Outlook 2007: Manage IMAP Inbox by Manually Purging Deleted Items

Posted May 30, 2007 by Rob Rogers in Microsoft Outlook

When you delete a message in your IMAP inbox, it isn’t removed. Instead, it is displayed using stikethrough text. IMAP folders require purging for the removal of deleted items. To manually purge your IMAP folder, follow these steps:

1. Select an IMAP folder such as your Inbox.

2. Click Edit and mouseover Purge.

3. Select to Purge from the selected folder, from the current account, or from all IMAP accounts.

4. When the confirmation box appears, click Yes.


About Rob Rogers

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

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  • Accezz

    Tnx for the tip. Helped me out!

  • Will

    This is right but it is not working. Followed directions to the T. Any other suggestions? Something I am missing? Still reappearing and staying strike through-ed….

    • idris

      Works for me re-check your steps. Only problem I have is do not have a deleted items folder? I think there should be a deleted items folder where I can see what emails have been deleted .

  • idris

    Where do the deleted items go to. I do not have a delete items folder in microsoft outlook 2007? should there be a deleted items folder, where I can see all my deleted items?

  • Amy

    I never leave comments…But this tip kept me from tearing all my hair out. Thank you.

  • Ten

    thank you so much.

  • Emo Hair

    Outlook can be it is pleasant to someone,
    but it more to be pleasant to me The Bat!

  • Anonymous

    what if purge isn’t working?

  • Ulrik

    What complete ยค%#! thought up this infuriating “feature”?

  • Steffen

    Good tip!!! Thanx

  • Andy

    It gets even easier in later versions of Outlook 2007 by going to the “Purge Options…” window off the same “Edit” -> “Purge >” menu. You can have the records marked for deletion automatically purged when switching folders by checking the “Purge items when switching folders while online”.

  • If you want it to function more like a POP account, where messages are removed from the inbox right when you click on delete, go to View –> Current View and select “Hide messages marked for deletion.”

    • Kmelka

      thank you so much!!!!!

    • Bbryson

      This is the best yet! But, James, where do the items go? I can’t find them in any trash or deleted folders, but at least I can’t see them!

      • Bbryson

        Oh gee, when I went out of Outlook and came back in all the ones I hid from view were back too!

  • Anonymous

    I deleted a message from my inbox sent messages, that I want to retrieve How do I retrieve it?

  • clo

    I don’t have the purge option. I tried doing it from the folder, & the account options, & from the menu bar. No such thing.

  • Matt


    Slightly offtopic, but if I delete mail with some other client (e.g. webmail), those deleted mails still appear in Outlook even after sync.

    Anything to do about that?

    Thanks, cheers,