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How can I mass delete emails?

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I have received an email from MS Exchange saying "Please reduce your mailbox size. Delete any items you don't need from your mailbox and empty your Deleted Items folder." I have 6 months' worth of emails and can't find a way of deleting them apart from a few at a time. Either I get a message saying I have selected too many rows, or if I just press the delete key, sooner or later I get an error message about an incorrect ID and have to exit out of 365. When I return most of the emails I was trying to delete are still there. This is an ancient problem for me and I am no longer prepared to waste hours deleting emails individually so I can continue to receive new emails (I rarely look at 365 otherwise, using Outlook on my PC instead). Does anyone know a straightforward shortcut for this action please?

Verified Answer
  • What might be an idea is to attack the emails with large attachments.

    In Outlook 2010:-

    * Click on the spyglass search icon (where it says "Search Inbox")

    * "Search Tools" tab will appear on the ribbon, hit "Search Tools" there and then "Advanced Find")

    * Select the "More Choices" tab and enter a size (for example over 1,000Kb)

    This should return emails with large attachments.  Run through those and either delete the email or save attachments that you need to retain and remove the attachment from the email.

    If you want to remove a set of emails (say ones over a certain age, then search for dates.  You should be able to get around the "too many items to select" issue by controlling the date parameter for the search.

All Replies
  • Hi Lemon,

    According to the tags you selected in this thread, I would like to confirm if you are using the Enterprise  plan before the upgrade.
    To check if you are using Office 365 after the service upgrade, you can refer to the article below:
    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/am-i-using-office-365-after-the-service-upgrade-HA103982331.aspx?redir=0
    If not, please feel free to let us know.

    If yes, I would like to clarify the following questions before we process this issue:
    1. Do you have the on-premise server and have it synced with Office 365 Exchange Online?
    2. Which plan are you using currently? (E3 plan or others? Because if you are using E3 plan, you don’t have to delete the emails, you can move them to the “Online archiving folder”)

    Thanks,
    Wilfred Ying

  • Hello Wilfred. I am pre-upgrade, but as it is a BT Business version it doesn't look exactly the same and I can't see if it is Enterprise at all. Also, I've not been able to access the admin bit to save emails for a shorter amount of time, which seemed to be one solution to this problem.

  • Hi LemonFizz,
     
    You can try using the PowerShell cmdlet to see if it can meet your requirement. For example, if you would like to delete the emails received between 11/30/2012 to 1/30/2013 in your Inbox folder, you can follow the steps below to do that:
    2. Enter Search-Mailbox -Identity "User" -SearchQuery "received: 11/30/2011 .. 1/30/2012" -DeleteContent
     
    Thanks,
    Ella Huang
  • Hi LemonFizz,
     
    I’d like to follow up on the issue you posted previously. How is everything going? Have you found the information you need?
     
    Thanks,
    Ella Huang
  • Hi Ella. I’ve got Windows 7 so didn’t need to download Powershell. I followed your instructions for connecting to Exchange Online, but got stuck at point 3, with a message about not finding a positional parameter.

    I have to say as an ordinary user of Outlook I cannot believe I need to start using programming commands in order to delete my online emails at a rate more than a few at a time! It seems a tad excessive.

  • Hi Wilfrid. I don't have a server and there is no online archiving folder. Ella has ben helping me too

  • Hi LemonFizz,
     
    Would you please have one more try by using the following cmdlet?
    Search-Mailbox -Identity "April Stewart" -SearchQuery 'Subject:"Your bank statement"' –DeleteContent
    It will search April Stewart's mailbox for messages that contain the phrase "Your bank statement" in the subject and delete the messages from the source mailbox.
     
    Also I re-read your description of the issue and found you cannot select bulk emails to delete at once in Outlook 2010. Would you please have a try in your Outlook Web App to see if it works?
     
    Thanks,
    Ella Huang
  • What might be an idea is to attack the emails with large attachments.

    In Outlook 2010:-

    * Click on the spyglass search icon (where it says "Search Inbox")

    * "Search Tools" tab will appear on the ribbon, hit "Search Tools" there and then "Advanced Find")

    * Select the "More Choices" tab and enter a size (for example over 1,000Kb)

    This should return emails with large attachments.  Run through those and either delete the email or save attachments that you need to retain and remove the attachment from the email.

    If you want to remove a set of emails (say ones over a certain age, then search for dates.  You should be able to get around the "too many items to select" issue by controlling the date parameter for the search.

  • Hi Pete. Thanks for this. A large penny dropped after reading your answer and I just cleared my deleted folder in Outlook and that has made all the difference. No need to fiddle with Outlook 365 at all! Doh!

  • Aha.  I thought that suggesting to empty the trash can would be too much of an obvious question...

  • Pete. I know!!!!! I got stuck on the idea that 365 was a separate entity to 2010. I've now cleared out a load of other folders too - notably my Sent and Sent from mobile folders, and run Archive. Thank you!!!

  • I  have an excuse - we have young puppies and I'm suffering sleep deprivation...