Stump the PC Club is a free tech-advice column written by members of the North Orange County Computer Club, which has been in existence since 1976. Visit the club’s site at noccc.org.
QUESTION: Help! I have 3 PCs running Windows 7 and I use Outlook 2007 for email on all 3. Is there a way to sync my email for all three computers? My wife and I need to see the same email. Thanks.
PC CLUB: This issue sounds complicated, but it isn’t. You don’t have to worry about syncing email programs. The mail is coming from the same place, after all.
You’re most likely using POP mail accounts; POP stands for Post Office Protocol which is the current standard for most Web mail services. This includes Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! You can access these accounts using a browser, such as Firefox or Internet Explorer. That leaves the email on the server, available to other computers.
You can also view Web mail with programs, such as Outlook or Windows Live Mail. They typically download the email, removing it from the server. That also happens when using Outlook with email hosted by Internet service providers such as Cox or Time Warner. When the email is downloaded, other computers can no longer retrieve it, but this behavior is easy to modify.
In Outlook 2007, go to Tools>>Account Settings. Select your email account name. Click the Change email Account button just above the account name. Click the More Settings button. Go to the Advanced tab. Check the "Leave a copy of messages on the server" option. This will make the email available to all the computers. Change this setting on all your PCs.
This setting, however, can quickly clutter the email account on the server. There are two options on the same settings page to help. One deletes email from the server after a certain period of time. The other deletes email from the server when any computer deletes it locally. Otherwise, the email stays on the server indefinitely.
These settings are available in any computer email program. It’s also true of several cell phone email applications, too. Here’s some more examples:
· In Outlook Express click Tools, Accounts. On the Mail tab select your account and click Properties. Click the Advanced tab, and choose your setting at the bottom of the window.
· For Windows Live Mail, see the instructions at http://bit.ly/leaveonserver.
Ed Schwartz is a member of the North Orange County Computer Club. To send in a question, go to edwardns.com and click the Contact Me menu. Archives of previous columns are also on the website.