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I like to compare Outlook to my closets. Just like my closets, Outlook gets filled up with all my stuff and I eventually need to clean up the clutter. However, in the case of my closet, I generally need to set aside a day or two to drag my discarded items out to the garbage pail. With Outlook, I can do the task with several clicks of the correct button. Now, it's a bit easy get to those clean up tools in Outlook. We click on the new File tab, and there we have them, right in the Info section under Cleanup tools. So I'm going to go to click the Cleanup tools icon, and I am going to head to the Mailbox Cleanup, which is a new Outlook feature.
Before I start with my cleanup, I might want to do a little bit of homework. So I'm going to head up to the View Mailbox Size, which is going to let me view sizes of all my Outlook items, and not just my Inbox. So I'm going to click on View Mailbox Size, and just get a feel for what actually needs to be cleaned up. When I look over here, I see that my Calendar is getting sort of large. I've got a lot of contacts. I don't want to get rid of any of those. But as I scroll down, I'm also seeing that my Inbox has quite a few things in it, so I'm going to concentrate on my Inbox and my Calendar.
So, I'm going to close the sizes, and the first items I'm going to look for are my large e-mail items. Sometimes it's the large attachments that we have in our Inbox that are taking up to room of the Inbox and not necessarily a lot of the smaller, little messages. So I'm going to start by looking for those large e-mails that probably have attachments and cleaning up some of those. So I'm going to leave this at Find items larger than 250 kilobytes and click the Find button, and sure enough, Outlook found a handful of things.
If I want to delete them now, I would select the first one, hold down my Shift key on my keyboard and select the last one. Then I could do a right-click and simply hit Delete, and that would get rid of some of those larger items. This time I'm going to use the Cleanup tools to clean up my Calendar items. I'm going to look for items in my Calendar that I've scheduled prior to the first of this year. So once again, I'm going to hit the Cleanup Tools icon, and choose Mailbox Cleanup. Now to get to that Cleanup area, I'm going to start by doing a query, like I've done before, for items older than 90 days. Then I'm going to click Find.
And that opens up my Advanced Find window. I'm not looking for messages. I want to look for Calendar items. So I'm going hit the Look for dropdown and choose Appointments and Meetings, and Outlook is going to prompt me and tell me that it's going to clear out my current Search criteria, and that's okay. So, I'm going to click on OK. Now, I'm looking for, specifically, items that we scheduled prior to the first of the year, so I'm going to go over to the Advanced tab, and I need to add a field to indicate that date.
So I'm going to choose one of Date and Time fields, because I am looking for appointments. Then I'm just going to choose the End date of when my calendar appointments ended. I'm going to change the criteria because I'm looking for things that happened prior to the first of the year. So I'm going to hit the Condition dropdown and choose on or before and type in the first of the year. I click Add to List to add that to list and then I hit Find now.
And sure enough, it found lots of calendar appointments that I can remove. If want to remove them all, I could highlight the first one, scroll to the bottom of the list, hold down the Shift key on my keyboard, select the bottom item and then do a right-click and Delete. Then I'd be clearing out those items for my calendar. Now, there is one other cleanup tool that I do want to show you, but I want to give you a little bit of warning about this one. So again, when I go to the Cleanup Tools, we see that I can empty my Deleted Items folder, because in Outlook when you delete something, it automatically goes into the Deleted Items folder.
I could go ahead and click on the choice Empty Deleted Items folder, and if I click Yes, I will be permanently, and forever, deleting all the items in my Deleted Items folder. But unfortunately, I don't know what they are. So, I don't think I'm going to use this option, and I'm going to click No. Instead, I'm going to head back to my Home tab, and I'm going to look at my Deleted Items folder manually, and at that point decide which of these items I want to remove. And I can do that by simply clicking an item and deleting it.
Although cleaning up your Outlook data file isn't mandatory, it is something you'll want to do from time to time, especially if you send and receive lots of e-mail. The Cleanup Tools makes it so easy that you'll have plenty of time left to start working on those closets.
- Customizing the look and feel of the Ribbon in Outlook
- Creating Quick Steps
- Using the enhanced search functionality
- Viewing multiple schedules
- Reading email via threaded conversations
- Using the new inbox clean-up tools