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Outlook 2003 Techniques for Mailbox Cleanup

Folder Cleanup 


Delete messages from all folders that you no longer need by selecting them and clicking the Delete button on the toolbar or the Delete key on the keyboard.  The Deleted Items folder must be emptied before you gain back free space within your disk quota.

Folder Options

  • Empty Deleted Items folder Automatically

Go to the Tools menu and select Options.

Click the “Other” tab at the top of the “Options” window.

Click the checkbox under “General”, which says “Empty the Deleted Items folder upon exiting.”

Note: Outlook can warn you when exiting that the Deleted Items folder will be emptied or not.  You can change the setting by following these steps:


Click on the Advanced Options box under “General section.”  The first check box you will see in the pop-up window is “Warn before permanently deleting items.” Check the box if you want that warning to appear.

Never use the “Deleted Items” folder for storage.

When you delete an e-mail or any other item within Outlook, it is moved into the “Deleted Items” folder.  Many people use this folder to store everything they do not need immediately, searching back through possibly thousands of messages for the one they want to find. 

It is a much better practice to save any items that you think might be important, and delete only those you are certain can be deleted safely.  This allows you to empty the deleted items folder without worrying that you may be losing important data.  Emptying the folder will also free up space in the process.


  • Choose not to save Sent Items

 Note:  After you change this option, No copies of the messages you send will be saved.

Select Options from the Tool menu.

Select Preferences TAB

Click on E-Mail Options.

Click on checkmark to remove the setting of “Save copies of messages in Sent Items Folder.”

Click OK to return to Options

Click OK again to return to Outlook.


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