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Windows 7: How to prevent W7 Live Mail from removing emails older than 1 yr

08 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 64 bit Pro
How to prevent W7 Live Mail from removing emails older than 1 yr

I've had all the Windows OSs and now have Windows 7 64-bit Pro and use the resident email client Windows Live Mail. I haven't merged any other online email accounts with Live Mail. I looked for a specific email for a purchase I made in 2011 only to find that I have no emails for 2011 at all - none. I only have emails from 2012. I want to keep many travel and purchase emails. I have tried to research this issue and read that Windows 7 Live Mail automatically archives older emails but despite following the path provided, I could not view any old emails from 2011 or before.

What can I do to retrieve all my old emails and bring them back to my current Windows Live Mail? What can I do to prevent the 2012 emails from being archived, removed?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello Flightlessbird and welcome to Seven Forums.

Let me say right away that I don't use WLM and I have no knowledge of how it works. But this response will hopefully put your question in the "active" list rather than having it stay in the "unanswered" category.

Microsoft Outlook has an AutoArchive feature. AutoArchive moves items from their original location in Outlook to an archive file folder when they expire. That is, when they pass their "aging period". But there's also an option for items to be deleted when they expire. I'm guessing that WLM may have this same feature. Maybe these guides for Outlook will give you some ideas of where to look in WLM.

Please accept my sincerest apology for not having anything worthwhile to contribute. I'm hoping that one of the more knowledgeable Forum members will jump in with a good response.

Automatically move or delete older items with AutoArchive - Outlook -

Open and find items in an archive Outlook Data File (.pst) - Outlook -
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2013   #3


Windows Live Mail email client does not delete messages by itself.

Messages are deleted only when
  • User deletes them
  • User changes default settings
  • Message is deleted on server (IMAP)
  • Settings on email service provider's server are set to delete messages per instructions (IMAP); messages will also be deleted on WLM client due IMAP folder synchronization
As you did not tell what email provider you are using and if you use IMAP or POP3 mail protocol, it is impossible to say why your old messages have disappeared. Read more about IMAP vs. POP3: Email: What's the Difference Between POP3, IMAP, and Exchange? - How-To Geek

Short explanation:
POP3 stores the messages both locally and on server if the option Leave the copy of messages on the server is chosen. This is not synchronized; a message deleted locally is not deleted on server, neither is a message deleted on server deleted from your computer. If the option is not selected, messages are deleted from the server when Live Mail (or any other client) has read them.

IMAP stores the messages both locally and on the server, doing this in a synchronized way: if the message is deleted locally in Live Mail, it is also deleted from the server, and vice versa.

When using IMAP, a deleted message remains in Deleted Items folder on WLM, and in Deleted folder on server (the name in Hotmail / Live, other service providers might have a different name for this folder on server). It is only completely removed when it is deleted from this folder, not before, for instance when you empty the Deleted Items folder on your mail client. When this is done, it will be removed from the client (WLM) as well as from server because one of the most characterizing features of IMAP is that it keeps both mailboxes synchronized, the one on your client (WLM or any other mail client) and the one by your service provider's mail server.

To change this default setting, go to File > Options > Mail, select Advanced > Maintenance and select Empty items from "Deleted Items" folder on exit. This will remove all deleted messages completely every time you exit WLM:

How to prevent W7 Live Mail from removing emails older than 1 yr-wlm_client_imap_pop3_00001.png
How to prevent W7 Live Mail from removing emails older than 1 yr-wlm_client_imap_pop3_00002.png
How to prevent W7 Live Mail from removing emails older than 1 yr-wlm_client_imap_pop3_00003.png

POP3 mail protocol allows you to have totally independent mailboxes locally on your client and on the server. To change POP3 settings to keep or delete messages on server, go to File > Options > Email Accounts, select your POP3 account and click Properties and change the delivery settings as you wish:

How to prevent W7 Live Mail from removing emails older than 1 yr-wlm_client_imap_pop3_00004.png
How to prevent W7 Live Mail from removing emails older than 1 yr-wlm_client_imap_pop3_00005.png
How to prevent W7 Live Mail from removing emails older than 1 yr-wlm_client_imap_pop3_00006.png

I recommend you to check your mail settings on your service provider's webmail interface. For your issue the reason for disappeared messages is either a user setting, your mail provider's settings on server or that you have deleted the messages yourself, with or without intent.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Jan 2013   #4

