Outlook Express will check your mail server for new messages immediately when you open the program, but only once every 30 minutes thereafter by default. This setting is a holdover from the “old days” when most users connected to the Internet by slow techniques like dial-up. If you’re connected to the Internet via a network and a high-speed connection, then it’s well worth checking for new messages more frequently – assuming that you’re actually interested in receiving messages in your Inbox more quickly, of course.
Configuring Outlook Express to check for new messages at shorter intervals is a simple affair. Just head to Tools > Options and then head for the Send / Receive Messages section on the General tab. Ensure that the Check for new messages every X minutes option is checked, and then enter a new time interval in the box provided. 5 minutes is perfect for most users, but if you absolutely need to see messages immediately, a shorter interval like 1 or 2 minutes may be more appropriate. Click OK to enforce your new settings.