Cannot delete Emails or Folders in Outlook – Detailed Guide

Now some users are reporting that they cannot delete emails or folders in the Outlook application. This guide helps you in fixing the issue and use Outlook normally. Microsoft Outlook is a great program for email management. It gives you many options to customize and organize the emails as you like. As you use it for a long time, your emails and folders pile up and you may want to clean them up occasionally.

Cannot delete Emails or Folders in Outlook

If you’re having trouble deleting emails or folders in Outlook, there are a few things you can try to fix the issue.

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  • Edit, Save, and Delete the Email
  • Hard Delete Emails or Folders
  • Empty Deleted Items Folder
  • Restart Outlook in Safe Mode
  • Scan the Outlook PST File

Edit, Save, and Delete the Email

If you are unable to delete a particular email, this fix can help you in deleting the email.

Open the email that you are struggling to delete, edit it and save the email. Then, try deleting the email like you normally would. It might delete the email that is causing you issues while deleting.

Hard Delete Emails or Folders

Another way to delete emails and folders in the Outlook app is to hard delete them. To do this, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard while you delete the email or folder. This will bypass the Deleted Items folder and delete the item permanently. You may see a warning when you hard delete something, but you can just click “OK” to continue.

Empty Deleted Items Folder

Removing everything from the Deleted Items folder and then trying to delete emails or folders could work. This often worked for people who experienced a similar issue. To clear the Deleted Items folder, right-click on it and then select Empty Folder from the options. This will remove all items from the deleted items folder and clear the path for future items to be deleted.

Restart Outlook in Safe Mode

If the methods above don’t fix the problem for you, trying to delete them while running Outlook in safe mode might work. Safe mode only loads the bare minimum of files and drivers, so it might delete emails and folders that aren’t deleted in normal mode.

To open Outlook in Safe Mode, press Win+R on your keyboard, type outlook.exe/safe and press Enter on your keyboard.

You will need to select a profile. Outlook should be written in the text box and then press OK.

It will open Outlook in safe mode. You’ll see Safe Mode written at the top of the window.

Now try to delete the emails or folders that you are unable to delete in Normal mode. It might work. If not, try the next fix.

Scan the Outlook PST File

The Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair tool will fix the issue by scanning your PST data file for any errors that are causing you trouble. You can find SCANPST.exe at the following location:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\%OfficeVersion%\SCANPST.EXE

Run the file and select your account PST file in the Outlook app data folder. It will scan and repair the errors.

Once you’re done with it, close the file and open the Outlook application. Then try deleting emails or folders.

These are the possible fixes that might help you fix the issue. We hope this guide is helpful. Do comment if you have any suggestions or doubts in the comments section below.

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