Use the Built-In Sweep Feature in Outlook Online to Clear Unwanted Emails

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Outlook has useful tools built into the email client, such as Disorder, Conversation cleanup, and Targeted inbox, to help keep your inbox tidy. Outlook Online includes a feature called Sweep, a tool used to delete or move emails using simple rules. Here’s how it works.

Sweep is a tool that allows you to define rules on the destination of emails from specific senders. The scanning rules run once every 24 hours and you can create rules in any folder you like, not just in the inbox.

The Sweep tool is available in the toolbar at the top of Outlook online. It will appear when you select an email in the folder you are in (except messages from yourself and Microsoft telling you that Clutter has moved certain messages).

The Scan option in the Outlook toolbar.

Scanning is a move tool, which means that you have options for which emails to move and an option to choose the folder where the emails will be moved.

Scan options.

By default, Sweep moves all emails from the selected sender to the Deleted Items folder. Therefore, although Sweep is a move tool, it can also be used to delete emails.

You can change “Move to” deleted items to any folder you like, including the inbox. This means that Sweep is not just meant to empty your inbox.

If you have decided to start categorize your emails, for example, you can use Sweep to quickly move all emails from a particular sender from your Archive folder to a processing folder and apply a category to them at once. It would be much faster than finding the emails manually.

The second option – “Move all messages from folder and all future messages” – will also move all emails from the selected sender, but it will also move all future messages from that sender.

As with the first option, the second option has more power than what might appear to the naked eye. This option will work in any folder, so you can use it to automate your filing system. Imagine you are the type of person who has a file system for their emails. Each time you process an email, you must manually move it to the correct folder. But with Sweep, you can automate that.

Configure a scan rule in your Archive folder to move each email from a particular sender to the appropriate folder. Then, when you’ve processed an email in your inbox, go to the Archive and let the scanning rule send it from there to the correct folder.

The third option – “Always keep the last message and move the rest of the folder” – is a dynamic version of the Conversation cleaning tool in the Outlook client. This tool runs manually when you tell it to, and it’s a great tool that we recommend using, but the scanning version will run automatically.

For messages from people, this option may not be applicable, because people can send you emails about different things. But it is perfect for reminder emails of things like a timesheet system or regular alert messages.

The last option – “Always move messages older than 10 days from the folder” – is great for anyone who is overwhelmed with emails gathering in their inboxes like silt in a riverbed.

There are many emails which, if you do not process them in about a week, will not be processed at all. So why not automatically remove them from your inbox?

If this is not convenient for you, this option is still useful for handling e-mails containing time-limited information. Do you receive emails about local events for the coming week? This option is perfect for eliminating them. If you have the chance to read them, then all the better, you can take care of them yourself. If not, let Sweep take care of it for you.

They should not be deleted as you can send them to the folder of your choice, so coupon offers can be deleted, but emails from the local Astronomical Society about events in the sky this week can be archived.

To see all of your scanning rules and delete them if you want, click Settings> Show all Outlook settings.

Open Email> Scan.

The Scan Settings option.

You will be able to see and delete all of the scanning rules you have created.

Overall, Sweep is a surprisingly powerful displacement tool. You can use it to keep your inbox clear, or as a simple workflow tool to route your mail from one folder to another. We think it’s a great addition to Outlook’s arsenal that helps you stay in control of your email.

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