Check for New Messages More Frequently with Outlook Express

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.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.