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The Sent Items folder isn't always visible in Outlook Express. We'll look at the options to make the Sent Items folder visible, and make sure that Sent Items are getting placed there.

I'm now using Outlook Express for all my email. But I can't find the sent mail folder! I used to use Yahoo mail and could click on "sent mail" and all the messages I sent were there. How do I find my sent items when using Outlook Express?

My first reaction to this question was ... "well, it's right there in front of you!"

But of course I was wrong. It's quite possible to have Outlook Express set up such that the Sent Items folder is quite well hidden. And then it's not at all obvious how to get it back.

The "trick", so to speak, is to make sure that the folder list pane is visible.

To do that, click on the View menu, Layout... menu item, and you should see a dialog much like this one:

Outlook Express Layout Dialog

The item to pay attention to is the one called Folder List. Make sure that is checked and press OK.

Once you do so Outlook Express will display the folder list in the upper left:

Outlook Express Folder List

And there you'll note that the Sent Items folder is visible. (Outbox, also visible, is different - that contains items for which you've pressed the Send button, but haven't actually been sent yet, or are in the process of being sent.)

There's one more important setting that's also easily overlooked.

Outlook Express only actually puts things into your Sent Items folder if you tell it to.

Hit the Tools menu, Options item, and then click on the Send tab at the top of the dialog box. You should see something like this:

Outlook Express Send Options Dialog

The arrow points to the setting we care about: make sure that "Save copy of sent messages in the 'Sent Items' folder" is checked.

Article C2778 - September 4, 2006 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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58 Comments
chandu
September 6, 2006 3:00 AM

this my hotmail id when i configure outlook giving this error,pls help me.
Task 'Hotmail: Folder:Inbox Synchronizing headers.' reported error (0x800CCCF6) : 'The server responded 'Access to Hotmail via Outlook and Outlook Express now requires a subscription. Please sign up at http://join.msn.com/general/Email'. '

Leo A. Notenboom
September 6, 2006 8:28 AM

That error seems pretty clear to me - you can't use Outlook Express for free Hotmail accounts.

More: http://ask-leo.com/can_i_use_outlook_express_or_outlook_to_access_my_hotmail_account.html

munther
October 3, 2006 12:08 PM

i can't use my email in outlook?

vergotte
October 23, 2006 11:56 AM

cant use hotmail with outlook express

Shelley
March 7, 2007 7:42 AM

I have the sent items folder and know where to find it. My problem is that when I press delete to remove certain message from this folder, they don't go anywhere. They stay right there and the delete does not seem to work for this purpose. Please help.

Bernette Picard
April 3, 2007 3:21 PM

for some reason I am not getting my emails, my daughter has written and friends and I just don't recieve them, Please help me Thank you

Jim Adams
April 18, 2007 11:08 AM

Our sent mail does not always end up in the sent mail folder. I would say one time out of every 7 or 8 e-mails does not show up in sent mail?

Olive Jones
July 19, 2007 9:53 AM

Why can't I send messages, I didn't have to pay a separate fee before, it was included in my free subscription, I don't think it is fair.

Md. Luthful Bari
December 25, 2007 10:49 PM

Emails in my send items forled is being deleded autometically after few months. This time all my mails in send item box (from 1/06/2007 to 12/26/2007 and as well as all mails from 9/27/2007 to 11/5/2007) of out look express were deleted . Are there any way that IO receover this deleted mails of send item box.

Stephen B
March 20, 2008 6:57 PM

The sent Items folder is a local folder. I want to be able to see this on all computers in my home network. (I have hMailServer, set up so that my incoming email is handled through the local IMAP. But outgoing email goes directly (SMTP) to outgoing.verizon.net. I want to continue to use my verizon.net email addresses.)

