Ignore conversations in Outlook

Last reviewed on August 24, 2014   —  No comments yet

I think everyone has experienced this at least once: Someone sends a message to a large distribution list and the recipients use Reply All instead of Reply. Then one or more recipients reply all to ask people to stop using reply all. Then some people reply all to say they want to be part of the discussion.

Can everyone please stop using the reply to all option? I have more important things to do than cleaning up my inbox.

Click Ignore to automatically filter messages in a threadThe easiest way to avoid wasting time cleaning up your Inbox is to use Outlook's Ignore. When you click the Ignore button (or Ctrl+Del) the selected Conversation moves to the Deleted Items folder and all future messages in the conversation are moved to the Deleted Items folder as they arrive. Problem solved.

If you change your mind, select a message from the conversation in the Deleted Items folder. The Ignore button is highlighted to indicate it's enabled; click the Ignore button once to disable it. All previously ignored messages in the Deleted Items folder are moved back into the Inbox and any new messages in the conversation will remain in the Inbox.

Move a conversation

If you want to move a conversation out of your Inbox but not delete it, select the message and click the Move button or right click on a message in the conversation and choose Move > Always move messages in this conversation and select a folder to move the messages into.

Always move a conversation

To stop moving future messages, click on Move or right click on a message and choose Move > Disable always move conversation.

Stop moving messages in a conversation

Clear Delete and Move Conversation rules

To clear all ignored and move rules (but not move messages back to the Inbox), close Outlook and restart it using the /cleanconvongoingactions switch. Press Windows key + R to open the Run command then type or paste outlook.exe /cleanconvongoingactions in the Open field. (There is a space between Outlook.exe and the switch.)

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.

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