Outlook 2007: Give a Message an Expiration Date

Posted May 9, 2007 by Rob Rogers in Microsoft Outlook

You can give messages generated in Outlook an expiration date. Once the message has expired, the header will still be visible when viewed in Outlook, however it will have a strikethrough. The message can still be opened, but will give the recipient the indication that the email is no longer relevant.

1. Create a new message.

2. In the Ribbon, go to the Options section on the Message tab.

3. Click the downward pointing arrow in the bottom right corner.

4. In the Message Options window, under Delivery Options, check the Expires after checkbox.

5. Using the corresponding dropdowns, select the date and time that the message will expire.

6. Click Close.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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  • Fred

    this is a good feature for setting on expiration date on my outbound messages.
    However I would like to set up an expiration date on inbound messages as I read them. I may want to keep a message no longer than a month, or 2 days, or have it match my company’s email retention policy.

  • Charles

    I too would rather have a rule set an expiration date for inbound, but this is what I do now. Create a fold named something like “Compost” > create sub folders suchas as “Days 001”, “Days 030”, “Days 365” and so on (I use 1, 3, 10, 30, 90, 365.) > apply properties to each folder for AutoArchive permanently delete after xxx days > Create rules for received mail to deliver to to the appropriate compost folder. > and turn on autoarchive.

    This autoarchive folder, the rules to put mail into the folder, plus search folders make the folders accessible by relevant subject yet delete them automatically.

  • Carolyn

    There is a way to set the expiration date for incoming email in Outlook:

    -In the message ribbon, click on the down arrow in the lower right-hand corner.

    -Under Delivery Options, there is an “Expires After” check box.

    -To see the expiration date from your inbox view, choose “Expires” from the Field Chooser (Found in Date/Time fields). You can get to the Field Chooser by right clicking along the headings at the top of your inbox

  • janice

    How do you remove the expiration for calendar appointments that you set in the future and then want to update? I like to setup recurring appointments for months in advance, that way they’re in the everyone’s calendar. When i want to update it, I get a warning message that the “The expiration date and time for message have passed. Do you still want to send it?” I try to say yes, but the message does not send. I know how to remove/change the expiration date for an email message, but can not for the calendar appointment…this frustrates me!

    • Charlie

      Janice, did you ever get an answer to your question about the expiration of calendar appointments?

    • cheryl

      Turn off auto archiving. Do not use archiving. Afterward, you may need to recreate the meetings and remove the old meeting. If you use auto archiving, the meetings will be ok until they are 14 days old.

  • Hiro

    Is there any way after the expiration date, the receipant cannot open the message?

  • Are you a robot?

  • klj

    is there a “default” setting that someone could use to have an expiration date on every e-mail they send or do they have to input that on each and every e-mail sent??

    i’m getting emails from a client and i don’t think she is putting that expiration date on her e-mails intentionally but they all have it now and they never did before… there is really no reason for it… i don’t think she is that computer literate for one thing so i hate to bring it up w/ her…

    • MHE

      Did you ever get a response?

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t do the above instructions.

    Why have you made this application so difficult to use? Why couldn’t you have just left the existing functionality as it was?

  • Anonymous

    How can I get rid of an automatic expiration? The default setting will cause my e-mail messages and calendar appointments to expire. Help!

  • Anonymous

    To enable/remove epiration date on all emails:
    Tools > Options > Preferences > E-Mail Options > Advanced E-Mail Options > Messages Expire After
    Check/Un-Check box and enter number of days

  • Anonymous

    I cannot get the expires after to work at all. I have tried it numerous times and it just won’t work. Can anyone help?

  • Shelbsassy

    Is there a way to print an Outlook 2007 email without an expiration date if an expiration date has already been assigned to the email?

  • Sparker

    My Outlook 2007 “Expires After” isn’t deleting the message it just give it a strike through
    I want to actually delete a message from a users mailbox after a certain date.
    Does anyone know how I do that?

  • Mark

    I have outlook 2010 and the expiration date is set on for all emails and i need to turn it off any suggestions very gratefully received


  • dawn

    File tab > options > Mail > Send Messages section > UNcheck “mark messages as expired after this many days:”