Housekeeping and Message Management: Outlook

Last reviewed on May 8, 2014

The keys to keeping the size of your folders manageable are to

  • Periodically empty the Deleted Items folder
  • Archive or delete from Sent Items
  • Remove attachments from sent messages, assuming that the attached files are stored elsewhere on your system
  • Use one of the third-party tools listed here to compress attachments that you want to keep in your folders
  • If you are using Personal Folders, periodically compact them to recover space left behind by deleted items.

This page lists tools that can help users and administrators manage Outlook items by archiving items, removing attachments, repairing .pst and .ost files, renaming special folders, calculating folder size, backing up Outlook data.

Do you need to save messages in your My Documents (or other folder)? See How to Save Email Messages to the Windows File System

Utilities for working with attachments, including attachment removers, reminders and attachment compression tools are at Attachment Management Tools

The More Information section includes links to additional types of tools that may be useful for housekeeping.

Administrator and Exchange server housekeeping utilities are now at Housekeeping & Message Management: Exchange Server.

Tools in the Spotlight

Aid4Mail

Aid4Mail is an email migration and conversion tool, which supports over 30 mail formats including Outlook (PST, MSG files), Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, Eudora, and mbox. It can search mail by date, header content, and in the Forensic and Enterprise versions, by message body content. Mail folders and files can be processed even when disconnected (unmounted) from their email client including those stored on CD, DVD, and USB drives.

Attachment Save

Sperry Software's Attachment Save Add-In for Outlook saves emails and/or attachments to your Windows folders, either all at once (in a batch) or as they arrive. It also now has support for Outlook 2010, both 32-bit and 64-bit. In addition, Sperry Software now has fully functional 14-day trial versions on its entire product line.

eeminders for Outlook

eeminders gives you an uncluttered inbox that shows you what you need to work on, in the order that you want to work on them. Defer/snooze emails out of your inbox and have them magically appear back when you actually need them. Get email reminders to follow-up on important emails right in your inbox. Get reminders for non-email actions in your Inbox. Prioritize or schedule your emails in the order that you need to work on them and more... Supports Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013 (32bit and 64bit). Free 30 day trial available

eFiler

The eFiler toolbar for Outlook enables you to use file system folders as mailboxes, making mailbox size limits and public folders redundant. Search, open, reply to and forward saved emails or share them as zipped attachments or by hyperlink. Emails are filed in msg format with definable filenames with optional filing references. File using a predictive list, the Drop Panel, or automatically using the eRules feature to make filing transparent to the user. Cloud Sync extends drag and drop filing via IMAP to iPhone, iPad, Android, OWA and Gmail. The search tool makes finding emails easy, with multi-color highlights, a preview pane and a language neutral GUI for detailed searches. Deploy filing locations, config settings and eRules to organizational units.

EZDetach for Outlook

Save attachments as system files either as part of a Rules Wizard rule or manually, from either a folder view or the Advanced Find window. Can create subfolders to organize attachments by sender or date, pass an attachment to a script or other program, add a link in messages to point to the detached file, filter on attachment names, and automatically zip or unzip attachments. Version 5.5.1.327.

HTML Email Archiver

HTML Email Archiver works with all types of Microsoft Outlook folders and archives Outlook items to HTML format or platform-dependent CHM format. This allows you to publish Microsoft Outlook folders on the Internet, or move data from Microsoft Outlook onto other software and hardware platforms, including mobile devices. These archives reproduce the structure of Microsoft Outlook folders, can contain messages or other elements in any language and with any types of attachments, support sorting by several criteria and can be searched with advanced options.

Incoming Mail Organizer

This add-in for Outlook organizes the email in your inbox by automatically moving it to folders you designate. Similar to our Sent Items Organizer, you can have the add-in automatically move the email to folders that you create based on who it's from, keywords in the subject or body, or you can have it prompt you for the folder each time it doesn't know how to handle the email. It also comes with a facility to back propagate through all your old emails and file them accordingly. Enter code WD9BHK53 during checkout.

QuickFile for Outlook

File 90% of your emails at the click of a button. Manage your Inbox and Sent Items folders. Move emails out of the Inbox to the correct folder at the click of a button. QuickFile remembers the folders used for each person and presents a short customized list each time. Use the same list to Send&File in one step instead of having to go back to your Sent Items folder. Plus many more email management features such as one-click creation of task/appointments from emails, newsletter processing, deferred non-urgent emails and much more.

