step-by-Step How-To Delay the Delivery of an Email using Outlook 2007

1. Click New to Create a new Email

2. Click Message Options Popout under Message Tab to display Message Options dialog box

Open Outlook Message Options Dialog Box

3. Check Box Do not deliver before: and Click Calendar and Time Drop Down to select EXACTLY when you want the message delivered / sent.  Click Close when finished

Outlook Message Options Dialog Box Set Defer=

4. Click Send if your email is ready to be sent.

Send Outlook Email

Before sending out a Corporate Merger or product release announcement to a newspaper using the Deliver Delivery steps shown above, I recommend you first test it out.  :)

Prepare an email and send it to yourself or a test account.  Take a look in your Outbox and you should see it sitting there waiting to trigger based on the Date and Time you configured in Step 3 above.

Outlook Outbox showing Scheduled Email

Questions?  Would love to hear from you!

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55 Responses to How To Delay or Schedule Delivery of Email Using Outlook 2007

  1. groovy June 10, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    I ran into a bug with using the scheduled delivery feature. If I set a CUSTOM time instead of using the drop-down the email would never be delivered.

    • shockersh July 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

      @groovy,
      I use this all the time and I’ve never had a problem. I use custom times all the time.

  2. cybersonic June 21, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    Unfortunately, it looks like this is a client-side feature – you need to leave your PC on with Outlook running for the deferred email to be sent :-(

    • MrGroove June 21, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

      @cybersonic, Yes you’re correct. Unless outlook is open, the email will not be sent. Outlook actually warns you about this when you close it with unsent emails in the Outlook. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll add that to the article.

      UPDATE – Per Georges Comment Below, This is true UNLESS you disable Exchange Caching Mode in the Outlook Client. If you disabled Caching Mode, you can close Outlook and you will NOT be prompted that the email will not be sent AND, the Exchange server will send the email per the Defer / Schedule you set.

  3. George July 2, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    Actually, if you disable “Use cached Exchange mode” for your email account, (and are running an Exchange server at your company) then the message will be handed off to your Exchange server as soon as you click send. It will not be delivered until the time you specified. Also, because the message will appear in your Outbox, (even though it is now residing on the server) you can also make edits to the message. This way, your PC can be off and the server will deliver the message at the time you set.

    • shockersh July 4, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

      @George,
      Very cool! The problem on my side however is my Exchange guy set “Cache Mode” on my outlook client using a GPO so I can’t change it… It’s grayed out. Even if it was however, Cache Mode is superior in almost all ways vs. direct connection (unless you need to defer an email hehehe).

      • MrGroove July 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

        @shockersh, / @George,
        Excellent find George. Thanks for the updated information. Just completed testing this out and your 100% correct. If you configure your Outlook Client NOT to use Caching Mode, you can close your Outlook Client and the mail will be sent as scheduled.

        Additionally, with Caching Mode off, you will NOT be prompted when you close outlook either. Thanks again George!

  4. Weaponx July 3, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    George are there any other settings need to be set to enable serverside sending of delayed emails?

    I do not use cached exchanged mode, yet i still get a prompt when close outlook that says the message will not send unless my outlook is open.

    • shockersh July 4, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

      @Weaponx,
      Nope – this is a client side only rule. Ensure your outlook client does not have the “Cache Mode” check box set on your account (Tools, Account Settings, Dble Click on your Email Account, Make sure box labeled “Use Cached Exchange Mode” is unchecked.

      Once you do that you should be able to test it quickly but deferring an email then closing outlook, wait until it’s supposed to be sent (send it to you Hotmail account or something) and check if it arrives. Let us know if it works!

  5. Kelly July 9, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    Is Outlook required to be opened in order for the delayed message to be sent out?

    Thanks.

    • MrGroove July 10, 2009 at 11:01 am #

      @Kelly,
      Only if you have Exchange Cache Mode Enabled in Outlook. If Cache mode is NOT enabled then you can close outlook and the server will send the email.

  6. Glenn August 2, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    I have set a do not deliver before date and time and then send the email Outlook 2003). The email goes to my outbox (in italics). I stay in Outlook generating other emails. When the time to send arrives, the email just sits in the outbox. Exchange Cache Mode is not checked. Even when I click send/receive the past due email does not go out.

    • MrGroove August 4, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

      @Glenn,
      HI Glenn. Are you using Microsoft Exchange for your backend IE: Is this a work computer? If yes then you might be running into a bug I found a few years back. When you set the delivery time are you typing in a custom time or are you choosing a time from the drop down menu? I’m asking because back in the day if you set a custom time the email would never be sent. The problem was fixed in Outlook 2007 however I don’t have an Outlook 2003 client around to test to see if they fixed it in the latest service pack.
      Let me know what you find. Thanks!

