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Tip #6 - Configure Outlook Autosave Settings

written by: Mojave Media Group•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 1/29/2009

Microsoft Outlook 2007 saves your work every few minutes. You can control the frequency and location of autosave content.

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    Configure Outlook 2007 Autosave

    By default, Microsoft Outlook 2007 saves your unsent messages in the drafts folder if you do not send them within three minutes. They are autosaved to the Drafts folder every three minutes thereafter if changes are made. It also autosaves copies of calendar items, tasks and contacts being edited by the user but not yet saved after three minutes.

    This default is reasonable for most people. Outlook offers some options for this setting nonetheless. Autosaving can be turned off completely. The frequency for saving items can be edited using the UI for any value in minutes from 1 through 99. Outlook also allows some control over which folder hosts these drafts. If the Drafts folder does not work for you, the other options are the Outbox, Sent Items and the Inbox folders. These changes are made in Outlook by navigating to Tools | Options and clicking the E-mail Options button on the Preferences Tab. Autosave can be turned off completely here by deselecting the box beside “Automatically save unsent messages" as shown in Figure 1. Click on the Advanced E-mail Options button to show the window seen in Figure 2. The setting circled in Figure 2 shows Autosave checked and the frequency set at the default of 3 minutes. Finally, Figure 3 displays the drop down box controlling the folder options to store unsent or unsaved items.

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    Screen Captures

    Figure 1 - Save Unsent MessagesFigure 2 - Autosave FrequencyFigure 3 - Autosave Draft Location
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    Registry Settings

    These changes are made specific to the user in the registry. The DWORD values in hex are located as follows:

    Autosave Time (default 3 minutes):

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\MailSettings]

    "AutosaveTime"=dword:0000000e

    Autosave Location (default Drafts):

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Options\General]

    "SAVE_LOC"=dword:00000010

    For the SAVE_LOC for drafts, there are four options with their decimal DWORD values:

    16 Drafts

    4 Outbox

    5 Sent Items

    6 Inbox

    While the defaults should be suitable for more, there is some control for others who may work with Outlook 2007 a little differently.