Step-by-Step Guide: How to Automatically Delete Emails Older Than a Certain Date in Outlook

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Emails have become an inescapable part of our professional and personal lives. It’s essential to know how to effectively manage overflowing inboxes, particularly when it comes to older emails cluttering up your system. This guide will help you understand Outlook’s email system and how to systematically delete emails older than certain dates, improving your email efficiency and productivity.

Understanding Your Outlook Email

Outlook’s email system works on a server-based structure, storing and managing your emails both locally and on the server. Your emails, contacts, and calendar items are stored in an Outlook Data File (.pst or .ost), ensuring that they’re accessible even when you’re offline.

Maintaining good email hygiene is crucial in ensuring your email system’s optimum performance. Regularly decluttering your inbox maintains its efficiency, enhances productivity, and reduces the chances of important emails getting lost in an overcrowded sea of messages.

The Need for Deleting Older Emails

Why Delete Older Emails?

The primary reason for deleting older emails is to free up storage space, enhance system performance, and minimize inbox clutter. An overflowing inbox can lead to emails taking longer to load and sync, reducing overall outlook efficiency.

Potential Issues with Not Deleting Older Emails

Failing to regularly manage and delete older emails can lead to numerous challenges. Storage issues top the list, as every email occupies a certain amount of space on the server. Over time, this accumulation can take up a substantial amount of storage space causing slow loading speeds and compromised system performance.

Advantages of Deleting Older Emails

Deleting older emails creates more storage space, leading to improved system efficiency. More importantly, a cleaner, well-organized inbox enhances productivity by allowing you to find important emails swiftly, reducing time spent on email management.

Process of Deleting Outlook Emails Older Than

Step-by-Step Instructions

Searching for Older Emails

You can use Outlook’s built-in search functions to quickly find emails older than a specific date.

Selecting the Emails

Once you have located the older emails, select the ones you want to delete.

Deleting the Emails

After selecting the emails, you can delete them by pressing the delete key on your keyboard or clicking on the delete icon.

Using Advanced Settings for Deleting Older Emails

Using the Clean Up Tool

The Clean Up tool in Outlook automatically analyzes and deletes redundant emails in your inbox, helping you maintain a cleaner and more organized email system.


Outlook’s AutoArchive feature allows you to automatically move or delete older items at regular intervals.

Deleting Emails on Outlook’s Online Platform

The process for deleting older emails in Outlook’s online platform is similar to the one in the desktop application. You can use the search, select, and delete functions to manage your older emails.

Recovering Deleted Emails

Outlook allows for the recovery of deleted emails within a specific time frame, depending on your settings and your email administrator’s policy. The deleted items folder usually maintains the deleted emails for 30 days before they are permanently erased.

Helpful Tips and Reminders on Deleting Older Emails

Regular cleanup of your inbox and checking your Archive folder often will ensure optimal email management. Using the Sort By options can expedite the search for older emails, thereby making deletion processes quicker and easier.


Keeping your Outlook inbox clean and free from redundant, older emails can significantly enhance your productivity and efficiency. So why not start today and enjoy a more organized, clutter-free email experience.


How Long Does Outlook Store Emails?

Outlook stores emails indefinitely on the server, unless you manually delete them or have set up AutoArchive rules.

Is There a Way to Automatically Delete Emails Older Than a Certain Date?

Yes, you can use Outlook’s AutoArchive feature to automatically delete emails older than a specified date.

What Is the Storage Limit for Outlook?

The storage limit in Outlook varies depending on your account type. For example, the user can store up to 15GB of data.

If I Delete an Email from Outlook, Is it Gone Forever?

Not immediately. Deleted emails move to your Deleted Items folder where they remain until you empty the folder.

Can I Recover an Email That’s Been Permanently Deleted?

Yes, albeit with limited success. If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can use the Recoverable Items folder to restore permanently deleted emails.