So I was rummaging around with O365 and happened to come around a very nice feature, I never noticed this before – but I would consider this to be very useful so why not share the joy…

You likely know about Rules in the Outlook desktop app, this is really useful to create sorting rules for incoming email. Thus you could make a rule that moved mails from a person or mailing list to a subfolder, or if you are a pro you could also add tags and what not – all very useful. The rules however require a bit of configuration, not a lot but just enough that it is one of those things I never got done.

Now however I found that “Rules” have a little-sister, “Sweep” and it is more or less just that, a virtual “broom” to help you out.

Sweep is VERY similar to Rules but it is just a tad “easier”, you don’t need to configure “complex” rules where you need to consider who is the sender, am I the only recipient etc. etc. You can set it up with a few clicks.

Here you see it in the online Outlook version, and as I recall you actually need to set up the actions here and not in the desktop version. It makes sense as actions configured here will work in the background where actions setup in the desktop Outlook app often require Outlook to be running to work. To access the online Outlook app just go to

Here you see the “Sweep” action.

So what is sweep and why is is something you might wanna look at?

Well Sweep can be used ad-hoc or as permanent actions that run in the background just as rules. Sweep is the friend you wanted as a child, the helpful friend that would help you tidy up your room – in this case your inbox..

What you do is, you click on one of the thousands of mails in your inbox that you need help with cleaning up – here I am not thinking so much on emails that you “care” about, more like those emails you “need” to get as information or notification but that you just often forget to delete after reading.

So in my example here, I have an email from the “Outlook team” with “important” information, so I mark it and click on the “Sweep” button.

And now I get a list of options, and as you can see we can do different things.

Move all messages from the inbox folder

The top action is for ad-hoc use, thus it is an action we can use here and now if we are performing a cleanup act here and now – if we were to just click “OK” now Outlook would move all mails from the “ Team (member….” to the “Deleted Items” folder.

Move all messages from the inbox folder, and any future messages

If we were to click the second option, then the same would happen but Outlook would also implement a new running action that will make sure to do the same for new emails that arrive in the future – so if I did that here all mails from the “ Team” would be deleted without me ever seeing them – perhaps not quite what I would want to do – (NOTE: I call it action even though rule might be a better word, however it is to avoid confusing it with the “old” Outlook feature called “Rules” as this is not quite that).

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

If we were to choose option Three, then Outlook would keep count and only keep the latest email from the “ Team” – this could be VERY useful for random newsletters, you get to keep the last one and Outlook will clean the old versions up while you do other important stuff. And this is a nice twist to the old “Rules” Outlook offered, because now you get to keep that ONE email in your main inbox flow, where earlier you would likely have copied this newsletter to a subfolder for later reading and manual clean up.

Always move messages older than 10 days from the inbox folder

The fourth option is a twist of the third option, this will allow for emails to live for up to 10days in your main inbox flow and THEN be moved or deleted. You may like me get a lot of notifications from your servicedesk system, some that require attention others that don’t but difficult to filter as they may be fairly similar – now I can just mark mails from the servicedesk and say that after 10days they will be moved to an archive – thus if I don’t get around to tidying up my inbox, Outlook will come to my rescue after 10days.

The last “option” is the “Where” option, I can choose to just simply delete stuff or I can move it to a folder in my Outlook.

You can select the “destination” no matter which of the options you work with.

The above also works for personal Outlook accounts (Free Microsoft Outlook mail accounts).


If you are working on a corporate Outlook account, then you may have even more nice options, your administrator may have enabled “Retention policies”. This mean that for each folder you have in Outlook you can configure automatic cleanup procedures, eg. you may have an archive folder and you can configure that emails in this are automatically deleted after 365 days (or 2,3,4,5…. years). Your options here rely on what the administrator have set up.

You can setup these “Retention Policies” either per folder or even on single emails, so if you get an email that you need to remember to delete after a period you can just assign this “Retention label/tag” to that email and Outlook will make sure you are compliant (eg. lets say you have a corporate policy that you need to erase this type of emails after 30 days – now you will not have to loose sleep in case you forgot – Outlook is your “bit..” 😉 )

Here is an example of an e-mail that has been tagged with a retention policy – you can tag individual mails or folders.

Anyway, the fun does not stop there – now you can combine this “Retention label” with “Sweep” and get even more automation. You create “Archive Folders” and then assign these “Retention Policies” and then utilize “Sweep” to sweep mails to these folders, and then Outlook automatically clean-up for you in compliance with compliance policies.

What is not to like..


Are there pitfalls, sure. Automatically configures sweeping is configured to run 24/7/365 – and lets say you take a 2 week vacation – things may have been “Sweeped” that you did not notice. Also, things that are “sweeped” is not processed in any way – if you create rules you can mark mails as read or assign various labels etc. this is not true for “Sweeped” mails, these will remain as they were in your main inbox (thus may be read or unread).


If we look in settings we can see that “Sweep” and “Rules” (the old/original Outlook feature) is not quite the same but have different configuration panes.

What do you do to keep your inbox clean?

I keep struggling to keep up with emails – they come at me as a virtual torrent, previously I had configured some rules for some mails – but I really like these new options, I think they can be very useful in keeping up.

By Michael Møller, ReadMyDamnBlog autor.

The ever so helpful Microsoft Corp has decided to assist you with yet another new feature, one or more icons in your searchbar (next to the start menu).

So maybe you are an old grumphy man like me that despice changes to the GUI and just want it gone, or maybe you are a sysadmin and wish for it to not bother your users. Like I don’t get it, stuff that enables strange slide-up menues are just not very smart in my book, in my last sysadmin position people worked with drawing applications and if their mouse just happened to strafe the bottom of the screen up came weather reports, news and now also previous search results – in my book a big no go, ok people should have the right to enable this, but default setting should be off.

So how to get rid of it.

Well, through the GUI, you do like this;

  1. right click the search menu
  2. move to “2” Search
  3. uncheck “Show search highlights” – This will remove the icon/icons in the search menu
    (ProTip: you can also opt for just unchecking “open on hover”, then the search menu will only expand if you click on it)

SysAdmin tip;

To get rid of it through registry

My suggestion is to make a GroupPolicy Preference deployment of that registry setting, and horray you and your users are again masters in your own OS.


#DynamicSearchBox #Windows10 #ButWhyMicrosoft