Empty the Deleted Items folder

When you delete messages in Outlook, the messages are moved to the Deleted Items folder. Items in this folder continue to take up space on your computer's hard disk and — if your account is set up to leave copies of the messages on the mail server — in your account mailbox. To free up some disk and mailbox space, you can empty the Deleted Items folder.

If you have multiple e-mail accounts, you may have a Deleted Items folder for each account.

  1. Hold down CONTROL , and then in the folder list, click the Trash or the Deleted Items folder.

  2. Click Empty Folder.


    • Some kinds of e-mail accounts, such as Windows Live Hotmail accounts, automatically empty the Deleted Items folder at predefined times.

    • With some email accounts you can set up a schedule in Outlook to empty your Deleted Items folder regularly.

    • IMAP accounts offer multiple options for how deleted items are stored and displayed. To set your preferences, on the Tools menu, click Accounts, and then select the IMAP account in the account list. Click Advanced, click the Folders tab, and then next to Trash, select the options that you want.

See also

Create, change, or delete a schedule

Move or copy a message between folders

Move or rename a folder

About Time Machine backups and Outlook

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.