Software & Apps MS Office How to Delete a Message Without Downloading It in Outlook Save bandwidth by deleting emails before they hit your inbox by Heinz Tschabitscher Writer A former freelance contributor who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. our editorial process Heinz Tschabitscher Updated on January 31, 2020 MS Office Outlook Word Excel Powerpoint Tweet Share Email If you want to keep your inbox file size small or if you don't want to download messages, set up Outlook to avoid downloading complete messages by default but show you the headers (who the message is from and what its subject is, for example) instead. This way, you can go through the Outlook message list and select which messages to delete on the server. Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003; and Outlook for Microsoft 365. The download headers settings work with POP3 and Exchange accounts. Delete a Message Without Downloading It in Outlook To delete a message right away before it is downloaded in Outlook: Highlight the message you want to delete in the Outlook folder. To highlight multiple messages, press and hold Ctrl while selecting them. Right-click on the email header you wish to delete. Select Delete. The messages are marked for deletion and will be deleted the next time Outlook checks for new mail.