Configure Outlook 2010 to Download Entire IMAP Mail

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Today, we’re going to review the process of configuring Outlook 2010 to download the entire email rather than just the Subject and Header information.

Previously we covered how to use Gmail in Outlook via IMAP. Today, we’re going to review the process of configuring Outlook 2010 to download the entire email rather than just the Subject and Header information. It’s an intricate process to force Outlook to download entire emails. However, once you know where to look, it’s simple.

Note: If your inbox is full and bursting at the seams with emails, this would be a bad thing to do unless you want to wait for all of them to download completely. Granted, if you have the time, it shouldn’t be a problem.

How to Force Outlook to Completely Download IMAP Items

1. In Outlook, click the Send/Receive tab, click Send/Receive Groups and select Define Send/Receive Groups.

Outlook 2010 Screenshot - send and receive groups - define groups

2. Click the Edit button.

Outlook 2010 Screenshot - edit accounts

3. Click the folder you want to download IMAP items for, click Use the custom behavior defined below option, and select Download complete item including attachments. Click OK to finish.

Outlook 2010 Screenshot - inbox > use custom behavior > download complete item

Now Outlook will sync up with Gmail and download all of your IMAP items in their entirety. This process could take a while if you have a full inbox, but patience is a virtue.



  1. Kent McDonald

    I tried the above instructions and still cannot get Outlook 2010 to donwload full messages from Gmail IMAP. Any other suggestions?

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  3. Ran Ever-Hadani

    Yep, same here.  Followed it to the T with google Apps email IMAP, and it still won’t load the full messages until I select the message.  Obviously something is missing.

  4. Darren

    I’ve been googling this stupid topic for weeks and they all say the same thing and I’m STILL not getting full emails and attachments in my Outlook 2003 or 2010 (I upgraded, same dumb problem). I’d like to punch Microsoft in the throat at this point.

  5. Andre

    Just upgraded to Outlook 2010 and I am having the same problem. Did not have the problem with 2007. Has anyone found out how to fix it?

  6. Steve

    I’m having the same problem as well with Outlook 2010 and Gmail.

  7. RCC


    —–You ALSO have to go to: Send/Receive > Server > “Download Preferences” and checkmark the “Download full messages” and *UN*checkmark the “On Slow Connections Download Only Header”—-

    *follow the above, AND combine with what I posted as a Tip above, it’ll work again!*

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