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home : columns : rick frederickson
December 9, 2018

4/18/2018 9:33:00 AM
Managing email messages

Rick Frederickson
Computer Technician

Let's face it, managing email messages isn't fun. In most cases we want to read our messages and then move on. Then, in many cases, the messages we read end up sitting in our email for an eternity.
However, this creates problems. While we tend to think of our email as a filing cabinet with endless room, it is not. Programs, such as Outlook or Windows Live Mail, have limits. Once you reach these limits the programs either slow down or fail. If they fail, you may lose all your email. Using webmail, such as Yahoo, Gmail or Live Mail, doesn't fix the issue. Nearly all webmail limits the size of your email capacity. Once this is reached you can no longer receive messages.
Here are some tricks and tools that can help you sort through the mail and delete it. Most of these work in nearly all circumstances:
• Take time. This is a simple thing that involves you. Plan time at the end of the day, week or month to purposely manage your email so it doesn't get out of hand.
• Sort by. You can typically sort your email by date, from, to, size or subject, to name a few. You also can sort by newest or oldest on top. Sort by clicking on the email headers directly about the email. Use "sort by" to quickly determine which messages you want to delete.
• Keyboard shortcuts. If you want to select all messages in a folder click on one message and use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl A. If you want to pick and choose what you delete hold down the Ctrl key continuously as you click on messages. Only the messages you have clicked on will be selected. You can then delete them all at once.
• Deleting messages does not remove them completely. They go into the trash or deleted items, depending on what your program or webmail calls it. They are not permanently deleted until you remove them from the trash. WARNING - if you delete them from Trash or Deleted Items they are gone forever.
• You can also delete a message permanently, bypassing the trash, by holding down the Shift key while you delete it.
• Train your computer to use the junk or spam filter. Normally the easiest way to do this is right-click on a message and send it or move it to trash or junk mail. Eventually, your program should figure out you don't want to see it. You also have to delete the mail here as well and then delete it from the trash.
Managing email isn't a lot of fun, but if you stay on top of it and use these easy tips you soon will be breezing through this task. Your computer will thank you for it.

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