How to Auto Empty Trash in Outlook

Empty the Deleted Items folder automatically

Trash can overflowing
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When you delete messages from your Outlook Inbox or another folder, the messages move to the Deleted Items folder. These deleted messages are stored in the Deleted Items folder until you empty the folder. You can either manually empty the Deleted Items folder when you want or automatically empty the Deleted Items folder when you close Outlook.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook for Office 365, and Outlook Online.

How to Auto Empty Trash in Outlook

To configure Outlook to automatically empty the Deleted Items folder when you exit the app:

  1. Open Outlook.

  2. Go to the File tab.

  3. Select Options.

    Screenshot of File tab screen in Outlook
  4. In the Outlook Options dialog box, select Advanced.

    Screenshot of Outlook Options with Advanced tab selected
  5. In the Outlook start and exit section, select the Empty Deleted Items folders when exiting Outlook check box.

    Screenshot of Empty Deleted Items folder check box
  6. Select OK to apply the changes and close the window.

Empty the Trash in Outlook Online

The Outlook.com Deleted Items folder cannot be emptied automatically. You'll need to empty the trash manually.

  1. Right-click the Deleted Items folder.

    Screenshot of Empty Folder in Outlook.com
  2. Choose Empty folder.