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Clean Up Messages

How to Clean Up Messages in Outlook 2019 EN (delete)

If your mailbox is getting full and you need to clean some things out, Outlook has a few tools that can help.

Clean Up a Conversation

If a conversation thread includes a lot of back-and-forth, with messages quoted in replies frequently, Conversation Clean Up will remove the redundant messages that are included in later messages.

  1. Select the conversation you wish to clean up.

    You can also select a conversation by clicking any message within a conversation.

  2. Click the Clean Up button on the Home tab.

    A list of Clean Up options appears.

  3. Select the Clean Up Conversation.
    Clean Up Messages

    A dialog box appears warning you that all redundant messages will be moved to the Deleted Items folder.

    You can also clean up a conversation by right-clicking the message or conversation you wish to clean up and selecting Clean Up Conversation from the contextual menu.

  4. Click Clean Up.
  5. Clean Up Messages

All redundant messages are moved to the Deleted Items folder.

Cleaning up a conversation only moves the conversation and any related messages to the Deleted Items folder. If you change your mind, you can retrieve messages from the Deleted Items folder.

Clean Up a Folder

You can also clean up an entire folder, which will remove redundant messages in every conversation in that folder.

  1. Select the folder that you want to clean up.
  2. Click the Clean Up button on the Home tab.
  3. Select Clean Up Folder.
    Clean Up Messages

    A dialog box appears warning you that all redundant messages will be moved to the Deleted Items folder.

  4. Click Clean Up Folder.
  5. Clean Up Messages

Outlook cleans the folder.

Mailbox Cleanup

If your entire mailbox needs cleaning out, the Mailbox Cleanup tool is a better option.

  1. Click the File tab.
    Clean Up Messages

    Under Mailbox Settings, you can see how much total space you have in your mailbox and how much is used.

  2. Click the Tools button.
  3. Select Mailbox Cleanup.
    Clean Up Messages

    The Mailbox Cleanup dialog box shows basic information about mailbox usage.

    There are a number of tools available here, described in the table at the end of the page.

  4. Use the options in the Mailbox Cleanup dialog box to manage the size of your mailbox.
  5. Click the Close button.
  6. Clean Up Messages

The Mailbox Cleanup dialog box closes, and now your mailbox consumes less space.

Mailbox Cleanup Tools
View Mailbox Size Clicking this button opens a dialog box that shows the total size of your mailbox, as well as the size of each folder within it.
Find You can search your mailbox for messages older than a specified number of days or larger than a specified file size. Once found, you can look through the results and delete ones you don’t need.
AutoArchive The AutoArchive command will move old items from your inbox into an archive file stored on your computer. The items will be accessible by browsing the Archive folders in the Folder list.
Empty Deleted Items You can click the View Deleted Items Size button to see how much space is taken up by your Deleted Items folder, and click the Empty button to clear it out.
Conflicts Sometimes, a version of an item on your computer and that same item on the server might have a conflict. When that happens, both versions of that item will be saved. Click the View Conflicts Size button to see how much space those take up, and click Delete to delete the conflicted version.

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