I've been using Microsoft Outlook for many years now. I like to keep all the e-mails I receive, never delete anything (I receive 50-200 e-mails a day). For the purpose of efficiency, what I do is delete (i.e. click the "Delete" button on my keyboard) every e-mail I receive that does not require special treatment or filing. Once a week or so I copy all the "Deleted Items" folder to a big folder I have called "All Non-Filed Mail". If I encounter a spam e-mail or some other mail that "really" requires deletion, I just use Shift-Delete.

I'm well aware of this method's hazards (e.g. the risk of cleaning the folder by mistake), however it's the only single-key operation I know of to remove an e-mail from my Inbox (Ctrl-something is not a single key for this purpose), and I've grown accustomed to it.

I wanted to know if there's any way to configure the operation of the Delete button to send an item to a specific folder?

I currently work in Outlook 2007, but I'm hoping to receive answers that will also be relevant for other versions.


Would the auto archive facility be sufficient? You can set auto archive specifically to "items older than 1 day or week" on the Deleted Items folder. Even turn off archive on other folders if you didn't want to use the archive facility else where.

  • +1 for simplicity. quite possible, depending on how he uses the Auto-Archive feature. Could also be combined with a rule – pavsaund Aug 19 '09 at 8:46
  • I'm already using this feature. For simplicity I didn't mention that the "once a week move" is actually done from the deleted folder in my archive PST to another folder there... Still, I would like to avoid this manual work, and keeping things in the deleted items folder, even in the archive PST, feel dangerous. Thanks. – Roee Adler Aug 19 '09 at 9:35

What you are doing now is truly the best answer to your question. To avoid emptying your deleted items folder you can change the default action in Tools | Options and select the Oter tab. Uncheck the box beside "Empty the deleted items folder when exiting".

  • I have obviously done that many years ago, otherwise every time I would have shut down my computer I would lose many e-mails... Thanks. – Roee Adler Aug 19 '09 at 6:50
  • 2
    I'm not sure if that checkbox is ever enabled by default. In other words, Outlook does NOT empty the deleted items folder by default. – TFM Aug 19 '09 at 7:14

I don't know what kind of percentage of mail that ends up in the All Non-Filed Mail folder. But given that this percentage is higher than mail that gets sorted (could also be viable regardless of percentage), then you could consider creating a rule to store all received mail into the All Non-Filed Mail folder, and just sort / label all other mail. All unprocessed mail would then be marked as unread, and all you have to do is file away those mails that need filing and not touch those that don't

I assume you have to read / open / sort all mail before taking any action, so this way you remove the need to delete, and then move all non--filed mail, and the obvious hazard of the "delete all"-scenario.

  • Well, there's one problem with this: I do like to maintain many e-mails in my Inbox as "pending some action". In your scenario you suggest to turn my Inbox to that "All Non-Filed Mail", and I don't like that... (and I don't want to drag every e-mail that's somewhat interesting and I want to look later at to the Inbox). I do need the separation between Inbox and that All Non-Filed Mail folder... Thanks. – Roee Adler Aug 19 '09 at 9:37

Sounds like a good candidate for my Outlook VBScript Macro that I put together a few years ago based upon a few sample codes floating around. This macro currently moves the selected messages or current open message to a PST file I created, called "Archive Personal Folders." This can be changed to any folder you want. Putting this macro into your Outlook will get you started. You'll need to modify the code to do what you want. Also, you need to generate a digital signing certificate to sign the code to make it easy. I put a button on my toolbar to run this script, so I can move a bunch of messages at once to my Archive folder.

Sub MoveSelectedMessagesToArchiveInbox()
    On Error Resume Next
    Dim objFolder As Outlook.MAPIFolder, objInbox As Outlook.MAPIFolder
    Dim objNS As Outlook.NameSpace, objItem As Outlook.MailItem

    Set objNS = Application.GetNamespace("MAPI")
    Set objInbox = objNS.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderInbox)
    Set objFolder = objNS.Folders("Archive Personal Folders").Folders("Inbox")

    'Assume this is a mail folder
    If objFolder Is Nothing Then
        MsgBox "This folder doesn't exist!", vbOKOnly + vbExclamation, "INVALID FOLDER"
    End If

    Select Case TypeName(Outlook.Application.ActiveWindow)
        'Viewing Inbox, so act upon selected messages
        Case "Explorer"
            If Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection.Count = 0 Then
                'Require that this procedure be called only when a message is selected
                Exit Sub
            End If

            For Each objItem In Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection
                If objFolder.DefaultItemType = olMailItem Then
                    If objItem.Class = olMail Then
                        objItem.Move objFolder
                    End If
                End If
        'A message is open, act upon current open message
        Case "Inspector"
            Set objItem = Outlook.Application.ActiveInspector.CurrentItem
                If objFolder.DefaultItemType = olMailItem Then
                    If objItem.Class = olMail Then
                        objItem.Move objFolder
                    End If
                End If
        Case Else
            ' Do Nothing
    End Select

    Set objItem = Nothing
    Set objFolder = Nothing
    Set objInbox = Nothing
    Set objNS = Nothing
End Sub

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.