This article is part 8 of a series of thirteen articles that explain how to use Outlook 2000 to communicate through e-mail. To view the other articles in this series, please see the "Additional Resources" section later in this article.
This information is an excerpt from the Quick Course in Microsoft Outlook 2000 book, Chapter 3: "Communicating with E-Mail".
In the early days of e-mail, people would often hold onto old e-mail messages so that they had a record of their senders' addresses. Because it is so easy to add e-mail addresses to the contact list, this reason for keeping old messages no longer exists, and after you have read most of your messages, you will probably want to delete them. To demonstrate how to delete messages, you'll clean up the Sent Items folder, but bear in mind that the procedure is the same for any Outlook e-mail folder.
Sent Items icon
Click the My Shortcuts button and then click the Sent Items icon on the Outlook bar to display a listing in the workspace of all the messages you have sent.
Choose Select All from the Edit menu and then click the Delete button on the toolbar. Instead of actually deleting the messages, Outlook transfers them to the Deleted Items folder, giving you another opportunity to change your mind about getting rid of them. Deleted Items icon
Click the Outlook Shortcuts button and then click the Deleted Items icon on the Outlook bar to display that folder's contents.
You really do want to delete these files, so choose Empty 'Deleted Items' Folder from the Tools menu. Click Yes when asked whether you want to get rid of the items for good.
Display the contents of the Inbox and delete any messages you don't need. Be sure to keep the five messages you have sent to yourself.
Don't save sent messages
To keep your Outlook files from growing too big, you can turn off the option that automatically saves a copy of all your outgoing messages in the Sent Items folder. Choose Options from the Tools menu and click the E-mail Options button on the Preferences tab. Deselect the Save Copies Of Messages In Sent Items Folder check box in the Message Handling section, and click OK twice. If you later want to save a particular outgoing message in the Sent Items folder, click the Options button in the Message window before you send the message, select the Save Sent Message To check box, designate a location, and click Close.
If you want to permanently delete messages without having to later deal with them in the Deleted Items folder, you can choose Options from the Tools menu and select the Empty The Deleted Items Folder Upon Exiting check box in the General section of the Other tab. Then Outlook erases the folder's contents every time you exit the program.
For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307377 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 1: Using the Inbox
310484 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 2: Composing Messages
310485 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 3: Addressing Messages Quickly
310486 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 4: Attaching Files to Messages
310491 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 5: Sending and Retrieving Messages
310487 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 6: Replying to Messages
310488 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 7: Forwarding Messages
307438 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 9: Organizing Messages
310580 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 11: Using Folders
310581 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 12: Moving Messages
310582 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 13: Organizing Messages with the Rules Wizard
The information in this article is an excerpt from the Quick Course in Microsoft Outlook 2000 book, published by Microsoft Press.