  7. Amanda September 29, 2009 at 7:19 pm #

    When I use delay delivery, all recipients receive their mail, except me. I have put my address in the cc box so that I know the mail was delivered, but my copy never reaches me. (It does reach other cc’d individuals.) Any ideas?

    • alextow September 30, 2009 at 9:09 am #

      @Amanda,
      That is freaky… Are you Outlook 2007 or 2003? Have you installed the latest service pack (SP2). Are you running on a corporate network or is this a personal mailbox? If you setup a test email and put yourself in the TO or BCC line then defer delivery does it work?

  8. Ryujie November 2, 2009 at 5:23 am #

    Why is my schedule email (date tomorrow) store in my outbox is disapeared? It is not in sent item folder also. It disapear after i restart on my laptop and ms outlook. Any ideas?

    • MrGroove November 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

      @Ryujie,
      Were the emails ever sent?

      • Ryujie November 3, 2009 at 2:47 am #

        @MrGroove,
        The email never reach the users. Just mysteriously disappeared.
        Heres my scenario,
        I have scheduled an email to be sent out on 1st October and it works fine. But on 1st November the same email which i only change the date and time is not sent (User has confirm it), and disappear in my outbox. Not store in my sent item and also in deleted item. FYI, i dont sent up any rules in my outlook.
        Only after afew test atempt, the user confirm they had received it (the test delayed mail).
        Any ideas why its disappeared? I assume that there must be a bug.

  9. Amanda November 2, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    I have tried this delivery delay feature several times. It tested out ok the first times, but then I have found that these mails get hung up in my outbox and do not deliver at all. Why is this?

    Thanks!

    • MrGroove November 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

      @Amanda,
      Are you setting a custom time or are you using the dropdown? I found I was having issues (before I upgraded to SP2 of Outlook 2007) in the past when choosing custom times instead of just using the drop down to select a time.

    • Amanda November 3, 2009 at 10:46 am #

      @Amanda,
      I did use the drop down time, but I have Outlook 2003 SP3.

  10. Sarath November 4, 2009 at 5:43 am #

    Hi,

    Outlook 2007, corporate company, outlook – main email client. ‘Use Cached Exchange Mode’ is active (check mark) bcoz my system is always ON.
    I did exactly as described but the mail doesn’t leave my outbox. The same works well with my colleagues in the same network (ofcourse ! sitting besides me…)

    Any troubleshooting ?

    • MrGroove November 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

      @Sarath,
      Quick question – are you running the latest Office 2007 Service Pack? SP2 was released a few months ago and it fixed a lot of issues.

  11. michellefont November 16, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    I opened a delayed delivery message and made a change. It is no longer darkened or in italics, will it still send?

  12. MrGroove November 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    Yes. It should still be scheduled to be sent and sitting in your outbox.

  13. Katie December 17, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    I am having the opposite problem. Delayed delivery is automatically being sent for each new mail message I create and I have to uncheck from each mail which is ridiculous. Anyone know how to fix this?

  14. MrGroove December 17, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    Hi Katie,

    Is this your work email address? I ask because you need to make sure your
    Outlook client is connected to an Exchange Server or this will not work. Do
    you know how to confirm that?

  15. Katie December 17, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    Hi MrGroove!

    It is work and we use flag/smtp. Yeah it is the strangest thing. For each email it is automatically setting delayed delivery. Was doing this yesterday too. I have to uncheck for each message. You would think there is a general settings for this in tools>options but there is not. It is only in the message options. I am on Outlook 2007 12.0.6. You are so fantastic I have another question if you don't mind ;)

  16. Katie December 17, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    That was supposed to be POP/smtp…

  17. MrGroove December 17, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    Gotcha,

    Ok… The defer delivery I outline in this Tutorial is actually only compatible with a Microsoft Outlook / Microsoft Exchange combo. The reason is because it's actually a function of the Exchange Server server not Outlook.

    Now, that being said there IS a way you can defer the delivery using Outlook rules however outlook only allows you to defer using rules by 120 minutes. Here's the link to the steps: http://www.groovypost.com/howto/microsoft/outlo

  18. MrGroove December 17, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    Oh – If you do have more outlook questions, just post them in our Free Community Forum – http://www.groovypost.com/forum/

    There is a category for almost any IT question you might have plus there are a lot of ppl who watch for new topics to help answer questions also.

    Thanks and welcome to the groovyPost community!

