What Does "Send/Receive" Mean In Outlook Express?


Outlook Express is an email client produced by Microsoft for its Windows operating systems, which allows you to send electronic messages to others. When you do this, emails don't automatically appear in the recipient's email box but are held in a mail server until Outlook Express requests them. Outlook periodically checks the mail server and accesses new messages, but you can force it to do this through the "Send/Receive" button.

Sending Messages

  • Usually, an email will be delivered to the recipient's mail server immediately after you click "Send." However, Outlook Express doesn't have to send messages immediately. If the "Send messages immediately" option isn't selected, then emails will be held in the outbox until you click "Send/Receive," after which they'll be sent on to the receiver's mail server. This option is found by clicking "Tools," then "Options," then the "Send" tab.

Mail Servers

  • After the message is sent, Outlook Express locates the recipient's mail server on the Internet, which is essentially the recipient's electronic mail box. This is done through mail submission servers, which determine the target mail server's "IP address." This process works much the same as sending physical mail -- routers will look at the IP address on the message and forward it on to the intended location. Sometimes the message will go through many routers before reaching the target mail server.

Receiving Messages

  • With Outlook Express, when a message lands at the mail server it's not necessarily shown on the screen straight away. Outlook Express checks the mail server for new messages periodically, and you can change how often it checks for mail by clicking "Tools," "Options," "General," and changing the value next to "Check for messages every." At any time, however, you can cause Outlook Express to check the mail server manually by clicking "Send/Receive."

Send/Receive Groups

  • Some people use Outlook Express to manage several email accounts. A send and receive group contains any number of these accounts, and allows you to state different settings for each group. This includes specifying how often Outlook Express should check the mail server for new messages, and how frequently it should try to send messages in the outbox. To create groups, click "Tools," "Options," and then click the "Send/Receive" button from within the "Mail Setup" tab.


  • Photo Credit Chad Baker/Photodisc/Getty Images
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