Sent Items Organizer

Sent Items Organizer version 3.2 has been released. With its Send And File button, this version now allows you to type the first few characters of the folder you're interested in to quickly find the folder you need. In addition, it allows you to override your regular Send button so you don't have to change your current send habits. Finally, this version has improved shared mailbox handling to automatically file emails from shared mailboxes into their respective Sent Items folders. Enter code WD9BHK53 during checkout.

Tools

ArchiveAssist

ArchiveAssist is a standalone program designed to overcome archiving failures in Microsoft Outlook. Outlook archives messages based not on their Received Date or Sent Date but on what Outlook calls their Modified Date, which changes to the current date any time you touch message by, for instance, by Editing, Importing, or Replying To a message. ArchiveAssist allows archiving to work on recently touched messages.

ArchivER

Archive Outlook data as individual files, preserving the Outlook folder structure.

Auto-Mate

Auto-Mate is an Outlook utility that allows you use define rules to move mail from your Inbox (or other folders) based on several criteria, including the age of the message. While Outlook rules only run as messages are downloaded or when you click Run Rules now, Auto-Mate rules run on a schedule, enabling you to apply rules to messages that have been in your Inbox for a given number of hours, days or weeks. Available in Standard or Pro Version. Supports Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013. Now available for Outlook 2010/2013 64-bit.

Boomerang

Boomerang is an add-in for Microsoft Outlook that allows you to take a message out of your Inbox for a few hours or a few days, until you're ready to deal with it. Ask it to return a message tomorrow afternoon, and at noon tomorrow, it will bring that message back into your Inbox. For Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013.

CCS Network Inventory

CCS Network Inventory is a powerful hardware and software inventory and asset tracking program. Install the software on your local PC or to a shared drive, and start scanning your LAN to get detailed software and hardware inventory and configuration information. Also integrates with CCS Help Desk and allows viewing of configuration information from a trouble ticket.

CodeTwo Move & Delete Watchdog

CodeTwo Move & Delete Watchdog warns about unintentional moving or deleting folders in Microsoft Outlook. Whenever you move a folder in Outlook's navigation pane or are about to delete something from the Outlook folder tree, a popup dialog appears asking for your confirmation. You can configure it to notify you when you move a folder, delete it, or in both of these cases. Free.

Data Publisher for Outlook & SharePoint

Data Publisher add-in provides a means to bring your Outlook contents such as mails, appointments, tasks or contacts to SharePoint lists, where these can be shared with other users. This process can be performed manually, or automatically and is achieved without using any scripts or programming, with complete seamless experience to the users. In other words, Data Publisher extends your Microsoft Outlook to effectively act as a content provider for your enterprise SharePoint repository. It can be adapted to feed data to SharePoint lists for various purposes, such as for issue tracking, timesheets, projects or contact managements.

Database Exporter for Outlook

Database Exporter for Microsoft Outlook enables you to export the contents of an Outlook folder to an external database. It is especially designed to overcome the inability of the Outlook's built-in 'Import and Export Wizard' to handle data in custom forms, by allowing you to export any kind of data, including custom fields, to a database, in a simple click. You can selectively specify which fields to include in the export, and the appropriate data type will be inherited in the database. Supports export of mails, appointments, tasks or contacts. It can operate on any Outlook form, field types and support any Outlook folder, whether a private folder or an Exchange Public Folder.

DeleteByDate

DeleteByDate is a standalone program that lets you delete messages by date or by a range of dates from all your Outlook folders at once, or from only those folders you select.

DetachPipe

Save, detach, and delete attachments from Outlook messages. Leaves a clickable hyperlink in the message pointing to the saved attachment.

E-Rkive

Outlook archiving tool that allows you to store messages with the same folder structure as Outlook, keep archives on CD-ROM, maintain up to 10 archive databases, search archived messages, and compress them to save space.

eMail Manager

eMail Manager is an addin designed for Outlook 2007 or 2010 to assist the user in filing / archiving and retrieving emails in a consistent and efficient way. Messages are either saved in Outlook / Exchange folders or as MSG files in the file system. The file message dialog presents you with a list of recent save locations and a range of options for dealing with attachments. As mail is sent eMail Manager pops up a dialog prompting you to save or delete the sent message. Messages saved into the file system are consistently named with a configurable filename format.

Extract Microsoft Outlook Emails to Database

Copies key Outlook email properties to an Access or MySQL database. May also work with other ODBC databases. Triggers Outlook security prompt. Free.

Ffolder

Utility to rename or delete "special" Outlook folders such as the Calendar, Tasks, Inbox, and Contacts. VB source code included. Requires CDO. Free.

