Help Article How to sync sent mail across devices

This tutorial will show how to sync your Sent mail so that emails sent on one device reflect in the Sent items of any other devices using that same email account.


Managing your sent mails can be much easier if you synchronize them into one folder. To do this:

Set up IMAP for mail on your server.
Ensure that you have a Sent folder on the server:
Check in Webmail if a Sent items folder exists.
If not, click on the settings/cog icon, select Folders, then tick Sent to subscribe.
If there is no Sent folder, then send a quick test email from Webmail. This will generate a Sent items folder which Outlook and Mac mail etc. can reference.
Configure the mail applications to recognize the Sent folder so that all your sent mails are directed to that folder.
Usually, the configuration happens automatically when you set up your email address in the mail programme, creating a folder labelled Sent Messages. In some cases however, the email sync programme may default to saving the sent mails locally on your computer instead of saving them on the server. In these cases you’ll have to set up the folder manually in order to sync the sent mails. The main advantage of synchronizing your emails on the server is that it allows you to access the mails on any device.

Manual set up should be a final resort and should be done if the auto sync fails.

Outlook 2007 and 2010 have account settings that will let you choose whether or not to save sent mail in a folder called Sent Mail
Outlook 2013 automatically saves your sent mails in the Sent Items file
For Gmail users, there’s a Gmail IMAP that automatically saves the sent mails to Sent file.
When the server tries to determine the folder and fails, here are a few guidelines to help you sync the sent mails manually in Outlook.

Subscribe to a Folder in Outlook

Open the Outlook email client
Right click on the Inbox folder
Select IMAP Folders
Untick the box that says ‘when displaying hierarchy in outlook, show only subscribed folders‘ so that all folders are visible, not only the subscribed ones
Click on query
Select the folders that you are not subscribed to
Click Subscribe (one by one)
Click OK to close the dialogue boxes.

Subscribe to an Outlook Folder on an Apple Device

You can sync your IMAP email account settings from an Apple device; an iPhone, an iPod or a Mac device. Unlike the case with other devices, you must define the IMAP path prefix when using an Apple device.

To set the IMAP path prefix:

Click on Settings (mobile) or System preferences (desktop)
Click on Mail (mobile) or Internet Accounts (desktop)
Select the relevant Account
Click Advanced
Click IMAP (if applicable)
Set the Path prefix by typing INBOX
Save and your folder will appear.
Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016 may not find the correct folder to save the sent mails. When this happens, it will automatically create a folder called Sent (this computer only) – but this folder won’t sync the sent mails with the server.

Root Your Mailbox

There are times when your Outlook may not recognize your folders due to some errors. When your mailbox is rooted, the IMAP set up will be based on a root structure and Outlook will recognize all the correct folders. Rooting will make Outlook ignore the pre-existing Sent Items and Deleted Items folders and let you use local folders in their place. It will then use the Root folder path to recognize the local folders as the correct folders.

Go to File and click Account Settings
Open your IMAP account.
Click on More Options
Open the Advanced tab
Under options, click on Root folder path
Click OK to close the dialogue boxes
If your new folders don’t appear amongst the folders in the IMAP dialogue box, make sure you update the folders list then refresh the mail server or the browser you are using. To update the folders:

Open the mail client
Right click on the first folder on your IMAP account
Click on Update Folder List
How to Determine the Root Folder Path
To determine the root folder path for your mailbox root:

Right click on the IMAP mailbox
Select IMAP Folders
A dialogue box will appear; click on the Query button
The root name is the common name before the dot
Outlook 2010
When assigning a folder to the Sent Items in Outlook 2010 follow these steps;

Open IMAP by clicking on File, Account Settings and then double click on the IMAP account.
Click on More Settings
Select Sent Items
Enable “Save sent items in the following folder on the server”.
Choose your preferred folder
Performance Note

As the Sent folder size increases, your mail application will become slower to access, especially on iPhones and other mobile devices. It is recommended that you create a Sent Archive folder on your local computer and/or a backup drive. Every year or so, move the year-old Sent items to the Sent Archive.

You are not going to need/ refer to these messages frequently since they’re more than a year old, but you will still be able to access them if required.

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