  19. Katie December 17, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    I just want to permanently turn it off. I never turned it on and for every message it is automatically selected. How to turn off for good? I have tried un-checking the option, re-starting outlook, rebooting and every time I come back the delated delivery option is checked. Grrrr! Thank you for your help. I will check out the forums – thanks!

  20. Prad December 31, 2009 at 3:40 am #

    One issue I am facing now is that the above method works fine to delay the delivery of email .However the sent time is still the original time when the message was sent . This was anyone can see that the message was composed at a previous time and then delivered at later time using outlook delay delivery option . How can both the timings be synchronized so that it appears to have been sent at a desired time ?

    Thanks,
    Prad

  21. james bates January 18, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Using Outlook 2007 in support of a corporate client, exchange server – is there any way to schedule delivery of a meeting invite? found it pretty easy with new messages, not so much with invites. Thanks

    • MrGroove January 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

      Hmm… Good question.

      I just took a look and I don’t see anyway to do it using Outlook 2007 however, I was able to setup a quick Rule to defer the invite. Here’s a screenshot as an example:

      http://is.gd/6xJv4/groovyPost/DeferMeeting

      This only draw-back to this however is Outlook 2007 only let’s you defer emails being sent (including invites) for up to 120 minutes….

      Hope this helps out a bit.

  22. Gary Zeune, CPA February 8, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    Last week I did a 800+ person Word/Excel mail merge to Outlook 2007 (running on my Toshiba laptop with no Exchange Server) and worked fine. Tried to send an update to same list this morning and all 800 emails in Outbox have delayed delivery setting. I did a mail merge with another list from my contact manager, Maximizer (which I’ve used for 15 years and never had this happen). Emails created in Word, Excel and Maximizer are all delayed delivery. But if I create/send directly in Outlook no delay setting.

    I’m going nuts. How do I disable ‘delayed send’ and when doing a mail merge?

    • MrGroove February 8, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

      Huh? I’m confused. Try it again however before you send verify that no delayed send is enabled…

  23. Abhishek February 28, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    I have configured my gmail account on outlook 2007 on Home PC …

    1). after composing the mail i check “DO not deliver before option” and now it is not allowing me to close outlook …after reading all post i have to disable “use cache exchange mode” which i was unable to get where is that option …

    2). when ever i compose a new mail “Do not deliver option ” is already selected . from where i can disable that option …

    • MrGroove March 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

      @Abhishek – Hey there Abhishek. It looks like I need to update the article to make it more clear… The ability to DEFER an email is only available if you leave Microsoft Outlook open. That’s true for both Microsoft Exchange, GMAIL via POP or IMAP or any other mail service. If you need to close Outlook and still want the mail to be delivered, that feature is only available with Microsoft Exchange as the email server backend and you have to turn off cache mode.

      You can also configure Outlook to defer a sent email using Outlook Rules as I explained here: http://www.groovypost.com/howto/microsoft/outlook/defer-delivery-of-sent-items-email-for-microsoft-outlook/ however it’s not as useful I know…

      Sorry for the confusion. I’ll update the article to make it more clear.

  24. Abhishek March 1, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    @ MrGroove …I m just telling you my whole working and problem i m getting …

    Issue 1. At my home PC, I configured gmail on my Outlook able to get all mail (inbox, sent, draft) of my Gmail account to Outlooks Inbox not in respective folders.

    Issue 2. While sending mail from outlook (where gmail is configured) with option “DO not deliver before” i m unable to close the outlook (means outlook should be open when sending mail with this option).

    Issue 3. On PC 1, I do all above 2 steps, now on my another Home PC (PC2) i would like to configure same gmail account in outlook, but here unable to get all mails just get new mails no old mails which are still available on gmail.

  25. Gary Zeune CPA March 2, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    This is hopefully better explanation than above….I’ve run into an Outlook issue no one knows why it happens or how to fix. I use Office 2007 and have installed SP2. About 2 weeks ago computer locked up. Ctrl/Alt/Delete wouldn’t even work. So did hard power down. Outlook was open. Ever since it randomly sets a Delayed Delivery. When I open an email and uncheck Delayed Delivery, close, reopen the email, DD is still checked. DD always set to send that day at 5pm. But it never does. Just sits in Outbox. I stumbled across a partial fix……..If I drag the email from Outbox to Drafts, open, uncheck Delayed Delivery, click Send, it goes out. I’ve looked in MS KB, all kinds of blogs and forums. No one seems to know why it’s setting DD, and it’s random. Doesn’t do it on all email. Any ideas how to fix?

