Messages in an e-mail thread are automatically moved to the Deleted Items folder

Applies to: Outlook 2016Outlook 2013Microsoft Outlook 2010 More

Symptoms


When you use the Ignore feature in Microsoft Outlook 2010 or later versions, messages are automatically moved to the Deleted Items folder.

When this problem occurs, a message trace indicates a DefaultFolderType:DeletedItems-Conversations Processing Agent event. Email messages that trigger this event are delivered directly to the Deleted Items folder.

Cause


This problem occurs if you select Ignore on an e-mail message, and then another message from that same thread is delivered into your mailbox.

When you select Ignore on an e-mail message, Outlook deletes that e-mail message and also keeps track of all future e-mail messages that are related to the ignored message. If a future message that is related to the originally ignored message arrives in your Inbox, Outlook automatically moves that future message to your Deleted Items folder.

Note This feature is not available or functional in the following configuration:
  • Online mode profile in Outlook
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 mailboxes

Resolution


To resolve this problem, remove the Ignore status of the e-mail thread. To do this, follow these steps:
 
  1. Select the Deleted Items folder.
  2. Select the message that is currently set to be ignored by Outlook.
  3. On the Home tab on the ribbon, click Ignore in the Delete section.

    Note You can determine whether a message is being ignored by the status of the Ignore control on the ribbon. If the Ignore control is highlighted, as shown in the following screen shots, the conversation thread on that message is currently being ignored by Outlook.
     
    Outlook 2016 Outlook 2016 Ignore Conversation button
    Outlook 2013 Outlook 2013 Ignore Conversation button
    Outlook 2010 Outlook 2010 Ignore Conversation button
  4. If you are prompted, click Stop Ignoring Conversation.
At this point, the message is automatically moved from your Deleted Items folder to the folder from which the message originated. Future messages for this thread will not be automatically deleted.
 
When you enable the Ignore option on a conversation, a message is created in the Associated Contents table of the Conversation Action Settings folder of your mailbox (The screen shot for the Conversation Action Settings folder is listed in the following screen shot.)

The screen shot for the Conversation Action Settings folder

The associated messages in the Conversation Action Settings folder use the following rules:
  • If there is no activity on a thread for fourteen (14) days, the conversation action message for the thread is automatically deleted.
  • The age of the conversation action message is determined by the oldest message for the conversation.
  • You can modify the number of days at which the conversation action messages expire by using the following registry data.

    Subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\x.0\Outlook\Options\Conversations
    DWORD: OnGoingActionsExpiration
    Value: Integer specifying the number of days after which an inactive conversation has its conversation action message deleted

    Note The <x.0> placeholder represents your version of Office (16.0 = Office 2016, Office 365 and Office 2019, 15.0 = Office 2013, 14.0 = Office 2010).
  • You can start Outlook by using the following command line to delete all conversation action messages in the Associated Contents table of the Conversation Actions folder.

    Outlook.exe /CleanConvOnGoingActions

    Note Conversations whose conversation action messages get deleted by the /CleanConvOnGoingActions switch do not reappear in the Inbox. The conversation remains in the Deleted Items folder. However, because the hidden conversation action message no longer exists for the conversation, any new messages for the conversation remain in the Inbox.
You can also get different behavior from this feature, depending on the version of Exchange Server that you are using:
  • In Exchange Server 2007 and a cached mode profile, "Ignore" is based on SUBJECT. For example, any message that has "Help" as the subject will automatically be sent to Deleted Items as long as you clicked Ignore for a previous message that had "Help!" as the subject.
  • In Exchange Server 2010 and later versions, "Ignore" is based on the CONVERSATION ID, and only the messages that are related to the same ignored conversation are automatically sent to the Deleted Items folder.

When you Ignore a conversation, you receive the following prompt to confirm the action.

The screen shot for the prompt when you ignore a conversation

In this dialog box, there is also a Don't show this message again option. If you enable this option, you will not be prompted to confirm the Ignore Conversation action the next time you select to ignore a message. If this option is enabled, the following data is written into the registry.

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\x.0\Outlook\Options\General
StringPONT_STRING
Value: 63

Note The <x.0> placeholder represents your version of Office (16.0 = Office 2016, Office 365 and Office 2019, 15.0 = Office 2013, 14.0 = Office 2010).

Note The Pont_String value may include numbers other than 63.