My three tips for improving Outlook management with Microsoft Sweep





I have multiple Microsoft Outlook email accounts and often struggle to manage them on a daily basis. I tend to prioritize emails in certain email accounts and completely ignore the rest. Obviously, the email accounts of each client I work for are consulted several times a day as part of my job, the mailboxes are regularly sorted and checked.

But the personal accounts I have on Outlook.com and Hotmail don’t work as well. Whenever I check these accounts through the web browser, I often find the number of unread emails overwhelming. I close the browser and do something more interesting instead.

Today, to regain control, I deleted post after post, quickly got bored, made myself another cup of coffee, and stared miserably at my screen. I had been deleting for what seemed like eons and was going crazy, moving my mouse around the screen for inspiration. And then I discovered the Sweep icon at the top of my Outlook screen.

The Swipe icon on the Microsoft Outlook toolbar eileen brown onmsft
The Scan icon in the Microsoft Outlook toolbar

Microsoft Outlook Scan, which is available for Outlook.com and Hotmail email addresses accessed through a browser, will allow you to delete emails from your inbox based on a set of criteria. You can move messages from the Inbox folder to a specified folder and ensure that all future messages from the same sender will be treated the same.

Options for managing messages using Microsoft Outlook's Sweep eileen brown onmsft
Options for managing messages using Microsoft Outlook’s Sweep

You can keep the last message received and move other messages from the same sender, or move all messages older than 10 days from the Inbox folder. You can also specify which folder you want messages moved to, creating a new folder if you want.

Once your inbox is empty, Sweep for Outlook will automatically run every 24 hours to keep your inbox free of messages from the sender you chose. If you’re as disorganized with your inbox as I am and leave Outlook’s Sweep to automate the tasks you hate.

I know that if I am not going to act on a message within 10 days from a specific sender, I will never do anything with that particular email. It’s my new favorite option for keeping my inbox manageable.

Access swipe settings from Microsoft Outlook eileen brown onmsft
Access Scan Settings from Microsoft Outlook

If you think you’ve made a mistake and the messages from senders you want to keep are important, you can check and adjust the settings you’ve made. Click the Outlook settings icon, then click the View all Outlook settings link.

Viewing and managing existing scan rules eileen brown onmsft
Viewing and Managing Existing Scan Rules

Tips for managing your inbox using Microsoft Sweep:

  • Use Sweep to initially delete all emails from a specific sender that are older than 10 days.
  • Use Sweep to move emails you may want in the future from the inbox to specific folders such as coupons, online outlets, etc.
  • Check your scan settings regularly to make sure you don’t miss important emails.

I finally regained control of my personal emails after finding it almost impossible for me to sift through them all to find the valuable emails that tend to get lost in the plethora of junk emails and unwanted.

Sweep has completely changed the way I now manage my inbox – and it will keep my inbox streamlined so I can become more efficient. I won’t be drinking so much coffee either from now on.

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