How to automatically clear deleted items folder in Outlook

When you delete any items in Microsoft Outlook, they are moved to the deleted items folder. Microsoft Outlook has an option to automatically clear deleted items folder when user quits the application. In this tutorial, we will see the steps to enable auto clear deleted items option in Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007 and Outlook Web Apps.

Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010

Click on the File menu –> Options –> Advanced tab

Empty deleted items folders when exiting outlook 2013, Outlook 2010


Under Outlook start and exit section enable the check box with label as Empty Deleted Items folder when exiting outlook. And click OK to save the changes. Now when ever you exit Outlook, the deleted items folder will be automatically cleared.

Automatically clear deleted items in Outlook 2010

Outlook 2007

In Outlook 2007, the settings can be accessed using Outlook Tools Options menu.

Click Tools –> Options –> Other tab

Empty deleted items folder upon exiting in Outlook 2007

Select the check box “Empty the deleted items folder upon existing” under the General Section.


Click Apply and then OK to save the changes.

Outlook Web Apps

Outlook Web Apps in Office 365 also has a feature which allows users to automatically the deleted items folder. You can enable this feature using the Options provided as part of the Outlook Web Apps Mail Settings.

Login to Outlook Web Apps and click the Outlook Options.

Outlook Web Apps Options

In the Outlook Options screen, navigate to Mail Settings page.

Empty the deleted items folder when I sign out

In the Mail Settings Page, scroll down to Message Options and tick the check box with the label as Empty the Deleted Items folder when I sign out. After making this change, click the Save button available at the bottom of the page. This setting would ensure that all items in the Deleted Items folder are automatically cleared when you sign out from Outlook Web Apps.

Also See: How to recover deleted folders in Outlook 2010

In Category: MS Office, Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016

Ravi Shankar

A Software developer and blogger who is always looking to provide technical help to the wider community.

Show 5 Comments
  • Kris March 14, 2012, 12:08 am

    One thing to note, you should probably scroll down a little further and un-check the “prompt” warning for deleting the emails, otherwise it will still ask you if you’re sure you want to delete the emails.

  • Denise Smith November 27, 2012, 12:42 am

    Is there a way to auto delete by date? For instance I would like to create a rule or something that would allow me to auto-delete anything in my deleted file that is over a year old. I have Outlook 2010.
    Thank you.

  • Laura Portinga September 12, 2013, 1:46 am

    I accidentally cleared the items in my Inbox. Since I didn’t delete them, I can’t recover them that way. Is there a way to get these email messages back?

  • Allen June 8, 2014, 8:23 pm

    My emails are automatically being deleted from my “Deleted Folder”. I’ve read and preformed all the suggestions and they continue to delete. The auto-delete box “Is Not” checked off in advanced settings nor do I see any other area that gives me an option to stop this. Help!

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