HideOutlookFolders

Utility hide unused folders in Outlook data files, include RSS, Calendar and Contacts in other .pst files.

iMoveMail from Infoware

iMoveMail allows users to 'file' email messages by moving or copying messages to Exchange Public Folders, in a folder structure that is similar to their Client files stored on the network. For example, files can be grouped A to Z, then by client name, then by Matter. iMoveMail improves your ability to collaborate on files by centralizing client email correspondence. Attachments to emails are removed and stored in the file system; links to these attachments are added to the message. MS Exchange server is required.

Information Storage Usage Form

Outlook form for measuring the amount of space used by an Exchange Server mailbox. Publish to your Personal Folders so you can access it with the Compose | New Form function.

Inlook Time Management

Inlook Time Management helps you optimize how you spend your valuable time. Inlook leverages advanced email and meeting analytics to help you prioritize your day to day work, increase productivity and measure how much time you are spending per task, per project or per customer. Inlook also helps you implement email handling techniques by automating many time consuming, administrative actions such as smart archiving (fully automated or by providing smart suggestions) , deferring email handling, scheduling time to handle an email and more.

Kernel Attachment Management

Kernel Attachment Management is an add-in utility that processes and saves attachments of incoming and existing emails as per specified criteria and also leaves a link to the saved location for easy accessibility. Fully functional free trial of the software is also available for the period of 30 days. Product Name: Kernel for Attachment Management

Language Stamper

Tool to rename "special" Outlook folders, such as the Calendar, Tasks, Inbox, and Contacts, either for all mailboxes on a server or for a single mailbox . Requires CDO. Available in both administrator and end user versions.

LBE Toolbox for MS Outlook

Multifunction utility to send individual messages to a list generated either from a text file or from criteria on the Contacts folder, remove large file attachments, remove duplicate contacts and messages, and perform a few other little chores.

MailToFile

MailToFile for MS Outlook is the integrated solution for filing emails outside your Outlook application. You can store your emails directly into a customer or project folder, with only a few mouse clicks. An archived message doesn't change: it remains a regular email! You can easily open, reply and forward all messages. With MailToFile you always have all your digital correspondence filed together.

MessageSave for Outlook

MessageSave is an Outlook add-in for archiving and saving email messages. This powerful and intuitive plugin supports msg, txt, eml and mbox formats. It enables manual, rule-based and schedule-based operation. Use MessageSave to save e-mail messages for archiving, data retention, regulatory compliance, document management, backup, email sharing and exporting Outlook email to other mail clients, such as Mac Mail.app. Version 4.0.4.303.

OfficeIns

OfficeIns is a small utility that displays the details of all installed Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, and so on...) add-ins on your computer, and allows you to disable / enable them.

OLAP Statistics for Outlook

OLAP Statistics tool for Outlook helps you gain insight into your folder items and make new discoveries. It analyzes Outlook data in multi-dimensional view in grids, charts and graphs and supports pivoting, drill down/slice and dice and filtering. You can run analysis tool on individual Outlook or public folders. Specify any field as the measure using functions such as sum, count, distinct count, maximum, minimum etc, and use this against other fields to generate statistics. Save and share reports as PDF, JPEG, HTML or PNG formats.

Outlook Cleaner

Filters, moves, deletes, and performs other cleanup operations through one interface showing all your folders. Filters Outlook Items across multiple folders by aging, subject, email, domain name and attachment match i.e. you can now identify all emails with a particular type of attachment and then delete or move them all. In addition, multiple profiles can be setup to be run interactively or via batch mode. Outlook 2000 SR-1 or later.

Outlook Picture Extractor

Extract just pictures or all attachments from items in any Outlook and save them to a system folder of your choice. Can optionally move processed items to a different Outlook folder.

Outlook2Mac

Exports Outlook mail, calendar, and contacts to mbox, iCal, and vCard files for import into Entourage and other Macintosh mail and collaboration programs. Can also be used to extract all file attachments to a system folder.

Pandali Folder Master for Outlook

The Pandali Folder Master for Outlook allows users to move, copy, and delete multiple Outlook folders in batches. No more right-clicking on folders one by one.

PDF/XPS/DOC Document Exporter for Outlook 2007

Document Exporter brings PDF, XPS and other widely used formats such as DOC, MHT and HTML to Outlook 2007 enabling you to save or simply attach your emails as PDF/XPS. You can batch convert multiple mail (or post) items to multiple file documents in a single-click. Additionally, you can merge and save multiple related mail (or post) items to a single file document. Whatever the technique you use, Document Exporter preserves all the inline/embedded images, hyperlinks in the generated documents.

