Automatically Delete Emails in Outlook [Complete Guide 2024]

Written By Steven Arends

As your emails pile up each day, your mailbox storage gets smaller and smaller to the point where you cannot receive emails anymore until you remove them to free up space.

But with Outlook, you don’t have this problem because it offers features like AutoArchive and rules that can delete old & unnecessary messages automatically. You just set it up and never think about it again.automatically-delete-emails-in-outlookThat’s why in this article, I’ve explained all the different methods you can apply to auto-delete emails in Outlook. Let’s begin!

Check this post on how to add email signature in Outlook.

How to Automatically Delete Messages in Outlook Using AutoArchive

AutoArchive helps to free up space by storing old emails on your local computer. But you can also use it to delete messages automatically. Simply open AutoArchive from the folder Properties, specify how old emails you want to remove, and select the permanently delete option.

Follow the instructions below to use AutoArchive to delete items automatically in Outlook.

Here are the steps to delete messages automatically in Outlook using AutoArchive:

  • Launch the Outlook app on your computer.
  • Right-click on the folder from which you want to delete messages automatically and select Properties. outlook-folder-properties
  • Proceed to the AutoArchive tab and choose Archive this folder using these settings.outlook-auto-archive
  • Specify how old the items should be to be deleted. outlook-old-emails
  • Select Permanently delete old items. outlook-old-emails-delete
  • Click on Apply, then OK to confirm the changes. outlook-old-emails-delete-apply

The above process erases the items from a particular folder when they reach a certain age, but if you want to delete all the old emails automatically, go to the following section where I’ve described how you can do that.

Related guide on how to enable or disable autosave emails in Outlook.

How to Set Outlook to Delete Email from Server Automatically

Removing old & unnecessary emails from the server can make your inbox much less cluttered, and Outlook offers to do it automatically. To delete your emails from the server, choose your email address from the Account Setting and specify the time after which you want to erase them.

Below I’ve provided the steps to wipe your messages after a certain period that you specify.

Here’s how to set Outlook to delete email from the server automatically:

  • Open Outlook on your device.
  • Go to File from the upper left corner.outlook-file
  • Select Account Settings > Account Settings. outlook-account-settings
  • Choose the email address you want to modify and click on the Change button.outlook-email-change
  • Select More Settings. outlook-email-change-settings
  • Move to the Advanced tab and check the Leave a copy of messages on the server box.outlook-leave-message-copy
  • Check Remove from server and specify the time in days after which you want to remove your emails from the server and click OK. outlook-remove-from-server
  • Select Next on the Change Account window.outlook-remove-from-server-next
  • Click on the Finish button.

In case you use Outlook 365 or Outlook Web Access, you need to create a rule that will delete your emails automatically from a specific sender, which I’ve described in the following section.

Check our new guide on how to turn off Outlook’s junk email filter.

How to Create a Rule in Outlook 365 to Automatically Delete Messages

In Outlook 365 & Outlook Web Access, you can create rules to achieve different tasks automatically, and removing messages is one of them. To delete emails automatically, simply create the rule that deletes items, and provide the email address whose emails you want to remove.

Follow the steps below to understand how to create a rule that deletes emails from specific senders automatically in Outlook.

Here’s the process to create a rule in Outlook 365 to automatically delete messages:

  • Open your browser and go to
  • Sign in with your Microsoft Account credentials.
  • Click on the App launcher on the top-left and select
  • Press the Gear icon on the upper right and choose View all Outlook settings.outlook-settings-web
  • Proceed to the Rules tab.outlook-rules-web
  • Select Add new rule. outlook-new-rule-web
  • Provide a suitable name for the rule. outlook-auto-delete-rule-name
  • Use the dropdown under Add a condition to choose From and type the email address whose messages you want to erase automatically. outlook-auto-delete-rule-email
  • Add more conditions if you want and provide certain words to delete the emails containing those words rather than deleting all the emails from that address. outlook-auto-delete-rule-condition
  • Click on the Select an action box and choose Delete. outlook-auto-delete-rule
  • Check the Run rule now box.outlook-auto-delete-rule
  • Click on the Save button.

After these steps, the rule will begin to work immediately and start deleting messages that meet the conditions you’ve set.

Related contents you should read: how to disable top results from Outlook search, how to add Yahoo Mail in Outlook.


How do I automatically delete messages in Outlook after 30 days?

Follow the steps below to automatically delete messages in Outlook after 30 days:

  • Launch Outlook.
  • Right-click on the folder you want to remove emails from automatically.
  • Choose Properties.
  • Go to the AutoArchive tab.
  • Select Archive this folder using these settings.
  • Enter 30 days in the Clean out items older than field.
  • Choose Permanently delete old items.
  • Click on Apply.

What happens to old emails in Outlook?

Old emails stay in the Inbox folder until you delete them. But the emails in the Trash or Deleted Items folder are automatically removed after 30 days.

Do inactive Outlook emails get deleted?

If you don’t log in to Outlook for more than 365 days or within 10 days after signing up, your account becomes inactive. When this happens, all your emails & folders will be deleted, and Outlook will return incoming messages to the sender as undeliverable.

Final Thoughts

With the growing trend of unnecessary marketing emails and spam, deleting old emails is necessary for a clean experience. And with Outlook, you can easily remove them in the background while you work.

This article explains all the different ways you can delete your emails automatically in Outlook.

Leave a comment below if you face any problems in Outlook, and I’ll walk you through the solution.

About The Author
Steven Arends is a computer science graduate and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a vast collection of computer hardware and loves exploring the latest advancements. As a contributing author to 10Scopes, Steven shares his expertise to make the world of technology more accessible and easier to understand for all readers.


  1. Automatically delete email when a condition is met.

    Is there a way to automatically delete or move an email with the rules in Outlook One Line when a certain message arrives. Example in the picture: When a message appears in the GBPUSD folder with the message text “close GBPUSD” action – “Delete or move all messages in the same folder that contain the word “GBPUSD”. (empty folder GBPUSD). How to set the rules? If it can be done without VBA… Thanks Goran.

    • Hello Goran, Yes, you can set up a rule in Outlook to automatically delete or move emails based on certain conditions. In the Rules and Alerts settings, create a new rule with the condition “from X Folder” and the action “Delete” or “Move to Folder” (specify the target folder). Ensure to check “Run this rule now on messages already in ‘X Folder'” to apply it retroactively. Use the Rules Wizard in Outlook to configure this without needing VBA.


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