Windows 7 Pro 32/64 bit and Windows 10 Pro 32 Bit/64bit

I totally agree, WLM does not delete messages unless you do it yourself or on your webmail for IMAP. I have messages from 2007 and further back, this may also have to do with something through your isp. You might want to go to your webmail and look at the filters that are set up, you might find there it is set to delete old messages.
Also if you check webmail and delete messages from there it will delete them from WLM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #5

Windows 64 bit Pro
Windows 7 Live Mail is a resident mail program

I downloaded Windows 7 Live Mail after I purchased Windows 7 operating system. I used to have Outlook and prefer a resident email client on my home computer. I also have other Internet email accounts.

My ISP is Verizon and since my computer is on almost all the time (not asleep either), my emails are continuously downloaded to my computer where they are stored. So, the disappearance of email messages more than one year old has nothing to do with my ISP since I download or retrieve the messages constantly.

When I had Outlook, my emails did not disappear and were not archived. I would go through and manually delete what I no longer needed.

I need to keep certain emails like travel and purchase emails and do not want them to "disappear" or be archived. This is what I am asking. How can I make Windows 7 Live Mail not archive my messages that are stored on my computer by this resident email client.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #6

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Flightlessbird View Post
I downloaded Windows 7 Live Mail after I purchased Windows 7 operating system...How can I make Windows 7 Live Mail not archive my messages that are stored on my computer by this resident email client.
I'm still using the 2009 version of WLM, which has an option menu very similar to that of the old Outlook Express. I'm sure that my version does not delete or archive messages. There isn't even an option to do so. If you download messages to your PC via POP3, they should stay there (in WLM on your PC) until you delete them and empty the deleted items folder. If, OTOH, you set up your account as IMAP, you are merely viewing what was left on the mail server so you need to find out what your mail server's policy is wrt mail that you viewed but did not download. (Usually pop3 deletes from servers while imap does not, but after time the email service provider may delete them according to their own individual policy.) So far we have not discussed http type accounts (e.g. Microsoft's Hotmail/ service) which synchronizes the server and client inboxes so that users can manage the mail on their server from any device they happen to use to "sign-in" with.

Personally, I do something a bit unusual since I don't use Hotmail or multiple devices and do not want to download a lot of junk in the first place. I set up my main account as both POP3 and IMAP. I look at what is on the server in the IMAP version first and "delete" and "purge from server" the stuff I don't want to download permanently to my PC. Then I go to the POP3 account and manually tell it to sync (which in WLM means "download and delete from server"). I don't let the POP3 account download anything on a schedule or at startup. But if I happen to leave my email program open, email headers will appear in the IMAP folder I was viewing as new mail arrives on the server.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #7

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

In the left pane, you can look in the "Storage Folders" and see if there is anything in "Recovered Items".
If you don't see Storage Folders in the left pane, on the View Tab / Ribbon make sure Storage Folders is enabled.

You can create your own folders in Storage Folders to store email locally.

My primary program is Outlook and I don't use WLM (2012) to store any emails on my PC.
I've never used Storage Folders to make sure they work correctly!

I found this about Storage Folders:
Storage folders enable you to store messages locally that you don't want to keep on the server. Moving a message from an account folder to a user-created folder under storage folders will remove it from the server.
Source: Storage folders in Windows Live Mail - Microsoft Community

How to prevent W7 Live Mail from removing emails older than 1 yr-wlmsp19.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #8

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidW7ncus View Post
Perhaps it should be pointed out that that the first post in that thread says "... I only wish to use WLM as a client for Hotmail...". Since Hotmail accounts are normally set up as an HTTP type, they are synchronized with the server in such a way that the client and server are kept in sync with each other. If a message is moved away from a Hotmail account in WLM it will be deleted from the server. OTOH, with a POP3 account, it's deleted upon download (by default) even though it remains in the account's inbox, and with an IMAP account it is only deleted if you move it away from the IMAP folder group (causing a line to be drawn through the header) and that action is followed up by "purge messages from server". In other words the behavior depends on the type of accout (http, imap, or pop3) as well as the options that apply to that type of account, and the policy of the email server wrt messages left on the server.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to prevent W7 Live Mail from removing emails older than 1 yr

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