Personal Message Store Export Utility

Exports Outlook messages to a text file with complete Internet headers. Visual Basic 6.0 source code included.

PST Finder

The Fortisware PST Finder is an IT-Pro tool for locating PST files on a local network and enabling automated removal, archiving and import to Microsoft Exchange Server. Rich reporting features make it easy to look for recently-modified PST files on the network and to monitor the status of automated imports. Determine the size of PST files on an individual and domain level for planning purposes. Take control of PST creation through policy-level controls: PST Finder can also adjust users' Outlook settings to disable the generation of new PST files on an individual workstation or domain level.

PSTStation

Use PSTStation Corporate to audit, reconcile, protect, backup or archive PST files of your organization. PSTStation Corporate scan feature detects all PST stored on workstations or corporate file servers. The software can detect PST files either from live Outlook profiles, or by scanning directories. Advanced scan also allows administrators to find empty or broken files as well as hidden PST files. No agent is installed except for a small program on laptops. Actions can be applied to a single PST file or to a group of files. Administrators can define and schedule jobs. Actions included: archiving, full or brick-level backup, compression, custom action.

Save As PDF

Sperry Software is releasing their Save As PDF add-in for Outlook 2013 out of beta testing. This add-in converts emails to PDF files (including attachments). The add-in can convert emails, Word docs, Excel files, and many more formats with no PDF printer driver needed. This tool is for Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 and is now being released for Outlook 2013 (both 32-bit and 64-bit). In addition, several new features have been added like the ability to include the mailbox owner name and the ability to always include the attachments in raw format (instead of transcribing them into the PDF).

SharePointUpload

Sharepoint Upload is a command line freeware tool (with .NET source) that can extract e-mails from PST, Public Folders, and Exchange Mailboxes and place on a file system in MSG format (using Redemption). The extracted files are compatible to SharePoint naming conventions.

SimplyFile for Microsoft Outlook

SimplyFile helps you file incoming and outgoing messages to the right Outlook folder with one click of a mouse. SimplyFile's state of the art algorithm learns as you file messages and suggests destination folders for filing. All you have to do to send a message to the right folder is click a button. SimplyFile also includes buttons for turning messages into Tasks and Appointments. Compatible with Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007. Version 2.3.4.106.

Stellar Phoenix PST File Splitter

PST File Splitter reduces the size of a large PST file by splitting it into small parts and helps in avoiding the PST corruption situations. Stellar Phoenix PST File Splitter splits large PST file on the basis of email Id, date and folder size and keep the original PST file intact. It allows to create batch files for automating splitting process and also provides the log report of every operation. PST file splitter is available with both single user and corporate versions and efficiently works with Outlook 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002 and 2000.

Team Publisher for Outlook & SharePoint

Team Publisher provides an easy way for work-group users to bring Outlook contents to SharePoint. It is just a click way to share and publish mails, appointments, tasks or contacts from Outlook to one or more of the administrator chosen SharePoint lists. This is achieved without using any scripts or programming, providing a seamless experience to the users. To be even more productive, publishing to SharePoint can be automated. In other words, Team Publisher extends your Outlook to feed data to SharePoint lists for various purposes, such as for email archiving, issue tracking, timesheets, and projects or contact managements.

VBOffice Reporter

VBOffice Reporter is an easy to use tool for data analysis and reporting in Outlook. A single click allows you to see the number of hours planned for meetings the next month, expenses for a specific project in the last month, and many things more. Features include the ability to create reports for all tasks, calendar, and journal items. Create a report with a single click and then sent via e-mail or open it in Excel. Trial available. Supports Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013.

Weight Diet for Outlook

Weight Diet for Outlook helps users to shrink their mailbox size and organize emails by finding & eliminating obsolete emails, such as duplicate, autoresponder or mail failure messages. Users can specify which mail folders to scan and how to filter messages so only certain emails will be found. Weight Diet can reduce the mailbox size by moving email attachments out of the user's mailbox file while keeping a shortcut to the original attachments in the email message. Avoid the frustrations of sending large files by email, use Weight Diet to upload file attachments to file sharing servers and replace the attached file with its download link in the outgoing email message.

More Information

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

One response to “Housekeeping and Message Management: Outlook”

  1. Pablo

    I am looking for a script that will open the messages I send and bounce back because of bad email address on them, find the bad address and load them into an Excel or other file, so I can clean up my mailing list. Any ideas? I appreciate any help you can provide.

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