Most of us save too many emails, and this can make for a messy inbox. Another way to organize your Outlook inbox is to archive or delete old messages.

While both archiving and deleting emails removes messages from your inbox, it’s important to understand the difference:

  • Archive. Sends a message to an Archive folder. The Archive folder is intended for older messages that you intend to save. When you archive an email, you can easily retrieve it at a future date.
  • Delete. Sends a message to the Deleted Items folder (it looks like a trash can). If the Deleted Items folder is emptied, it may be difficult to retrieve the message. Delete is typically reserved for emails you don’t expect to need in the future.

MS Outlook also has a Cleanup Tool. You’ve probably gotten one of those messages where a bunch of previous messages is copied at the top. You may also have each of those previous messages in your Outlook inbox. When you apply the Cleanup Tool to a conversation or to a folder or subfolders, the tool removes those duplicate messages.

However, you do it, removing messages from your mailbox can free up space in your inbox. To properly organize your inbox, it’s important to learn how to use each of these tools: