Deleting Your Deleted Email Messages

This is one of those sounds-silly-but-needs-to-be-done tasks.

When you (the employee version of "you") delete an email message from your inbox, it goes into your Deleted Items folds. And stays there. Forever. And takes up as much space as if the message was still in your inbox.

You need to clean up your Deleted Items regularly.

IMPORTANT: Deleted Items is not meant to be storage. It's meant to be a stopping point for things you are going to get rid of. If you really need the message, put it in a folder or simply leave it in your inbox.

Empty Deleted on Logoff

If you are so inclined, you can simply set your properties to clean out your Deleted Items as you close outlook. In Outlook 2010, go to File > Option and you should get a pop-up window. Click on Advanced and then click on the ticky box. Save and then every time you close Outlook on your computer, your Deleted Items will be emptied automatically.

If you use Internet Explorer to access your mail, go into Options (at the top) and look for "Deleted Items" on the left and the ticky box for "Empty the Deleted Items folder on logoff" is in there.

If you're a Firefox user, go into Options (upper right corner) and the "Messaging" option has the "Empty Deleted Items Folder on logoff" ticky box at the bottom.

Recover Deleted Messages

If you've fat fingered a delete or discover 2 days later that you really did need a message you deleted, there is a Recovery option. A deleted item really does not go away for 7 days. In Outlook, there is an option under the Folder tab to "Recover Deleted Items." How cool is that?

In IE, the same Options > Deleted Items path as above takes you to the Recover Deleted Items option.

Firefox doesn't have a Recover option. :-(

Emptying the Deleted Items Folder

If you want to manage your Deleted Items manually, you certainly can do that.

In Outlook, right click on the Deleted Items folder and there's an option to "Empty Folder". So you can do a lot of housecleaning, delete bunches of messages and with one command, take out the trash! (I wish it were that easy at home! ::grin:: )

If you're not an Outlook user, there are similar commands for browser users.

In Internet Explorer, right click on that Deleted Items folder and one of the options is "Empty Deleted Items."

In Firefox (you knew one had to be really different!), first click on the Deleted Items folder and then the "Empty Deleted Items Folder" button is in the toolbar across the top.

There you go. Delete your deleted items regularly!
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