Information Technologies

Outlook 2010 - Mailbox Cleanup


Purpose: This document provides a general procedure for cleaning a user’s mailbox in Outlook 2010. If a user has reached their mailbox quota, they must follow this procedure.

The first step in cleaning the mailbox is to assess the current state of the mailbox. Open Outlook 2011. Select the ‘File’ tab, followed by the ‘Info’ menu item.



Click the ‘Cleanup Tools’ button.



Select ‘Mailbox Cleanup’ from the menu that appears.



On the ‘Mailbox Cleanup’ dialogue, click the ‘View Mailbox Size’ button and the ‘Folder Size’ dialogue will appear. This will show you the total size of the mailbox, including a breakdown of individual mailbox folders and their sizes. Sizes are listed in Kilobytes; divide this number by 1000 if you want an approximate size in Megabytes. At this point, it is recommended that you empty the deleted items folder and alternate versions of items in the mailbox. Using the deleted items folder for email storage is not recommended.



AutoArchive is the easiest way to manage your flood of email. On the ‘File’ tab, select ‘Options’.



AutoArchive is the easiest way to manage your flood of email. On the ‘File’ tab, select ‘Options’.



Set AutoArchive to run every day and to not prompt before it runs. It’s not very automatic if it stops to prompt you, and the process runs much quicker if it runs each day.

The most critical setting is the ‘Clean out items older than’ setting. The default is six months; anything older than this threshold age will automatically be moved to the specified archive file, while preserving folder structure. If you receive and send large quantities of email, you may need to reduce the threshold. I set mine at one month – I am used to looking for items older than one month in my archive.

Once you have modified settings, be sure to click the ‘Apply these settings to all folders now’ button.


If you don’t already have your archive present in your Outlook main window under the ‘Home’ tab, add it using the ‘File’, ‘Open’ option.



Your Archive should now be visible under the ‘Home’ tab.


AutoArchive may also be started at any time from the ‘File’ tab, under ‘Info’, ‘Cleanup Tools’, ‘Mailbox Cleanup’.