How to permanently delete a message in Outlook?

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Many times, you might find some spammer mails in your inbox, even if the Spam guard is ON. Or you might have received confidential mail containing sensitive text or attachments. In some circumstances, your inbox might contain a message of larger size occupying a lot of space on your PST file.

In all the above described circumstances, you will have to delete the messages permanently from your Outlook. But, how to delete these mails or delete contacts in Windows mail forever? Even when you delete it from your Outlook using the delete option, your mail will still be present on your Outlook in some other folders. So in order to delete the messages from your Outlook permanently that is beyond recovery then just follow the below listed steps:

Step 1: Select the message to be deleted, × marked icon will be highlighted, click on it, to delete the message.

Step 2: When you delete any message with this option, it will just be moved to the “Deleted Items” folder and thus will still be present in your Outlook profile. Hence, you need to hard delete the messages.

  • Go to the “Deleted Items” folder, select the message and delete it either by clicking on the  ×  tab or by right-clicking on the message and selecting “Delete” option

Step 3: Instead of the above two steps you can even delete the messages at once. Just select the message from your mail box and press “Shift + Delete” key on that message. This will bypass the message from “Deleted Items” folder.

Step 4: You can even empty the entire “Deleted Items” folder to remove all folders. It can be done manually and can be done automatically as and when you delete the message in Outlook 2010 and above versions.

Manually emptying

In folder-view, select the “Deleted Items” folder, right-click on it and then choose the “Empty Deleted Items” folder option

Automatically empty the “Deleted items” folder [Applicable for Outlook 2010 and above versions]

  • Go To “Files” Tab and click on “Option”
  • Click on “Advanced” Tab and under “Outlook start and Exit” section tick the “Empty the Deleted Items folder upon exiting” check box
  • If you wish to receive the notification before emptying the folder, then go to “Advanced” Tab and under “Others” section check the “Prompt for confirmation before permanently deleting items”  check box.

Step 5: Just wait, it’s not yet done! When you hard delete mails from Outlook, they will be moved to “Recover Deleted items” folder so that you can recover whenever needed. Hence, you have to delete your messages even from this folder.

In Outlook 2007:

  • Open the Deleted Items folder and go to “Tools” and select “Recover Deleted Items” option
  • Select the items that are to be deleted permanently, hit the  × tab
  • A conformation message will pop-up, Click “OK ” to permanently delete the messages

In Outlook 2010:

  • Select your Deleted Items folder and click on “File” tab
  • In the Clean Up group select “Recover Deleted Items” option
  • Select the item(s) you would like to be recovered and then just press × tab on top
  • You will receive a confirmation message on which you need to press “OK”

And now you have deleted your Outlook email permanently, bypassing all chances of recovering the message. One important point, think twice before selecting the messages for deletion. Because, in the last step you are deleting the messages permanently from your Outlook. If in case you delete an important mail, you will lose it permanently. At times, you might delete your vital messages erroneously, when you encounter such cases, just make use of Remo Repair Outlook PST software and recover your email messages from Outlook. However, it’s always good to be careful before opting the delete button on any mails of Outlook.

About the Author: Tony Landry

Tony Landry is a Web Content Editor at Remo Software. He loves to write, edit, and manage content for users trying to troubleshoot and fix problems on Windows, Outlook, storage drives, and Cloud storage networks. With an aptitude that transcends writing, Tony is recognized as a Microsoft Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint expert. His comprehensive solutions…