How To Permanently Delete All Emails From Outlook Inbox

Having a cluttered inbox full of old emails can make it difficult to manage your Outlook account effectively. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to permanently delete all emails from your Outlook inbox. As an Outlook expert with over 10 years of experience, I will walk you through the step-by-step process to help declutter your inbox.

Why You Should Delete Old Emails

Here are some key reasons why permanently deleting old emails can benefit you:

  • Improves productivity – Less clutter means you can focus on current tasks rather than sift through old emails. This helps you work more efficiently.
  • Saves storage space – Deleting unnecessary emails frees up storage space in your account. This keeps Outlook running smoothly.
  • Enhances security – Getting rid of old emails reduces the risk of having too much sensitive information in your inbox. This boosts account security.
  • Makes searching easier – With fewer old emails, you can find relevant messages quicker through Outlook search. This saves you time.

How To Permanently Delete All Emails

There are a couple ways to mass delete emails from Outlook. Here are the step-by-step instructions for each method:

Method 1: Delete from Folder

  1. Open the Outlook folder containing the emails you want to delete (e.g. Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, etc.).
  2. Select all emails by pressing Ctrl + A or manually checking each one.
  3. Press Shift + Delete on your keyboard.
  4. Click Yes to confirm deletion.
  5. Empty the Deleted Items folder to remove the emails permanently by right-clicking it and selecting Empty Folder.

Method 2: Delete Using Search

  1. Click on the Search Mail icon in the Outlook toolbar.
  2. Specify your search criteria (e.g. emails from a certain sender, with specific words, before a certain date).
  3. Once search results load, select all emails by pressing Ctrl + A.
  4. Press Shift + Delete then confirm deletion.
  5. Empty the Deleted Items folder to remove the emails permanently.

Best Practices When Deleting Emails

To ensure you have a smooth and successful email deletion process, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Review search results or folder content carefully before deleting to prevent removing emails you want to keep.
  • Double check if emails exist elsewhere (e.g. archives or personal folders) before permanent deletion.
  • Create an Outlook backup before you delete emails as a precaution.
  • Disable automated archiving rules temporarily to send all deleted items straight to Deleted Items folder.

Alternative: Use a Third-Party Tool

Manually deleting all Outlook emails takes time and effort. A faster way is to use a dedicated email cleaning tool.

Here are the benefits of using an email deletion tool instead:

  • Saves time – Automates the deletion process with easy-to-use interfaces.
  • Enhances filtering – Provides advanced filters beyond Outlook’s search capability.
  • Increases efficiency – Some tools can delete thousands of emails in just a few clicks.
  • Improves reporting – Shows detailed logs of exactly which emails get deleted.

Examples of top-rated automated email deletion tools include Clean Email and Mailstore Home. The best one for your needs depends on your specific use case.

Remember Data Protection Regulations

When mass deleting emails, keep data protection laws and organizational policies in mind. For example:

  • GDPR – Under the GDPR, users can request for their personal data to be deleted.
  • Data retention – Some industries require retaining emails for a mandated time period.

Review the regulatory landscape before permanently removing emails. An alternative like archiving may be more suitable to remain compliant.


I hope this guide gives you a good understanding of how to permanently delete all emails from your Outlook inbox. The key takeaways include:

  • Deleting old emails improves productivity, saves storage space, enhances security, and makes searching easier.
  • You can mass delete Outlook emails manually from a folder or via search.
  • Following best practices like careful review and backup ensures smooth email deletion.
  • Using a dedicated third-party tool automates the deletion process to save time.
  • Remember to consider data protection regulations when removing emails.

With this knowledge, you can effectively clean out your Outlook inbox and keep it organized. Let me know if you have any other questions!