    • MrGroove March 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

      @Gary,

      Hi Gary. Just to your aware, with Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010, if you click on the Defer Delivery bottom on the ribbon, by default it will automatically show the Defer Delivery box checked and the time will be set to 5pm. This is default behavior. By just clicking on the button, your enabling it.

      This might be the reason why when you Click the button and uncheck the box then Click the button again it’s still checked. By clicking the button, that in effect is checking the box.

      As to why some emails are sent with a delay and others are not, can’t help you. I took a look at ALL Outlook registry settings and there is no way to actually disable the feature. My guess is you might be clicking that button from time to time by accident thus setting a delayed delivery…??

      • gzfraud March 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

        Not clicking on the Delayed Delivery. Create a new email, click Send, and it goes into the Outbox with DD already enabled (the envelope is opened). Today it’s set DD on about 1/2 the emails I’ve created. That’s whats so crazy. No pattern that I’ve figured out. Any brainstorm ideas apprecaited………..Gary Zeune, CPA

        • MrGroove March 23, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

          @gzfraud – Yeah… that must REALLY be annoying. Hmm…

          Try this, go into Outbox, Right Click on one of the SENT field and Click Field Chooser. Then click down arrow and select “All Mail Fields”. Scroll down and find Defer Until. Click it and drag it up next to the sent field.

          Now, anytime you send an email it will show you if the mail is set with a DEFER UNTIL value.

          Send email until you get hit with an email stuck in the Outbox and check to see if it has a Defer value. If it does, yeah Outlook is assigning a deferral value to your mail. If it doesn’t… you have a different issue.

          Keep me updated!

  26. Ray March 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    This problem just started for me yesterday. Outlook had a hard crash – required shut down. But on restart, Outlook now default Delayed Delivery to 5pm on ALL emails (not intermittent as the previous post). Looking everywhere for a default setting on this… I have sp2 OL 2007, latest updates.

    • MrGroove March 23, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

      @Ray – OH NO!! More Defer issues!!!

      Take a look at my response to DZFraud above and add the “Defer Until” field. This way you know if that’s really your issue or if you have something else going on.

      Keep us updated!

  27. Ray March 24, 2010 at 6:49 am #

    Okay… added Defer Until to outbox – items in outbox show “NONE” but when I trigger “send/receive” mail does not go out. And guess what… Defer Until now has a value (today @ 5pm). No mail is going – I’m dead in the water.

    I’ve been doing some reading. Tried using SCANPST.exe – but it crashes! Found a whole slew of errors – if these mean anything to you, reading the log, I found references to AMap page errors (csFree values), BBT entry errors (refcount in RBT)… oivey… many many errors. BTW, scanpst crashes when I click “repair” – this is starting to smell like a pretty serious problem.

    One more bit of info – and this could explain a lot… I’m near the 2gb level (1.9 actually).

  28. Ray March 24, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Digging deeper… dumped about 500mb. At least Outlook loads faster. Note – look for large msgs by sorting by size – offload what you need, dump the rest.

    New development. Outlook reports a generic error (0×80042109) – vague problem with connecting with outbound server. This is consistent with previous observation – I can receive mail, cannot send.

    Email is still tagged with “delay send” – but I’m tackling the larger issue of sending. I’ll settle for partial paralysis over total any day. More later.

    • MrGroove March 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

      You might also need to confer your PST file from ANSI to Unicode. Here’s a thread in the Forum that tells you how-to do that: http://is.gd/aXno3/

      I think you do have bigger issues here. Create the new PST file and then move all your data over into it. I’m guessing this will fix your issue overall.

  29. MrGroove March 24, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    I’m going to lock the comments on this How-To Article.

    If you have any further Questions or Comments regarding How-To Delay or Defer Delivery of an email in Outlook, please post your comment or question in our Free groovyPost Forum here:

    http://www.groovypost.com/forum/microsoft-office/

    Thanks everyone!

  30. Noel October 14, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    So hmm… do you have to have your Outlook open i.e. ensure that your PC is switched on. Or can you have Outlook closed!?

    • Noel October 14, 2012 at 4:22 am #

      Nice blog by the way, your website is awesome!

  31. Pam February 4, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    If I go in to edit a message in OUTBOX that is set to be delivered next week, do I need to hit SEND again or will it still send just by closing and saving it?

  32. shehryar March 2, 2014 at 12:21 am #

    Hi Steve,

    Excellent post. I used your advice to set up a 5 minute delay rule for all outgoing mail but now when I want to set customized delivery time and date for individual mail items, I cannot. I don’t want to set up many rules, I just want to be able to set delivery time manually for individual mail items and if I don’t they should follow the 5 minute delay rule. Is it possible? and if yes, how can i do it?

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