You might find the need to change the date or time stamp on an email for some reason. For example, you might be submitting your term paper late, and you want to reason out to your professor that you sent it on time and he might have just missed your message, you can date the email to whenever you like. Or, you might want to keep a message always fresh, at the top of the recipient's inbox.
By changing the dates on your computer, you can also most likely change the date and time of your emails in a client-based email software, like Outlook. However, you must ensure that the computer is not connected to an internet time server. Also, this only works if you are using POP and SMTP for accessing and sending emails. If you are using IMAP or Exchange Server, then this method will not work. This will also be close to impossible if you are using a webmail service. In IMAP, Exchange and web mail, e-mails are time-stamped according to the mail server, and the mail header will reflect the mail server's time and IP address.
Email servers also use a time system called UTC, which is unaffected by time zone changes. Therefore, when you send an email, the recipient’s inbox will indicate it as received on his local time, which is equivalent to your local time. Keep this in mind when sending emails to someone in other countries.
Assuming you use a local email client like Outlook or Outlook Express in Windows, here is how to change your computer’s time, and subsequently the time stamp on your email.
- At the bottom right corner of your taskbar, right-click on the clock.
- Click Time and Date Properties.
- The clock settings tab should be the first tab. If not, then click the tab for adjusting the current time.
- Set the date that you want your email to indicate.
- Set the time with which you want your email to appear as being sent.
- Click Apply.
- Next, you will need to disable automatic synchronization with an Internet Time server. Look for the Advanced tab, and make sure the box with the synchronization with Internet Time server is unchecked.
- Double-check the current date and time if has not automatically been synchronized to the Internet Time server.
- Double-check the time zone. If you intend for the recipient of the email to see a certain date and time, you might want to switch your time zone to a setting similar to your email correspondent. After setting this, re-check your current time settings, as it might change due to time zone changes.
Once you’ve changed the time settings on your operating system, you should now proceed to writing an email message on Outlook or Outlook express. Before clicking the Send or Send/Receive button, make sure that you check the time and date on the taskbar if it’s still your ideal date and time for sending the email.
Note that some email services will indicate the time at which a message is received, rather than the “sent” timestamp from the sender’s side. Some examples include Gmail gmail.com. However, most local mail clients like Outlook and Outlook express will display the time according to the sender’s computer.