How to Process a Message

Once you’ve read a message and savored the feeling of awe brought on by the miracle of instantaneous electronic communication, you can handle the message in any of several ways.

Deleting Messages

Sometimes it’s junk mail, sometimes you’re just done with it; either way, it’s a snap to delete a message. Click the Delete button on the Ribbon’s Home tab, press the Delete key, or hit Ctrl+D. (You can also delete a batch of selected messages simultaneously.)


Above any message from somebody who’s not in your Contacts, in the yellow bar, there’s a “Delete and block” link. What a great way to slam the door in some idiot’s face! You’ll never hear from this person again.

The messages don’t actually disappear. Instead, they move to the Deleted Items folder for that email account. If you like, click this folder to view a list of the messages you’ve deleted. You can even rescue some simply by dragging them into another folder (even right back into the inbox).

Mail doesn’t truly vaporize messages in the Deleted Items folder until you “empty the trash.” You can empty it in any of several ways:

  • Right-click the Deleted Items folder. Choose “Empty ‘Deleted Items’ folder” from the shortcut menu.

  • Click the X button to the right of the Deleted Items folder’s name.

  • Click a message, or a folder, within the Deleted Items folder list, and then click the Delete button on the Ribbon’s Home tab (or press the Delete key). You’re asked to confirm its permanent deletion.

  • Set up Mail to delete ...

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