How to Create and Customize the Sweep Rule to Clean Your Inbox in Outlook


Is your email clogged daily by a load of unnecessary emails? If you are a regular Outlook user (like most of us), chances are high that this is the case for you. Having to delete sometimes hundreds of emails and losing the overview over messages that are actually important is a severe challenge these days. Outlook introduced the sweep rule to target exactly this problem. In the following, you can read step-by-step instructions about how to use the Outlook swipe function

What Options do you have with the Sweep Tool

Outlook offers you customization of the sweep rule to meet your needs best. Thus, you can decide:


  • Which messages do you want to be moved
  • What folder the messages should be moved to
Picture shows different options the sweep tool provides in Outlook
  1. Move all messages from the Inbox folder

In case you would like to free up your inbox completely, the sweep tool takes care of it, and you do not have to select each message individually. For instance, you can create a folder for very important emails and select the appropriate contacts. The sweep function will put all the messages from your inbox into the folder. This comes in handy, especially if you have finished a project or want to organize your Outlook at the end of the year.

It is also possible to delete all messages in your inbox. Simply run the sweep tool and move all to the deleted items folder. However, it is essential that you keep the overview of where you move emails to and avoid moving important messages to the deleted items folder accidentally.


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  1. Move all messages from the inbox folder and any future messages


If you are used to moving messages to specific folders manually, the sweep rule can be a powerful tool for you to automate the process. Moreover, it could clean all your inboxes every 24 hours, and you could specify the folder they will be moved to. This might help you to stay better organized with your inbox. In this case, you can use the rule “Move all messages from the inbox folder and any future messages.”


  1. Always keep the latest message and move the rest from the inbox folder

This option allows you to keep the latest messages of a sender in your inbox while moving the previous ones into a specified folder automatically. It can be helpful to avoid a clogged inbox while not risking losing important messages. It might be especially significant when dealing with a timesheet system or reminder emails.


  1. Always move messages older than ten days from the inbox folder

If you spend a significant amount of your day deleting emails you don’t need from your inbox, the fourth possibility of the sweep tool might be a helpful option for you. It deleted all emails you haven’t dealt with within the past ten days, and you do not intend to deal with those emails at all.


How to use the Swipe Tool in Outlook


Step 1: Log in to your Microsoft browser (via web browser).

Step 2: In your Inbox, select the email of a sender you want to avoid getting messages from.

Step 3: You now have the option to select “Sweep” in the toolbar.

Picture shows highlighted sweep tool sign in Outlook toolbar

Step 4: Select the option that best suits your needs from the pre-configured actions. Next, specify which folder to move the sender’s messages to.

Step 5: Click OK.

You can combine different features and highly customize the sweep rule, making it a helpful tool in Outlook. Do you use the sweep function already? Let us know in the comment section.

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