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Quickly delete old Newsletters and RSS feed items

I’m one of many that doesn’t delete any of the emails that I send or receive. I really like that history but I decided that I really should not hoard all the old Newsletters and RSS feed items that I receive as well.

I’m somewhat organized and I’ve stored most of my Newsletters and RSS Feeds in various folders.

Is there any way to quickly get rid of all the items which are from last year and older?

There are actually 2 relatively easy methods to quickly get rid of your old Newsletters and RSS feed items.

Method 1: Using a disabled message rule

The quickest method is to create a disabled message rule which moves or deletes certain items based on their received date.

Once the rule has been created, it must be triggered manually since rules are only executed automatically when the message is being received. Therefor, you can leave the rule disabled. To reuse the rule in the future, you’d only have to adjust the date span condition.

Rule type: Apply rule on messages I receive
Condition:

Received in a specific date span
You only need to set the Before condition.
Example: Before Wednesday 31 December 2014

Rule condition - Date Received - Only set the Before condition

Action: Permanently delete it
Accept the warning or set the action to “Delete it” instead and empty your Deleted Items folder after confirming that you like the results.

Rule - Delete old items - Disable: Turn on this rule
Disable the created rule since it won’t do anything for new emails anyway.

To run the rule, press the Run Rules Now… button in the Rules and Alerts dialog. You can then select the rule to run and also the folder (and subfolders) which you like it to process.

Run Rules Now - Delete old items
Make sure you select the correct folder before executing!

Method 2: Using a Search Folder

Search Folder buttonAnother way to go would be to use a Search Folder. The benefit of this method is that you’ll see which emails and RSS items you will be deleting before you actually delete them.

Another benefit is that you are more flexible in selecting which folders to search in. You can also add some flexibility to the date span so it will find “new” old items automatically as time goes by.

  1. Create a new Search Folder:
    • Keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+P
    • Outlook 2007
      File-> New Search Folder
    • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
      tab Folder-> button New Search Folder
  2. In the dialog that pops-up, scroll to the bottom and choose: Create a custom Search Folder
  3. Press the “Choose…” button.
  4. Name the Search Folder.
    For instance: Old News Items
  5. Press the “Criteria…” button.
  6. Select the “Advanced” tab
  7. Type the following in the fields below:
  8. Press the “Add to List” button.
  9. Press OK.
  10. Press the “Browse…” button.
  11. Verify that no folders are selected (by default your top-level folder is selected).
  12. Select the “RSS Feeds” folder and any other folders in which you keep your Newsletters.
  13. Enable the option: Search subfolders
  14. Press OK and OK again to close all open dialogs.

Now when you select the “Old News Items” Search Folder, a list will be generated of items older than the set date. You can select them all via CTRL+A and delete them all at once via SHIFT+DELETE (to skip the Deleted Items folder).

Extra tip: Prevent it from piling up again

To prevent it from piling up again, there are also 2 methods available to automatically get rid of old items after a certain amount of time.

These methods are described in Automatically clean up old Newsletters and RSS items.


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