Cleaning Up your Mailbox in Microsoft Outlook 2013


Learn how to clean up your Outlook 2013 mailbox for better performance and to ensure you do not exceed your allocated server space.


Critical Concepts

Keep your mailbox clean by:

  1. Emptying out your Deleted Items folder
  2. Using AutoArchive to move messages over 6 months old from your Exchange server mailbox to a mailbox on your local computer. 
    Note: Archived messages will not be viewable through Outlook Web Access because they are no longer stored on the Exchange server.


Steps to Take

Empty Deleted Items folder

To empty out your Deleted Items folder, right-click on the Deleted Items folder and select Empty Folder.

To set Outlook 2013 to empty your Deleted Items folder on exit:

  1. Click on the File tab
  2. Click on Options
  3. Clink on the Advanced tab, under Outlook Start and Exit, select the Empty Deleted Items Folder Upon Exiting check box.
  4. Optional: To be notified before the Deleted Items folder is emptied automatically:
    1. Click on the Advanced Tab, under Other, select the Prompt for Confirmation Before Permanently Deleting Items check box.

 Set up AutoArchive

  1. In the main Outlook 2013 window, click on the File tab and click on the Options button. The Outlook Options dialog box will appear.
  2. In the Naviagation pane on the left, click on the Advanced button. The options for working with Outlook will be displayed.
  3. In the AutoArchive section, click on the AutoArchive Settings button. The AutoArchive dialog box will appear:
    AutoArchive screenshot
  4. Default settings: Outlook automatically archives items every 14 days, sending items that are over six months old to the archive file listed in the AutoArchive dialog box.
  5. Options:
    • You can turn on or off the AutoArchive process by selecting or deselecting the Run AutoArchive Every check box at the top of the AutoArchive dialog box.
    • Change how often AutoArchive runs by replacing the 14 in the text box with any number between 1 and 60.
  6. Click OK
  7. Optional: If you filter your mail into multiple folders, you may want to set different AutoArchive schedules for each mail folder:
    1. Right click on the email folder
    2. Select Properties, and
    3. Select the AutoArchive tab.
    4. Select "Archive this folder using these settings"
    5. After you have made the appropriate changes, click OK to save the changes

Manually run AutoArchive

To manually run AutoArchive:

  1. Go to the File tab
  2. Click on the Info button located on the left navigation pane
  3. Click on Cleanup Tools
  4. Click on the Archive button

Accessing the Archived Items folder

The Archived Folders will not appear until you have successfully archived your old messages for the first time.

To find and view an archived item:

  1. Click on the File tab
  2. Select Open & Export on the left pane
  3. Click on the Open Outlook Data File button
  4. The Open Outlook Data File dialog box will appear
  5. Select the file you want to open
  6. The file you select will appear in the File Name text box
  7. Click on the OK button
  8. The name of the data file you opened will appear in the Navagation pane, below your normal set of folders

If you still have questions or need additional assistance, please submit a ticket or call the ITS Service Desk at (858) 246-4357