Clear duplicate files from Outlook the free and easy way

Outlook Duplicate Items Remover automates the task of removing copies of e-mail, contacts, tasks, and calendar entries.

Dennis O'Reilly Former CNET contributor
Dennis O'Reilly began writing about workplace technology as an editor for Ziff-Davis' Computer Select, back when CDs were new-fangled, and IBM's PC XT was wowing the crowds at Comdex. He spent more than seven years running PC World's award-winning Here's How section, beginning in 2000. O'Reilly has written about everything from web search to PC security to Microsoft Excel customizations. Along with designing, building, and managing several different web sites, Dennis created the Travel Reference Library, a database of travel guidebook reviews that was converted to the web in 1996 and operated through 2000.
Dennis O'Reilly
2 min read

Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who manages to keep their e-mail inbox empty by assigning the messages they need to keep appropriately named folders and deleting the mail they don't need.

Most of my inboxes have thousands of entries dating back years. And since I've combined my ISP's POP mail account with my Gmail account, the inbox-overflow problem has gotten out of hand.

Rather than spending half a day manually removing the duplicates, I installed Vaita's free Outlook Duplicate Items Remover. The program places an "ODIR" entry on Outlook's standard toolbar. Click it and choose "Remove duplicate items" (or press Alt-O, R) to open the add-on's window showing your Outlook folders. Select one of the folders and click the "Remove duplicate items" button at the bottom of the window.

Vaita Outlook Duplicate Items Remover
The free Outlook Duplicate Items Remover add-on makes finding and removing duplicate Outlook entries a breeze. Vaita

In just a few minutes, I watched the number of items in my inbox shrink from 4,081 to a more reasonable 2,656 (and counting). The program places the duplicate messages in a folder named ODIR_Duplicate_Files. I looked through this folder for non-duplicates erroneously identified by the add-on but didn't spot any.

If you trust the program's ability to tell duplicates from singles, you can simply delete the contents of the ODIR_Duplicate_Files folder. I played it safe by moving the folder's files to compressed folder on a thumb drive before deleting them.

I may not save a ton of time or hard-drive storage space by ridding myself of duplicate Outlook files, but every little bit helps.

Tomorrow: pare Outlook further by removing the attachments from your messages.