How to Purge Deleted Messages Automatically in Outlook

When using IMAP accounts, like Gmail (or others), deleted items aren’t really deleted in Outlook. Instead, they’re marked for deletion, but remain mostly in place until you manually go through and purge them. It’s a feature, not a bug.

Luckily, Outlook gives you two easy ways to take care of the problem, the first is by manually purging deleted items, and the second automatically purges them for you once you switch to a new folder. Let’s look at how to do both.

1. Open the Outlook desktop client.

2. Open the Folder tab.

3. Click Purge and select Purge Marked Items in All Accounts.

4. To automatically purge these items in the future, select Purge Options from the bottom of the Purge menu in the previous step.

5. Click the Advanced tab at the top of the Internet Email Settings dialogue.

6. Check the box next to Purge items when switching folders online. Now, when you switch folders, it’ll automatically purge items marked for deletion.

7. Click OK to close the dialogue.

Microsoft Outlook Tips