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Through an unfortunate turn of events, I ended up with 160,000 useless messages in my MS Exchange inbox. They're not in a folder, rather in the root of the inbox itself. I desperately need to delete them all, even if I have to delete my entire inbox. I'm desperate because I need to hook up my BIS BlackBerry to the IMAP service in order to get push e-mail on my handheld, which is absolutely critical at the moment.

Thus, the question: How do I either (a) delete the useless messages; or (b) delete everything in my inbox if (a) were impossible? Note that I don't have access to Outlook as I'm a Linux user in a Microsoft company. The POP3 service is disabled and I don't think I could get enough traction to have it enabled. Thus this leaves me only with options involving IMAP. This also means that the (hypothetical) tool(s) that I'm looking for need not be Exchange-specific.


EDIT: I didn't have my glasses on at the time. The number is one-hundred and sixty thousand. Not sixteen thousand as previously thought.

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There is no box in your company on which you can log in just to open your exchange account in Outlook... once? – Jay Feb 28 '10 at 3:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's not the best solution, but if you have access to Outlook Web Access, you should be able to view your inbox and start deleting bad messages. There doesn't seem to be a way to delete more than a page (25) messages at a time, though, so it could take quite a while.

A better solution would be to borrow someone's Windows machine with Outlook for a few minutes, log in with your credentials (or just create a new Outlook profile in Control Panel → Mail), and set up your Exchange account. Then you can easily delete everything in your inbox, either manually or by creating and running a rule.

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I have OWA configured to display (gasp) 100 messages per page. I suppose I could write a GreaseMonkey script that would tack on jQuery on OWA and bash away at the problem 100 emails at a time. Unfortunately, knowing the "stability" of OWA, this will probably become a very labor-intensive endeavor in no time. – Max A. Feb 28 '10 at 13:48
Logging in to someone else's machine might work. I more or less tried that by spinning up Outlook in a Windows VirtualBox instance at home. It managed to open my inbox after a while, but then hangs regardless of the operation attempted. – Max A. Feb 28 '10 at 13:49

The best bet would be to contact your local Exchange admin and ask him to delete the messages for you. I understand how that could be difficult and/or painful depending on your company's sysadmins.

An alternative: Download your favorite Linux e-mail client (Thunderbird is the one I usually use) and point it to your exchange inbox via imap. Then delete away. You may need to configure T-Bird to only download so many e-mails at once.

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