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How to delete expired email items after a certain days?

Author: Siluvia Last Modified: 2014-03-26

By default, all received and sent emails are staying in your Outlook folders. Day after day, the Outlook folders will be crowded and be running slowly and slowly if you still do nothing for cleaning the expired emails. For some email messages, they just need to be kept for a few days or weeks. If you don’t delete them from the Inbox, they will stay meaningless as rubbish. In this tutorial, we will tell you how to delete expired email items after a certain days in order to keep your Outlook clean and fast.

Delete expired email items after a certain days in Outlook

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arrow blue right bubbleDelete expired email items after a certain days in Outlook

For deleting expired email items after a certain days, firstly you need to set an expiring date for your emails.

Setting the expiring date for emails

1. Open the Properties dialog (Message Options dialog in Outlook 2007):

In Outlook 2010 and 2013, double click to open the email that you want to set an expiring date, and then click the Message Options button in the Tags group under Message tab.

In Outlook 2007, right clicking on the email that you want to delete after a certain days, and then click Message Options from the right-clicking menu.

Or you can go to the Message Options dialog by opening the email and then click the Message Options button in the Options group in Outlook 2007.

2. In the Properties dialog (In Outlook 2007, it is Message Options dialog), please check the Expires after box under Delivery options. And then select an expired date and time from the drop-down lists. And then click Close. See screenshot:

3. Then save the changes, and close the email. Or you can click the Close button to close it. After clicking the Close button, a Microsoft Outlook dialog pops up. Please click Yes to save the changes.

Once your emails are exceeded the date you have specified, there will appear strikethroughs in the email items as following screenshot shown:

Configure AutoArchive to delete the expired email items

After setting the expiring date for your emails, you can delete the expired email items as following steps:

1. Go into the AutoArchive dialog, in Outlook 2010 and 2013, click File > Options.

In Outlook 2007, Please click Tools > Options.

2. In the Outlook Options dialog of Outlook 2010/2013, please click Advanced on the left pane, and then click AutoArchive Settings button on the right area in the dialog. See screenshot:

In Outlook 2007, click Other tab > AutoArchive. See screenshot:

3. When the AutoArchive dialog popping up, check the Run AutoAchive every 14 days box to activate the whole auto archive feature. And then check the Delete expired items (e-mail folder only) box. Finally click OK button. See screenshot:

4. After setting the AutoArchive options, then go to the folder that you would like to delete the expired messages in the Navigation Pane, right click it, and choose Properties from the context menu, see screenshot:

5. In the Inbox Properties dialog (here I choose the Inbox folder), go to AutoArchive tab, and then check the Archive items in this folder using the default settings box. Click OK to finish.

Now, all of your settings have been completed, when your emails reach the end of the aging period and get to your auto archive date that you have created, a prompt box will pop up to remind you deleting the messages which have been expired.

Then click Yes button, and all of your expiring emails are deleted at once.


By default, the auto archive will run in every 14 days, you can change the days for your own needs.

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What about the forwarded messages that has expiration? It will be deleted if the sender wants it?
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