Keeping up with the new messages in your inbox can become a full-time job to manage. Although there are automatic ways to sort these emails, such as the using AutoArchive in Outlook, you may want to manually delete the messages of a certain time.
We’ll show you a few different ways to locate emails by date in Microsoft Outlook and then delete them. If you’d rather archive the oldest emails you find rather than get rid of them forever, you can too.
Find and delete emails by date using search
Unless you use it regularly, you may not be aware of the search box that appears at the top of the Outlook window. This handy tool is not limited to searching for the keywords you enter. It also serves to filter your emails, allowing you to locate exactly what you need.
To find emails using the Outlook search tool:
- Click on the box Search and then the filter icon.
- At the top of the filter box, use the Look in drop-down box to choose a search location.
- You can search the Current folder, in the Subfolders, at Current mailbox, on All mailboxes or in All Outlook items.
- Use section Received to enter the dates for the time period you have in mind.
- If you want to add more options, such as who the email is from or if it has an attachment, you can also include those conditions.
- When done, click Look for.
Analysis of filtered search results in Outlook
Once you’ve used the search tool to filter your emails by the date you received them, you should see the results with a total count in the lower left.
If you want to delete all the results found for that period of time, you can easily select the emails by pressing Ctrl + A. Then right-click and select Remove or click the button Remove of the tab Beginning.
If you’d rather hide (but not delete) emails, click file instead of Remove in the context menu or in the tab Beginning.
To clear the filter and return to the normal view of your inbox, click the X icon located to the right of the search box that shows the filter data.
Find and delete emails by date using Sort
Another way to locate emails by date is by using Outlook’s Sort feature. You can use this Outlook feature to delete emails by date, sorting them in an easy-to-view list first.
To do this, click on the column header Received in your inbox, or use the sort box at the top right of your inbox to choose By date. You will see your emails sorted with the most recent first.
If you want to see the oldest first, click the column header again Received so that the arrow points towards above instead of towards down.
You will also see your emails grouped by “Today“,”Yesterday“,”Last week“,”Last month“, etc.
To select a range of messages to delete, click on the first email, press and hold Shift and click on the last email in the range you want to select. From there, right-click and select Remove or click Remove in the tab Beginning.
Again, if you prefer, you can choose file instead of Remove in the context menu or in the tab Beginning. This will hide the emails but will not delete them completely.
Find and delete only old items
If you want to rid your inbox of old emails, you can use Outlook’s mailbox cleaning tool to get the job done quickly.
To do this, click File in the Outlook menu, then tap Information. On the right, click Tools> Mailbox Cleaning.
In the second section of the mailbox cleaning menu, check Look for items older than and enter the number of days. Click on Look for to search your inbox.
You will then receive the results for all matching items in that mailbox, not just emails. You can delete items one at a time or select them as described above. Right-click and choose Remove to remove them.
You can also right-click, select Move and send them to your archive.
Search and archive only old articles
If you like the idea of Outlook taking care of old items, but prefer to archive them rather than delete them, Outlook offers a cleanup tool that will do it for you.
To start, press File in the menu and then press Information. On the right, press Tools> Clean Old Items.
You can then select a specific mailbox (if you have more than one), choose the different folders to search, and choose a date using the drop-down box named Archive items older than.
Click on To accept to save those emails in your hidden file.
Flexible search and delete by date in Outlook
As we’ve shown here, using Outlook to delete emails by date is easy. Whatever your preference, Outlook gives you the tools and flexibility to get the job done. You can use the steps above to find emails for a specific date or period (such as a month) and then delete or archive them.