How to Automatically Empty Trash when Exiting Outlook 2011 for Mac

Outlook 2011 for Mac allows you to schedule tasks that help keep Outlook running efficiently. This is a incredibly useful and an often underused feature.

For example, when you manually delete email throughout your day, those items are stored in the Deleted Items folder. Over time, this folder can grow very large and can slow down Outlook for Mac. In order to fix the issue, you must manually empty your Trash after you delete an email. Most people delete an email and never do the latter. Fortunately, Outlook has a solution that automatically deletes your trash when you exit the program.

Here’s how to set it up.

Enable the Existing Empty Trash Schedule

Open Outlook from the Apple dock as shown in Figure A.

Figure A. Apple Dock

Select Tools | Run Schedule and choose Edit Schedule (Figure B).

Figure B. Schedules

If you have an Empty Deleted Items Folder, double-click to edit. Under When select On Quit and select Enabled (Figure C).


Figure C. Edit Schedule

Click OK and the deleted items bin will be emptied.

Figure D. Deleted Emails

Next, Quit Outlook for Mac by selecting Outlook | Quit Outlook. A message appears asking if you want to delete your trash. Choose Don’t Show this Message Again (Figure E). From this point on, all emails stored in the Deleted Items folder will be deleted on exit from Outlook.

Figure E. Delete Mail

Create a New Empty Trash Schedule from Scratch

  • Open Outlook and Select Tools | Run Schedule and choose Edit Schedule (See Figure B).
  • Click the + sign and add a title such as Delete Trash on Exit.
  • Under When choose On Quit.
  • Under Action choose Delete Mail and choose the Deleted items folder. Placing a 0 for Older than Days will just delete mail on exit. In this example, I chose to delete all mail older than 7 days.


The Scheduler will help keep Outlook for Mac 2011 purring by keeping bloated trash out of your system. Experiment with the different options to see what best suits your needs.

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