You might need to fake a sent email date or backdate an email in Outlook. While this can be useful in certain situations, such as when you’ve missed a deadline and need to prove that you sent an email on time, it’s important to consider the ethical implications and potential consequences of doing so.
In this blog post, we’ll cover how to fake a sent email date and backdate an email in the Outlook desktop, Office 365 online version, and Outlook mobile app. We’ll also touch on ethical considerations, limitations, and troubleshooting tips for this process.
Reasons for Faking an Email Sent Date or Backdating an Email
There are various reasons someone might want to fake an email sent date or backdate an email in Outlook, including:
- Missed deadlines: You may need to prove that you sent an email on time, even if you didn’t.
- Retroactive communication: You might want to create an email trail to show that a conversation took place when it actually didn’t.
- Legal purposes: In some cases, backdating an email could be useful for creating evidence in a legal dispute.
However, it’s crucial to consider the ethical implications and potential consequences of faking an email sent date or backdating an email, as it can be considered dishonest and may lead to negative outcomes if discovered.
How to Fake an Email Sent Date in Outlook
There are several methods available to achieve or somewhat achieve this purpose. Since we are talking about Outlook, we will discuss specific ways only. Remember, the actual working method may need medium to high technical skills with additional tools. They may not be suitable for personal use to send one email to prank your friend. If you are seriously looking for this solution for valid reasons, it is worth setting up the required environment to backdate a sent email in Outlook.
Here are the overall ways we are going to discuss below.
- Change the system (computer date)
- Use the Outlook developer tools.
- Setup your own SMTP server
- Use hMailServer
- Any Other Methods
Method 1: Change the System (Computer date)
The first step is to change the date and time on our PCs or Mac computers. Set the date you want to backdate your email. Changing the system date in any Operating System is a simple method.
Now, you can open Microsoft Outlook and email the recipient.
The potential problems with this method:
- The latest Outlook clients will detect the date/time change and differences between the original and back dates. This will prevent sending/receiving emails and authentication to the mail server.
- Your PC and OS may behave differently.
- Even though you send email from your Outlook, the actual email goes out from the mail provider’s SMTP server. This server still has the valid current date; hence, the recipient may see the actual date only (not your back date).
- Also, the recipient server will mark the date and time it received your email; it doesn’t matter what date you backdated on your computer, so the recipient can easily see the original received date.
Method 2: By Outlook Developer Tools
This trick may give the desired result, but it is worth trying if the recipient is connected to your same network and email server.
- Launch Outlook and create a new email. Fill in the recipient, subject, and content as desired.
- Click on the “File” tab, then “Options.” In the “Options” window, click on “Customize Ribbon.” Under the “Customize the Ribbon” section, check the “Developer” option and click “OK.”
- With the new email still open, click on the “Developer” tab and select “Design This Form.” In the “Form” window that appears, click on the “All Fields” tab. Scroll down and find the “Sent” field. Modify the date and time to your desired fake sent date and time, then click “OK.”
- Save your email as a draft, then close the email window. Locate the draft in the “Drafts” folder, open it, and click “Send.”
In Office 365 Online Version:
Unfortunately, Outlook’s Office 365 online version doesn’t provide an option to modify the email sent date directly. To work around this, you can use a third-party email client, such as Thunderbird, to connect to your Office 365 account via IMAP and follow a similar process to that described for the Outlook desktop version.
With Outlook Mobile App:
The Outlook mobile app also does not have a built-in feature to modify the sent date of an email. To fake an email sent date in the mobile app, you must use a workaround involving the Outlook desktop version or a third-party email client, as described above.
Method 3: Setup your Own SMPT Server
We are getting into a more technical part now. As I mentioned earlier, all emails go through the SMTP server, either it can be Outlook, Office 365, or Gmail.
Setting up your own server with the back date can help you to fake an email send date in Outlook client.
Old Windows severe have this feature inbuilt. You can use any virtualization platform (like Windows Server 2000) to host these servers and configure the SMTP server.
Also, there are many Linux versions available with SMTP setup. You need to go through a few steps, guides, and videos to set up a working SMTP server on your PC. Once the server is ready, you need to configure your Outlook application with your SMTP server to relay and send emails backdated.
Method 4: Use hMailServer
This is similar to the earlier setup. hMailServer is a famous free email software application that can be installed on Windows like other programs.
Please go ahead and install it and follow the steps to configure it to your needs. Since this mail server takes the date and time from the local PC, you need to adjust the date accordingly.
Also, set up the correct DNS records and configure Outlook to connect to the hMailServer before sending the email out with the backdate.
Download the software here, and documentation is available on their official website.
Ethical Considerations and Potential Consequences
It is highly recommended not to fake an email sent date or backdate an email. Other than what you do with your friends or any fun/joke activities, do not fake the send date of your email in professional or personal communication. It can be considered dishonest and unethical. It may lead to legal consequences or damage professional relationships in certain cases. It’s essential to weigh the risks and benefits before deciding to fake an email sent date or backdate an email in Outlook.
Limitations and Restrictions
There are limitations and restrictions when attempting to fake an email sent date or backdate an email in Outlook. For instance, you cannot directly modify the email sent date in the Office 365 online version and Outlook mobile app, which requires workarounds using third-party email clients.
Moreover, some email clients and email service providers may not display the fake sent date as intended, and email recipients might notice discrepancies in the email headers, which could expose the fake email sent date.
Troubleshooting Tips and Common Issues
Here are some troubleshooting tips and common issues you might encounter while trying to fake an email sent date or backdate an email:
- Sent date not displaying correctly: If the sent date isn’t displaying as expected, double-check the date and time format you used when modifying the email properties. Ensure the format is consistent with the email client’s requirements.
- Email headers reveal the original sent date: While the email’s visible sent date may be altered, email headers might still contain the original sent date. Tech-savvy recipients may be able to find out the actual sent date by looking over the email headers.
- Third-party email clients not connecting to Office 365: If you’re having trouble connecting a third-party email client to your Office 365 account, check your account settings and ensure you have enabled IMAP access. Additionally, double-check your email client’s configuration settings and consult the email client’s documentation for proper setup procedures.
Faking an email sent date or backdating an email in Outlook can be useful in specific situations. However, thinking about the ethical implications and potential consequences is essential before proceeding.
While there are limitations and restrictions, particularly with the Office 365 online version and Outlook mobile app, workarounds are available using third-party email clients. Following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the process, troubleshoot any issues, and explore additional resources.