How to Quickly Clean an Inbox Folder in Outlook.com

Swiftly deal with all messages in a folder

Image of deleting emails into a recycle bin

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Your Outlook.com Inbox and other folders can fill quickly with mail. There are a couple of ways to swiftly and smartly clean an Outlook.com folder with just a few clicks.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook.com and Outlook Online.

Clean an Inbox Folder in Outlook.com

To clean an inbox folder in Outlook.com, either empty the folder or move messages to the Deleted Items folder.

Quickly Empty the Folder

When you want to delete every message in a folder, empty the folder. The messages are not gone forever. They are in the Deleted items folder in case you want to review them or want to restore an accidentally deleted message.

  1. In the Folder pane, right-click a folder and select Empty folder.

    Screenshot of Delete folder in Outlook.com
  2. In the confirmation message that appears, select Delete all.

    Screenshot of delete folder confirmation in Outlook online
  3. The messages are moved to the Deleted Items folder.

Move Message to the Deleted Items Folder

If you want to delete some of the messages in a folder, select those messages and move them to the Deleted Items folder.

  1. Select the folder you want to clean to display the messages in the Message List.

    Screenshot of selecting a folder in Outlook online
  2. Select the check box to the left of each message that you want to delete.

    If you want to delete most of the messages, select the check box to the left of the folder name at the top of the list to select every message in the folder. Then, clear the check box next to the messages you want to keep in the folder.

    Screenshot of selecting all messages in Outlook online
  3. In the Outlook.com toolbar, select Move To > Deleted Items.

    Screenshot of deleting all items in a folder in Outlook online
  4. You'll find the deleted messages in the Deleted Items folder.

Did You Delete Something You Didn't Want to Delete?

Go to the Deleted items folder and find messages that you want to save in a different folder or return to the Inbox. Choose the messages you want to keep, select Move to, and choose the folder where you want to store the messages.

If Outlook.com is set to empty the Deleted Items folder when you close your session and you want to recover one of these messages, open the Deleted Items folder and choose the Recover deleted items from this folder link.