MS Outlook is one of the oldest desktop email clients in the market. It’s also one of the most powerful clients with features such as rules to make it even better. Over the years, the email client has evolved both in terms of features and UI. The UI of Outlook 2016 is vastly different from the UI of Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2007. As with any change in the UI, this too resulted some controls and buttons moving around. Older versions of Outlook had an option that let you stop saving sent emails. In Outlook 2016, this option moved so that you can’t find it on the ribbon. Here’s how you can stop saving sent emails in Outlook 2016.
Open Outlook and go to File>Options. On the Outlook Options window, select the ‘Mail’ tab. This tab has a long list of settings that you can change. Scroll down and look for the ‘Save messages’ group of settings.
There are three options that control saving sent items. The first option is the ‘Automatically save items that have not been sent after this many minutes’. This option is for messages that fail to send or take very long to send. In either case, it is a good idea to have the message save automatically. You can change the delay period so that Outlook waits longer for a message to send before saving it.
The second option is the ‘Save forwarded messages’ option. You can uncheck this and stop saving forwarded emails. A copy of the original message will remain in your inbox. If you save it as a sent message when you forward it you’re saving it twice. The only reason to save a forwarded message is to ensure you have a well documented trail/proof of correspondence.
The third option is the ‘Save copies of messages in the Sent Items folder’ option. Uncheck this option to stop saving sent emails in Outlook. This will not affect forwarded messages.
This new option is inconvenient. Older versions of Outlook let you choose on a per-email basis whether or not to save a sent email. The option took a few clicks to access but it was there. This new option will stop saving sent emails in Outlook indiscriminately. At no point can a user intervene.
If you want to save a sent message, you have to enable this option. The downside is that you have to save all messages, even ones that aren’t worth saving. The only good thing is that you can at least stop saving forwarded messages.