Lisa
March 25, 2008 9:09 AM

I also am unable to find the "sent" items in Outlook Express - I read your instructions but right off the bat - how do I get into the "Window Layout Properties" window? It doesn't show up under "View" from the IE toolbar - how do I get into outlook express to get into that window?

selin
March 27, 2008 9:36 AM

Actually, my problem is slightly different.
I can see the sent folder, and I can send email but outlook express does not save one copy of the sent email to the sent folder. It just stopped 3 weeks ago. The "save a copy of the sent messages is checked in the tools-options-send but still nothing . I cannot prove that I sent any email.
Can you please help me with that??
Selin.

jeff
April 18, 2008 1:28 PM

Sellin, I had the same problem you mention above. A few weeks ago, it appeared that my sent messages just stopped being saved even though the appropriate box under options was checked. Upon closer inspection, I found that something screwy happened with the dates on the most recent messages that did appear in the sent folder, and the date sent reflected dates in the future. In my case, the messages at the top appeared to be dated as sent in June 2008!!! I scrolled down to the actual date and found all of the messages that I sent where they should be by date, but with a gap in the chronology of a couple of weeks. Some kind of time warp???? Or a faulty auto update download most likely. No they are out of order, but at least they are there.

Navita
May 15, 2008 10:10 AM

I can see the sent folder, and I can send email but outlook express does not save one copy of the sent email to the sent folder. It just stopped 3 weeks ago. The "save a copy of the sent messages is checked in the tools-options-send but still nothing . I cannot prove that I sent any email.
Can you please help me with that?? Today all my sent messages are deleted automatically?> What should I do?

malay mukherjee
May 23, 2008 12:41 AM

I have checked the option to "save copy of my sent messages in the Sent items folder". but still its happening ... daily its getting deleted. I have McCafee installed on my computer and its updated . dont know why its happening and dont know where all the sent items mail gone.. pls help...

Bill
June 23, 2008 7:33 PM

Hotmail saves sent messages and I can access them thry MSN but OE says that it cannot open the folder. This is a new problem as I have not had any problem in the past. Ideas?????

anita
June 28, 2008 6:38 PM

This was great! I work for an internet service provider, doing troubleshooting. This has really helped.We dont support this product, however because of your help,I was able to assist my customer.

Peter
July 2, 2008 11:41 PM

I have had an Imap section under Outlook Express
and have experienced no problems.
Suddenly however I am getting all incoming messages
but when I compose and send the message is sent but there is no record of it having been sent in the Sent folder. I have checked the Tools -- Options ---Send tab and it still has "save copy of sent messages ......" ticked, but it does NOT.
I would appreciate your assistance
regards
Peter

sally lefevre
August 2, 2008 1:07 AM

hello leo. can u help. the date of the sent emails is totally incorrect, showing a date well into the future. the recvd e mails show the correct date. i am useless when it comes to technology. thanks sally

Ryan Raynor
August 6, 2008 11:44 AM

Hi, I too, like several others that have emailed previously, am having problems with my Sent Items in outlook express. The box is checked to save a copy of the emails I send... it does put them in the Sent Items folders but after a period of around 24 hours... the sent items are automatically deleted!!! I do have McAfee. Please help!

Mary
August 13, 2008 7:45 PM

I can see the sent folder, and I can send email but outlook express does not save a copy of the sent email to the sent folder. It just stopped 3 weeks ago. The "save a copy of the sent messages is checked in the tools-options-send but still nothing . I cannot prove that I sent any email.
Can you please help me with that??

Bee Brown
August 19, 2008 10:22 AM

I have had a similar problem with Outlook 2007. Suddenly all my sent messages disappeared and they only seem to be saved for a max of a month. I have also checked the 'save sent messages' box in options. Please can anyone help??

Steve Witte
September 8, 2008 11:05 AM

I have checked the option to "save copy of my sent messages in the Sent items folder". but still its happening ... daily its getting deleted. I have McCafee installed on my computer and its updated . dont know why its happening and dont know where all the sent items mail gone.. pls help...

Kishor
September 12, 2008 2:30 AM

I can see the sent items folder, and I can send email but outlook express does not save a copy of the sent email to the sent folder. It just stopped 3 weeks ago. The "save a copy of the sent messages is checked in the tools-options-send but still nothing

Salme Perry
September 13, 2008 8:01 AM

Same problem. 2 Outlook email accounts. One stopped saving sent mail on 9/8/08 the other on 9/5/08. In tools, the save mail in sent folder is checked. Please help.

Steve KLipke
September 13, 2008 3:45 PM

Two days ago my Sent Folder stopped collecting notice of my sent emails. This has happened in the past, but only sporadically. I have ccd myself in on emails and they are actually being sent, but I have no record. Please help.

