Clean up old RSS items automatically

I’m subscribed to quite a number of RSS feeds for a long time and I’ve noticed that these feed folders are getting quite big by now.

Is there any way to automatically delete the items that are, let’s say, older than a week?

You can achieve this automatically via AutoArchive or an add-in.

Method 1: Automatic cleanup via AutoArchive

Archive buttonIf you want your old RSS items to be automatically deleted after x days, you’ll have to configure the AutoArchive setting for each and every RSS folder first:

  1. Right click the RSS folder and choose Properties.
  2. Select the AutoArchive tab.
  3. Set the option to; Archive this folder using these settings
  4. Set your desired time frame for the option: Clean out items older than
    In our example this would be 1 week.
  5. Set the option to: Permanently delete old items.

Once all folder have been configured correctly, you can configure AutoArchive;

  1. To enable AutoArchive;
    • Outlook 2007 and previous
      Tools-> Options…-> tab Other-> button AutoArchive…
    • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
      File-> section Options-> section Advanced-> AutoArchive Settings…
  2. Select: Run AutoArchive every x days
  3. Set this to 1 day if you really want to delete the items when they are exactly 1 week old.
  4. Verify that the option Archive or delete old items is selected.
  5. You can leave the default folder settings as we have set per-folder AutoArchive settings.
    Of course, make sure that you do not have any other folders configured to “Archive items in this folder using the default settings” if you do not want other folders to be archived. For instance, the AutoArchive settings of the Deleted Items folder could be set to this.
  6. Press OK and OK again to close the open dialogs.

Note 1: When using this method, as a precaution, it is best to set the per-folder AutoArchive option to move the old items to an archive folder first. This way you can see if it is producing the desired results. If so, you can always change it to; Permanently delete old items.

Note 2: See this guide if AutoArchive leaves some older items, that should have been deleted, still in their original folder.

Method 2: Automatic cleanup via Delete Stale Emails add-in

Delete Stale Emails buttonWhile the built-in AutoArchive feature can get the job done, it is not the easiest to configure since you need to configure it for pretty much all folders (or at least check their settings) and it only works for your main mailbox.

The Delete Stale Emails add-in by Sperry Software is a lot more flexible solution and much less error-prone. Unlike the name might suggests, it works with both emails and RSS feed items.

It allows you to define your own set of rules of folders to monitor, choose when emails should be treated as stale and how frequent it should clean up the folder.

This add-in can also be used to cleanup newsletters and notification emails from Facebook, LinkedIn and Groupon offers. In fact, rules for these 3 services are already defined for you so you can easily use them.

View: Delete Stale Emails (discount code: BH93RF24 )

Delete Stale Emails add-in - Default rule to automatically clean up Facebook notification emails.
Default rule to automatically clean up Facebook notification emails.

Method 3: Semi-automatic cleanup via a Rule or Search Folder

Manage Rules & Alerts buttonIf you want to have more control over which items get deleted and when, then you can create an “Old RSS items” Search Folder or a rule to move or delete the items.

These method is also useful when you are in a corporate environment and the use of AutoArchive has been disabled as a company policy or you simply do not want to review the per-folder AutoArchive settings.

Details about how to use these methods are described in full detail here:
Quickly delete old Newsletters and RSS feed items

Sperry Software
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