Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Cleaning Out Folders
Cleaning Out Folders
Cleaning Out Folders
Picture an overly full file cabinet, so stuffed with papers that you can’t close its
drawers. How many of those crammed-in papers do you actually need? How many are
just taking up space, never to be looked at again?
With Outlook, you don’t see overcrowded folders like you would with a physical
file cabinet. But those folders may need a good cleaning out anyway. Attachments
(especially images and videos) can take up a lot of storage space—do you really have
to keep them? And why clutter up folders with obsolete items you no longer need? A
leaner folder makes it easier to find essential items.
Outlook helps clean out your folders with automatic archiving (which works like
boxing up old files and putting them in storage) and the Mailbox Cleanup tool.
Email folders fill up particularly fast, so you’ll appreciate this tool, which simplifies
clearing out old messages.
Tip: You might have to nag family members to take out the trash, but you can tell Outlook to do it
automatically, dumping all the trash from your Deleted Items folder whenever you close Outlook. Select
File➝Options (Alt, F, I) to open the Outlook Options dialog box. In the “Outlook start and exit” section,
turn on the checkbox labeled “Empty Deleted Items folder when exiting Outlook”. Click OK to save the
change. No nagging required.
Archiving Old Data
In a library, an archive is a collection of items that aren’t in circulation but are worth
keeping. Outlook’s archive works according to the same idea. After a while, you’ll
have items in your folders that are no longer current but that you don’t want to
delete. You might use them again later, or maybe you just like having them around.
With AutoArchive, Outlook can automatically clear out email messages,
appointments, and tasks that are past their prime—say, older than 90 days—and store them
in the Archive folder. Once you’ve set up your AutoArchive rules, you never have to
think about dealing with old, out-of-date items, because Outlook takes care of them
for you.
Note: Contact info doesn’t go stale just because a certain number of days have passed. A contact you
added a year ago will still be up to date if the person hasn’t moved or changed jobs. So Outlook doesn’t
AutoArchive contacts.
Setting up AutoArchive
To set up AutoArchive, you need to tell Outlook how and when to archive your old
items. To do that, go Backstage:
 
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