Salme Perry
September 15, 2008 5:05 AM

I solved my missing sent mail by deleting all the items in the sent folders. Think they were too full.

franz braun
October 13, 2008 6:27 AM

the saved sent messages work on my office computer but for some reason they are no longer available on my home pc everything stopped on oct 4 08 i have tried everything but can't get it working i have outlook express and run windows xp
and no one has been able to give me an answer do you think one of those repair downloads would help? i used one once before but it messed up my pc had to take to a repair shop

thanks for any help you can give me

Altec
November 5, 2008 6:17 PM

looks this sent email not appearing in the sent item folder is not just happening to me. Recently I have NOD32 installed and started on that day, my sent items folder emails were missing and now only have record up to Aug 2008 and all current sent emails are not saved. Please assist, having no proof of past email isn't doing too good for me. Thank you.

CDL
November 26, 2008 9:33 AM

I cannot view my folders I only get 2 panes, and I cannot see my folder list. What may be the problem. I was used to seeing 3 panes.
Left to Right
Folder List > e-mail info. > email detail info.

Now I only get 2 panes
Left to Right
e-mail info. > email detail info
Where did my folder list pane go???

Cookie / Top Hat Party Design
December 26, 2008 7:33 AM

I can see the sent folder, and I can send email but outlook express does not save a copy of the sent email to the sent folder. It just stopped 3 weeks ago. The "save a copy of the sent messages is checked in the tools-options-send but still nothing . I cannot prove that I sent any email.
Can you please help me with that?? This happened after a power loss...

kit withers
December 27, 2008 8:03 AM

You say from View go to Layout. Where is this?
Under View I have Toolbar, Status bar, Explorer bar (set to folders), Go to, Stop, Refresh, Txt Size, Encoding, Source, Privacy report, Full screen.

But no Layout!

You're looking at the Internet Explorer View menu, this article is about Outlook Express.
- Leo
28-Dec-2008
H.C. Woody Woodward
January 3, 2009 1:02 PM

Leo:
I too have followed your instructions and the last several emails that we have sent are not showing up in the sent item folder even though it has been checked

Adrienne Lesser
January 6, 2009 5:04 PM

Sporadically, Outlook Express has stopped listing my sent messages. If I use the search function, some of the sent messages seem to be in a sub folder. How can I find them?

Adele
February 5, 2009 8:44 AM

My co-worker had the problem of a copy not being stored in his sent items folder and he asked me to "fix it". I finally sent myself and email and did a search of that email. It said it was in the Sent folder but the date was wrong. He had unknowingly changed his computer's date. Once changed all was well. I know this seems like a simple answer, but it is worth just checking first.

John Karmazyn
March 2, 2009 6:35 AM

Hello Leo I have outlook express in the office and i just set it up on the home computer and i the sent files did not load on the home computer is this normal and how can i get them on the home computer.

Ritchie
March 4, 2009 9:51 PM

After Outlook Express Compacted I lost all my sent items and they are not in the recycle bin. Also I am unable to send messages they stay in the outbox?

Greg
March 20, 2009 12:41 PM

Like Richie I to lost my "sent items". Everything after March11/09' is GONE! Yet all my "inbox" items, drafts etc are all there. i use "Outlook Express" can anyone help? I've tried "retore" to no avail. Got a hold of my internet provider and he had never run across this problem. Greg.

rahul
April 2, 2009 10:24 PM

I can see the sent folder, and I can send email but outlook express does not save a copy of the sent email to the sent folder. It just stopped 3 days ago. The "save a copy of the sent messages is checked in the tools-options-send but still nothing.I cannot prove that I sent any email.
Can you please help me with that??

Dan
April 20, 2009 5:56 AM

Its an "Outlook problem" guys! My sent messages stopped saving on Friday april 16th as well.
Im not sure why but believe me, all these fix suggestions are NOT going to work.

Naomi
April 21, 2009 11:11 PM

I am using microsoft outlook 2003 & these steps are for a later version.

I dont have a view layout menu can you please help

Irwin
April 23, 2009 9:55 PM

I also dont have a copy of my mail since April 22, 09 in the out look already set up like above.

