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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You can empty an Outlook.com folder quickly and easily in either of two ways: deleting all the contents, or deleting emails selectively.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook.com.

When you delete items, they're not gone forever: They're moved to the Deleted Items folder so you can review them before permanently deleting them.

To Empty a Folder Completely

  1. In the Folders pane, right-click the 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.

If you want to delete only some of the messages in a folder, select those messages and move them to the Deleted Items folder. Here's how:

  1. Select the folder you want to clean. Its emails will display in the messages list.

    Screenshot of selecting a folder in Outlook online
  2. Tick the checkbox 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. 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.

If You Accidentally Delete an Email You Want to Keep

Find the message in the Deleted Items folder, 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 Recover deleted items from this folder.