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How to Permanently Delete a Message in Outlook

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The trash in your kitchen and the trash in Outlook are both convenient, but maybe not for the same reasons. In the kitchen, the trashcan lifts the burden of having to go to the compost pile with every tea bag. In Outlook, the Deleted Items folder lets you recover accidentally deleted items easily.

What if, then, if you want to make sure an item cannot be recovered, let alone easily? You can empty the trash, of course, and the item is gone, but you still have to move it there first, and all other emails, contacts and what not in Deleted Items will be gone as well.

Fortunately, there is another way.

Permanently Delete a Message in Outlook

To permanently delete a message bypassing the Deleted Items folder in Outlook:

  • Hold down the Shift key while pressing Del.
  • Click Yes.

(The same works with entire folders, too.)

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