Have you got lots of emails in your Inbox clogging it up and making you feel overwelemed? When this happens the thought of trawling through to clean things up can be just too much.

In this how to blog I share with you a tip that can help reduce the load somewhat.

Clean up your conversations by using Conversation Cleanup.

Conversation cleanup

Conversation Cleanup deletes all the messages that you no longer need – these are the messages whose text is contained within later messages. Typically when you reply to an email, the original text is kept in the email underneath your reply. In this case there is no need to keep the original clogging up your inbox.

Clean up a conversation

Cleanup Conversation





  1. On the Home Ribbon click the drop down arrow under Clean Up
  2. Select Clean up Conversation

In the conversation we are cleaning up here there are 4 messages, the first email and all the responses within the conversations.

Cleaned UP conversation





When Lisa cleans up the conversation, the original email from Lisa will be removed as the text is included in the others.

Cleaned up conversation

Cleanup conversation settings





Here is that conversation again, now it has been cleaned up – only three messages remain as the text of the original is included in each of the others.

Clearned up conversation in outlook





Messages are cleaned up according to your settings

When you click Clean up Conversation on the Home Ribbon you can get to the settings by clicking File > Options>Mail and then scroll down to Conversation Clean Up.


Cleanup settings





  1. Tick or un-tick the boxes
  2. Click Browse to set where cleaned up messages go – usually this is the Deleted Items folder

Clean Up Folder

Cleanup Folder





This command reviews all messages in the current folder and removes any that are contained within the body of any other message.

Clean Up Folder & Sub Folders

This command looks at all the messages in the current folder and any subfolders that it may have. It will remove any messages that are early parts of conversations and are contained within the body of other messages.

Ignore a conversation

You can choose to ignore a conversation. This will move all email in that conversation to the deleted items folder and it will automatically move any future emails directly to the deleted items folder so long as they have the same subject.

Ignore Conversations

Be careful with this one as Outlook identifies the conversation based on the subject line. If you receive email in the future with the same subject line, that will be ignored too!





Have fun cleaning up your Inbox! Or at the very least making a start.

Shelley Fishel