How-To

How to Find and Delete Emails by Date in Microsoft Outlook

In Microsoft Outlook, you can delete emails by date easily. We’ll show you simple ways to find emails and then remove them.

Keeping up with new messages in your inbox can become a full-time job to manage. While there are automatic ways to tidy up these emails, like using AutoArchive in Outlook, you may want to manually remove messages from a specific time.

We’ll show you a few different ways to locate emails by date in Microsoft Outlook and then delete them. If you prefer to archive any older emails you find instead of getting rid of them for good; you can do that, too.

Find and Delete Emails by Date Using Search

Unless you use it regularly, you might not even notice the Search box at the top of your Outlook window. This handy tool doesn’t just search for the keywords that you enter. It also works to filter through your emails, allowing you to locate exactly what you need.

To find emails using the Search tool in Outlook:

  1. Click the Search box, then click the Filter icon.Click the Filter icon in the Search box
  2. At the top of the Filter box, use the Search In drop-down box to choose a search location.
    • You can look in the Current Folder, Subfolders, Current Mailbox, All Mailboxes, or search through All Outlook Items.
  3. Use the Received section to enter the dates for the time period you have in mind.
  4. If you want to add more options, like who the email is from or if it has an attachment, you can include those conditions as well.
  5. When you finish, click Search.

Use the Search Filter

Analyzing Filtered Search Results in Outlook

Once you’ve used the search tool to filter through emails by the date you received them, you should see the results with a total count listed in the bottom-left.

If you want to delete all of the results found for that time period, you can select the emails easily by pressing Ctrl + A. Then, either right-click and pick Delete or click the Delete button on the Home tab.

If you’d prefer to hide (but not delete) the emails, click Archive instead of Delete in the shortcut menu or on the Home tab.

Select the emails and click Home, Delete

To clear the filter and return to a normal view of your inbox, click the X icon positioned on the right side of the Search box that displays the filter data.

Clear the Search Filter

Find and Delete Emails by Date Using Sort

Another way to locate emails by date is using the sort feature in Outlook. You can use this feature in Outlook to delete emails by date by first arranging them in an easy-to-view list.

To do this, click the Received column header in your inbox, or use the sort box in the top-right of your inbox to choose By Date. You’ll then see your emails sorted with the newest emails listed first.

Sort by Date

If you want to see the oldest first, click the Received column header again so that the arrow is pointing up instead of down.

Click Received to see oldest first

You’ll also see your emails grouped by Today, Yesterday, Last Week, Last Month, and so on.

To select a range of messages to delete, click the first email, hold Shift, and click the last email in the range you want to select. From there, either right-click and pick Delete or click Delete on the Home tab.

Select the emails, right-click, and pick Delete

Again, if you prefer, you can choose Archive instead of Delete in the shortcut menu or on the Home tab. This will hide the emails but won’t delete them entirely.

Find and Delete Only Old Items

If you want to rid your inbox of old emails, you can use the Mailbox Cleanup tool in Outlook to get the job done quickly.

To do this, click File in the Outlook menu, then press Info. On the right side, click Tools > Mailbox Cleanup.

Click Tools, Mailbox Cleanup

In the second section of the Mailbox Cleanup menu, mark Find items older than and enter the number of days. Click Find to search your inbox.

Enter the number of days

You’ll then receive the results for all matching items in that mailbox, not just emails. You can delete the items one at a time or select them as described above. Right-click and pick Delete to remove them.

Select the emails, right-click, and pick Delete

Alternatively, you can right-click, select Move, and send them to your archive instead.

Find and Archive Old Items Only

If you like the idea of Outlook taking care of old items, but you’d rather archive than delete them, Outlook offers a cleaning tool that will do it for you.

To start, press File in the menu, then press Info. On the right, click Tools > Clean Up Old Items.

Click Tools, Clean Up Old Items

You can then select a specific mailbox (if you have more than one), choose the various folders to search within, and pick a date using the drop-down box labeled Archive items older than.

Click OK to tuck away those emails into your hidden archive.

Enter a date to archive

Flexible Finding and Deleting 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 from a particular date or period (such as a month) and then delete or archive them.

If you’re having trouble searching through your emails, you may want to rebuild your Outlook search index to try and fix the problem.

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