Clean up old RSS items

I’m subscribed to quite a number of RSS feeds for a long time and I’ve noticed that these feed folders are getting quite big by now.
Is there any way I can easily delete items that are, let’s say, older than a week?

You can achieve this automatically via AutoArchive or semi-automatically via a Search Folder.

Automatic cleanup via AutoArchive
If you want your old RSS items to be automatically deleted after x days, you’ll have to configure the AutoArchive setting for each and every RSS folder first;

  1. Right click the RSS folder and choose Properties.
  2. Select the AutoArchive tab.
  3. Set the option to; Archive this folder using these settings
  4. Set your desired time frame for the option: Clean out items older than
    In our example this would be 1 week.
  5. Set the option to; Permanently delete old items.

Once all folder have been configured correctly, you can configure AutoArchive;

  1. To enable AutoArchive;
    Outlook 2007 and previous: Tools-> Options…-> tab Other-> button AutoArchive…
    Outlook 2010: File-> section Options-> section Advanced-> AutoArchive Settings…
  2. Select: Run AutoArchive every x days
  3. Set this to 1 day if you really want to delete the items when they are exactly 1 week old.
  4. Verify that the option Archive or delete old items is selected.
  5. You can leave the default folder settings as we have set per-folder AutoArchive settings.
    Of course, make sure that you do not have any other folders configured to “Archive items in this folder using the default settings” if you do not want other folders to be archived. For instance, the AutoArchive settings of the Deleted Items folder could be set to this.
  6. Press OK and OK again to close the open dialogs.

Semi-automatic via a Search Folder
If you want to have more control over which items get deleted and when, then you can create an “Old RSS items” Search Folder. This method is also useful when you are in a corporate environment and the use of AutoArchive has been disabled as a company policy or simply do not want to review the per-folder AutoArchive settings.

  1. Create a new Search Folder via the keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+P or
    Outlook 2007: File-> New Search Folder
    Outlook 2010: tab Folder-> button New Search Folder
  2. In the dialog that pops-up, scroll to the bottom and choose: Create a custom Search Folder
  3. Press the “Choose…” button.
  4. Name the Search Folder.
    For instance: Old RSS items
  5. Press the “Criteria…” button.
  6. Select the “Advanced” tab
  7. Type the following in the fields below;
    Field: Received
    Condition: on or before
    Value: 1 week ago
    You may need to translate the Value entry for your localized version of Outlook.
  8. Press the “Add to List” button.
  9. Press OK.
  10. Press the “Browse…” button.
  11. Verify that no folders are selected (by default your top-level folder is selected).
  12. Select the “RSS Feeds” folder.
  13. Enable the option: Search subfolders
  14. Press OK and OK again to close all open dialogs.

Now when you select the “Old RSS items” Search Folder, a list will be generated of items older than a week. You can select them all via CTRL+A and delete them all at once via SHIFT+DELETE (to skip the Deleted Items folder).

Note 1: When using the “automatic cleanup” method, as a precaution, it is best to set the per-folder AutoArchive option to move the old items to an archive folder first. This way you can see if it is producing the desired results. If so, you can always change it to; Permanently delete old items.

Note 2:See this guide if AutoArchive leaves some older items, that should have been deleted, still in their original folder.

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