How to Empty Deleted Items and Junk Folders Fast in Outlook.com

Quickly delete those unwanted messages.

Have you been watching the message count in your Junk Email or Deleted Items folder on Outlook.com increase steadily for too long? Eventually, you have to concede that seeing Junk Email (2749) requires some action. Outlook.com makes emptying the Junk Email and Deleted Items folders surprisingly easy.

Before you begin to rid your account of junk and deleted items, go through them to make sure you haven't missed anything important; spam filters occasionally do send items to the Junk Email folder erroneously. Likewise, check your Deleted Items folder for anything you might want to hang onto. Now that you've waded through all those unwanted messages, it's time to get rid of them.

Permanently Deleting All Items in the Deleted Items Folder

Here's how:

  1. Open Outlook.com.
  2. Find the Deleted Items folder in the list in the Folders pane, on the left side of your screen.
  3. Right-click the folder.
  4. Select Delete all from the context menu that appears.
  5. A warning will pop up asking you to confirm that you really want to permanently delete everything in the folder.
  6. Click OK.

Moving Junk Mail to the Deleted Items Folder Quickly

Using the right-click method above with the Junk Email folder, you can permanently delete the messages. If you'd rather just move them to the Deleted items folder quickly, use this method:

  1. Click on Junk Email in the Folders pane.
  2. Click Delete all. You'll find it at the top of the Junk Email pane you just opened.

Restoring Deleted Items

It happens to the best of us: Sometimes, you pull the trigger too soon and realize you deleted a message you want back. Likewise, you may have set up your account to empty the Deleted items folder when you exit your session. Don't panic: You can retrieve messages even after they're "permanently" deleted:

  1. Open the Deleted Items folder and select the Recover deleted items at the top of the column.
  2. The messages will be moved to the Inbox.