Outlook has been the go-to email client for professionals for a long time now. And while it offers several features to help us maintain a clear inbox, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. A common problem that many Outlook users face is the inability to delete deleted emails. Once you hit the delete button, the email moves to the deleted items folder, but it doesn’t get permanently deleted from your account, still taking up valuable space in your mailbox. In this article, we’ll discuss how to effectively delete your deleted emails in Outlook and avoid running into storage problems.

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The Challenge of How to Delete My Deleted Emails in Outlook

When we delete an email in Outlook, it usually moves to the Deleted Items folder, where it stays for a while before getting permanently deleted. However, what most users don’t know is that these deleted items continue to take up space in their mailbox, causing their account to become bloated and leading to all sorts of problems. Fortunately, there are several methods that can be used to rid your account of these items, and we’ll be discussing these in the next sections.

Things You Should Prepare for

Before we dive into the methods for deleting your deleted emails in Outlook, there a few things you should prepare for:

– A stable internet connection
– A fully updated version of Outlook
– Sufficient disk space on your computer
– Enough time to complete the process, especially if you have many deleted items in your account

Method 1: Manually Delete Deleted Items Folder

Via Outlook, you can manually empty the Deleted Items folder, thus deleting all the items in it. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open Outlook and go to the Deleted Items folder.

Step 2: Once you’re in the folder, select all the items you want to permanently delete.

Step 3: Click the Delete button on the toolbar, then select "Empty Folder."

Step 4: Confirm the deletion in the pop-up box that appears.


– Quick and easy to use
– No need to download anything
– Allows you to select specific items to delete


– Potential chance of accidentally deleting important emails
– Doesn’t permanently delete the items from your mailbox

Method 2: Use AutoArchive

AutoArchive is a feature in Outlook that automatically archives old emails and moves them to a separate folder, freeing up space in your mailbox. Here’s how to use it:

Step 1: Open Outlook and go to "File > Options."

Step 2: Select "Advanced," then click "AutoArchive Settings."

Step 3: In the AutoArchive window, check the box next to "Run AutoArchive every," and set the time interval to what you prefer.

Step 4: Under "Default archive settings," select the folder you want to move items to. Note that you’ll have to create a new folder if you don’t have one yet.

Step 5: Set the "Permanently delete old items" option to your desired preference. This will ensure that old items get deleted and don’t consume space in your mailbox.

Step 6: Click "OK" to save your settings and confirm.


– Automatically deletes old items without your intervention
– Lessens the risk of accidentally deleting important emails
– Organizes old emails into a separate folder


– Requires you to set up the feature first
– Can be a bit confusing to use for new users
– Doesn’t permanently delete the items from your mailbox

Method 3: Use Third-Party Tools

Several third-party tools can help you delete your deleted items from Outlook. They offer many features, such as permanent deletion, scanning for duplicate files, and freeing up storage space. Here are the steps to using one of them, EaseUS Todo Backup:

Step 1: Download and install EaseUS Todo Backup. Then open it.

Step 2: From the home screen, select "File Backup," since we want to back up the files and delete the copies on the account.

Step 3: Choose the source files to select the Outlook account to backup.

Step 4: Choose a destination device or folder where Outlook backups will be saved, then click "Proceed."

Step 5: After the backup is complete, you can open Outlook and delete the original files on your email account.


– Offers more features than built-in methods
– Many options to choose from
– More effective at permanently deleting redundant items


– May require payment
– Requires you to download and install additional software
– Can be time-consuming

Why Can’t I Delete My Deleted Emails in Outlook?

There are several reasons and fixes to this problem:

Q1: Why are my deleted emails not going to the Deleted Items folder?
A: Your Outlook settings might be configured to immediately delete an email instead of moving it to the Deleted Items folder. To fix this, go to your Folder options and uncheck the "Delete messages when I empty the Deleted Items folder" option.

Q2: Why does the mailbox still occupy space even when I’ve emptied the Deleted Items folder?
A: These items might be stuck in Outlook’s cache or indexing feature. One solution is to rebuild the search index, which you can do from the Outlook settings.

Q3: Why am I unable to permanently delete items?
A: This could be due to a problem with your Outlook settings or permissions. Try running Outlook in Safe Mode, and then attempting to delete the items again.

Additional Tips

– Regularly empty your Deleted Items folder to prevent bloating.
– Enable AutoArchive to ensure that old emails get cleared out regularly.
– Use Ctrl + Delete to delete a message without sending it to the Deleted Items folder.
– Keep your Outlook installation updated to ensure you have the latest features and bug fixes.

5 FAQs about How to Delete My Deleted Emails in Outlook

Q1: Can I permanently delete emails on Outlook?

A: Yes, you can do this through the "Shift + Delete" method or through third-party tools that offer this feature.

Q2: Will deleting my deleted emails affect my account in any way?

A: No, deleting these items won’t affect your account’s functionality in any way. It’s recommended to do so to avoid storage issues.

Q3: Can I recover a deleted email from my account even after permanently deleting it?

A: No, once an email is permanently deleted, it cannot be recovered.

Q4: What should I do if I accidentally delete an important email?

A: You can check your Deleted Items folder first to see if it’s still there. If not, check your Backup folder or run a search. If all else fails, you might have to contact your IT administrator for assistance.

Q5: Can I delete multiple emails at once?

A: Yes, you can select multiple emails and delete them all at once.

In Conclusion

Deleting deleted emails in Outlook might seem like a complicated task, but with the methods discussed in this article, you can easily get rid of these items and free up space in your mailbox. Remember that, in addition to regularly deleting your deleted items folder, you can also use AutoArchive to automate the process and keep your account running smoothly.

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