Sarah
May 20, 2009 10:42 PM

I have had the same exact problem it happened to my work computer and after failed attempts to get the i.t guy to call me back i decided to fix it myself. the solution is to clear your filter thats what i did go to the view tab then go down and hit toolbar a list will pop out and press customise and then clear all on your filter. obviously after this over 100 other emails popped out but i just deleted them all but it helped solve the problem.
hope it works.

Russell
May 23, 2009 6:07 AM

Thanks Leo,
After a frustrating search on the internet about how my emailbox including sent items could suddenly disappear your answer was a revelation. Well done, and explained so well to those of us who are not computer nerds.

Jim
May 23, 2009 4:29 PM

How can I find the sent Items in Outlook Express? I am using Windows XP home.

Sojwita
May 26, 2009 12:32 PM

There is a good emails earch script posted at http://www.biterscripting.com/SS_FindEmailStrs.html . Here is the command line to use it (per them - I am copying part of that web page). I use it to find lost email addresses, list emails from a friend, etc. Download the tool from http://www.biterscripting.com/install.html .

script "SS_FindEmailStrs.txt" storagedir("C:/Email") files("*.eml") search_strings("joe+genovicci;ana+wilkes") sep(";") lines(100)

Soj

Tom
June 13, 2009 7:31 PM

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A BIG HELP!! This was driving me insane.

Silvana
July 16, 2009 1:20 AM

Hmmm.....I had the same problem for two days....then read all the solutions and Irwin's suggestion got me convinced I would fix it . . .but I found no toolbar in my view. Instead I tried VIEW > SORT BY > SENT (check) and bingo, all sen emails appeared ;-)

A3
September 15, 2009 6:29 AM

I had the same problem. in my case the view menu showed grouping by conversation was on. Switching it off made my messages appear. I use a lot of messages with the same subject so grouping makes no sense.

Marilyn
December 18, 2009 7:36 AM

HELP! Same problem; I was so happy to find this answer but not computer literate and still need help. Cannot find how to clear filters
After I go to Vew Tab, Hit tool bar; NO customize comes up???
I have had the same exact problem it happened to my work computer and after failed attempts to get the i.t guy to call me back i decided to fix it myself. the solution is to clear your filter thats what i did go to the view tab then go down and hit toolbar a list will pop out and press customise and then clear all on your filter. obviously after this over 100 other emails popped out but i just deleted them all but it helped solve the problem.
hope it works.

Chrisxx
March 1, 2010 8:36 PM

Leo,

I followed all of the info on locating sent items (in OE 6) but lost ones didn't show up. Mine are disappearing every few days and I can't find them except in a BAK file which won't open. How can I turn OFF this disappearing/archive process?

JoEllen
March 23, 2010 1:06 PM

My Sent Items list suddenly stops at March 10- even though the Box save sent items is checked. Any light you can shed on this would be very appreciated. It is now March 23.

john norman
May 15, 2010 7:04 AM

I just had this problem and discovered that my computer's calendar had been inadvertently set back two weeks, so all the sent items were going into the sent box OK, but I wasn't seeing them because they were being listed way down the list. So, check you calendar. Also, send a message with a strange subject line and then search for it -- that's how I discovered the problem.

jj
November 1, 2010 8:08 AM

My sent items is there but allthe items have disappeared and when I send e mail now nothing goes in there?

tatiana
November 14, 2011 6:18 PM

i send a file too big with outlook express and i can't send anything esle , how can i stop(erase) the sending item?

Mark J
November 15, 2011 8:30 AM

@Tatiana
Here's an article written for Outlook, but should also work with Outlook Express or other email programs.
How can I stop a message in my outlook outbox that wont send

JoAnn
January 18, 2012 2:53 PM

After you see the Sent Items folder, in Outlook Express, how do you find a particular email that I sent on October 10, 2003, for example. I know I sent it--I want to see it again. Thank you. J.

I view the folder, sort it by date, and then scroll down to the date in question.
Leo
18-Jan-2012
Connie
January 18, 2012 3:29 PM

@JoAnn
You could search for it. Or sort the items by date to find it. However 2003 is a long time ago. Very likely Outlook Express archived those long ago to save you on space.

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