Remove message bodies from local IMAP folders but not from server

Not open for further replies.


I would like to remove message bodies from locally stored IMAP folders without removing the message headers. I want to keep the message bodies on the IMAP server (provided by my web host).


I recently installed Outlook 2007 and migrated my email from Windows Live Mail to Outlook. I had previously been in the process of moving all of my locally stored email files off of my computer onto my IMAP server in order to free up disk space. I had changed my folder synchronization settings from " Download All Messages" to " Download Message Headers Only." (My web host gives me unlimited storage space, and backs up all my files, so it seemed like a good idea to store my stuff there; my saved email is getting into the 2GB range.)

When I migrated, Outlook downloaded ALL the messages that were on the server instead of just message headers. (The migration wizard did not give me an option to change that setting before it began the migration.)

I believe that there is a setting in Newsgroups to remove message bodies, but there seems to be no such setting in Email (I never use newsgroups).

Is there an easy solution? I guess I could create new folders on the IMAP server and move email to those, but I was hoping for an automatic solution; I have a lot of folders and files.


Ruchi Bisht

If you have already set up the IMAP account AND moved all the mail items from Windows Live Mail to Outlook then later selected the option "Download Message Headers Only" it would have downloaded all items with message body during that process. However you may try to send a new test email and verify whether it downloads only the message header or not, for details visit the following link:

If the above step does not resolve the issue try to create a new Outlookprofile, set up the mail account and select the option to "Download Message Headers Only".

Ruchi Bisht


How do I verify if it downloaded only the header? As soon as I open the message, it loads. On a fast Internet connection, I assume it takes as much time (to the naked eye) as opening a message from the HD. (I read the article you pointed you, but it doesn't really address my issue.)


Ruchi Bisht

Once you select Download Message Headers Only, restart Outlook, do not open or select any of the messages.

Once the send / receive is completed, click on File > Work Offline, open any new email from Inbox and verify if it shows only the header or body of the message as well.

Note: disable Work Offline once the verification is done.

Ruchi Bisht
Not open for further replies.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
A automatically remove flag from original message when a response was received Using Outlook 2
L Remove specific message - Help Exchange Server Administration 2
T How can I remove message indent lines? Using Outlook 23
T How can I remove message indent lines? Using Outlook 6
T Outlook 2016 remove envelope icon for certain folders Using Outlook 5
M In Outlook Calendar remove the buttons: 'Today' and '<' (Back a day) and '>' (Forward a day) that are below the Ribbon and above the calendar display. Using Outlook 0
P [SOLVED] Auto remove [EXTERNAL] from subject Using Outlook 14
P Add, remove, & reorder folder pane Using Outlook 6
W Remove specific contacts from contact list Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 3
T Cannot remove needless PST Using Outlook 1
Healy Consultants Macro to remove inside organization distribution list email address when reply to all recepients Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
S Unable to remove rule outlook 2010 Using Outlook 0
N How to remove signature formatting from Text in Word (accidentally taken from Outlook) Using Outlook 0
B Remove Subject Residual Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 3
P how to remove unwanted PST file default categories assigned to many calendar entries Using Outlook 7
J Remove text to Clean Up Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 1
B Automatically Forward Emails and Remove/Replace All or Part of Body Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 8
D Remove text in subject using VBA Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 4
T Remove Old Location From Tasks Pane Using Outlook 1
A remove or turn off contact folder from outlook 2016 Using Outlook 4
R Chancing / remove “ something ” in the subject, online archive Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 8
Morgan Fowler Remove Signature Using Outlook 1
M How to remove a list of specific contacts from Outlook Using Outlook 18
R New Links on Navigation Pane, How to Remove? Using Outlook 1
M VBA to remove deferred delivery on a MeetingItem Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 2
J Remove extra line above signature in reply Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 5
Diane Poremsky How to Remove RSS Support from Outlook New Articles 0
Diane Poremsky Remove Attachments From Messages New Articles 0
Diane Poremsky Remove Office 2013 Update Banner New Articles 0
O Remove duplicate mail items Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 6
Diane Poremsky Remove a password from an Outlook *.pst File New Articles 3
G VBA/Macro to remove page colour when replying or forwarding email Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 2
L Fake reminder apperaring (not in calendar) - how to remove? Using Outlook 5
J Your IMAP server wants to alert you to the following: cannot remove system folder Using Outlook 3
A Auto Insert of filename when selecting 'Remove Attachment' Using Outlook 1
C how to remove icons on right hand side outlook 2013 Using Outlook 2
K Remove Manage APPS button for users Exchange Server Administration 1
P Remove name and parenthses from email Using Outlook 1
G Outlook calendar entry corrupted. Constant pop up when you open outlook. Unable to delete or remove. Using Outlook 2
Diane Poremsky How to remove the primary account from Outlook 2010/2013 New Articles 0
Diane Poremsky Remove an Address from Reply All New Articles 0
Diane Poremsky Remove Outlook apps from Outlook New Articles 0
L An () has been inserted after the address in an address box; how do I remove them. Using Outlook 1
S How to remove forms from Organizational forms library Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 2
2 Task has a strike through but is not complete - how to remove? Using Outlook 1
A Is it possible to remove the word Categories: from task list views? Using Outlook 2
W URGENT Cancel and remove imported pop3 mails Using Outlook 6
Emerogork How do I remove "Delete Folder" from the right-click menu? Using Outlook 1
T How to remove annoying Big Blue Type at beginning of my messages Using Outlook 2
H Cannot remove unwanted fields from form Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 9
Similar threads